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Cecelia Tucker Honored With Lead Like King Award

By Joe Garvey

Cecelia Tucker, Old Dominion University's director of community relations, was honored at the Urban Renewal Center of Norfolk's third annual Lead Like King Gala on Friday.

Tucker received a Lead Like King Award. The awards, which honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., recognize transformational leaders and are based on the following criteria:

  • Leadership in progressive ways to advocate for racial and ethnic harmony.
  • Commitment to your cause.
  • Disruptor of the status quo as essential for change.
  • When you have a dream, you communicate it and do it.
  • Encourager of creative tension for common good.

"Cee Cee learned life's calling very early in her career - to serve communities, make a difference and impact lives," said Karen Meier, assistant vice president for community engagement, university events and licensing. "She models the importance of kindness, civility and respect daily. Not only did she find her path, she brought young and old alike to travel with her, and they reached the same destination - a community."

Tucker joined ODU in 1991 and has undertaken a variety of community relations activities for the University, especially outreach to African-Americans and other minority communities in Hampton Roads. She has worked in such areas as alumni relations, government relations, and student, faculty and staff recruitment. Tucker also has worked to improve the campus climate and civility and has represented the University's president.

She has received numerous awards, including two state appointments. In 2014, she was selected by the New Journal & Guide as an honoree in its first Impacting Lives program. She also won the Anchor Award of the local Children's Harbor organization, the group's top honor.

She said she "feels blessed that others seem to appreciate" what she lives to do.

This year's Lead Like King Gala, which was held at the First Presbyterian Church of Norfolk, commemorated the legacy of the first slaves who were brought to America in 1619.

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