Alumni Voices

Clark Atlanta boasts a student population representing some of the most amazing and talented student from around the United State and several foreign countries.  All came to CAU expecting to discover a new world filled with life-changing ideas and experiences.  Our graduates agree that what they found here were experiences that fostered ideas and innovations, equipping them to change lives in ways that matter. That's what we call the "CAU Spirit of Greatness!"

All of these alumni are making a difference!  See how CAU made a difference in their lives!

Kevin Y. Brown

Author, Entrepreneur and Clothing Designer 

"I grew up in one of the worst neighborhoods in Northern California and spent 17 years in the foster care system.  The love and support I received there from friends, mentors and at CAU made me believe in myself and my goals. When I graduated--with zero college debt, by the way--I had grown from an 18-year-old kid, into a well-traveled man of the world.  

A lot of people expected me to be kicked out of college in the first two weeks. But my experiences at CAU, from playing on the men's basketball team to a semester in London, turned out to be some of the best years of my life!"


Alexander B. Cummings, Jr.
Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer
The Coca-Cola Company

“People often ask if I know Coca-Cola’s secret formula. I tell them my role is to perpetuate our secret for success, pursuing excellence worldwide from start to finish..and we are never finished. Clark Atlanta reinforced that ethic into my consciousness.

CAU afforded me two of the most precious, irreplaceable gifts in my life. CAU provided me with a first-rate business education and the confidence to compete successfully in corporate environments around the world. I also met my lifetime partner, my wife Teresa (CC, '78; AU, '82), there.
We are both proud alumni!”


Julian Dube
CNN International Desk Assignment Editor
and World Sports Editor

"Being a student at Clark Atlanta was like being a student of the world.  I was exposed to global issues and ideas, but more important, I was able to connect with global organizations because CAU equipped me with the training and education I needed and, just by virtue of proximity, I was right there in the market where exciting things were happening.  I wouldn't trade anything for that!"


Jasmine Nicole Franklin
Honor Graduate in Psychology, Middle School Science Teacher

“College is an investment, one of the most important investments you’re going to make in your life. So it makes sense not only to select an institution where you fit in, but you want to also pick the school that’s going to ensure you the greatest success when you get out. I found both at CAU.  As a first-generation college student, I found my own voice. I found a family environment that nurtured and challenged me at the same time. I found a network of people willing to mentor and guide me toward opportunities that made a difference in my personal and professional choices, and I found alumni who were even more excited about my success than I was. That’s what you will find at CAU!”


Dr. Eleanor and Mr. Lyle Gittens
Retired Educator and Civil Servant; Major Donors

and Model Legacy Alumni

“We met there and have had 72 years of marriage and family, and of course it all started at the University! Clark has a history of developing raw talent, and we're interested in the kind of benefit we got. If alumni do not give to the University, it may not be able to continue. Nobody wants to be a graduate of a school that no longer exists.”

Cynthia-Bond-Hopson,-Ph.D..jpgCynthia Bond Hopson, Ph.D.
Assistant General Secretary,
Black College Fund and
Ethnic Concerns -
United Methodist Church

“College educators treated me like I was smart and expected me to excel; and I did. I wanted to do well....  Without the prayers of the people, so many students wouldn't make it.  I just thank and praise the Lord for the opportunity to have found Clark College [now Clark Atlanta University] in my lifetime. I knew the prayers of my ancestors were keeping me there. I was never alone.”


The Honorable Hank Johnson
U.S. Representative for Georgia's Fourth District  

“I graduated out of the DIstrict of Columbia's public schools and enrolled in Clark College, now Clark Atlanta University. The faculty prepared me every step of the way...for law school, to excel as an attorney and for politics.  My experiences at CAU helped forge my ability to think independently.  I learned how to be a leader, not a follower.  More important, my college experiences helped shape my belief that I'm here to serve and to pursue fairness in everything I do, from protecting the unemployed to improving the nation's court system.”


Fred Mitchell
Vice President for Development
United Negro College Fund

“Before coming to Clark Atlanta, I attended a large state university.  I honestly felt like a number, a statistic.  But when I enrolled in CAU, people knew me immediately, not just as a number, but by face and name.  I felt a sense of community right away, and that community comprised classmates from all over the United States.  I felt like part of a real family and forged relationships, including the bond with my frat brothers, that remain among my closest to this very day.”


Pernessa C. Seele

Founder and CEO, A Balm in Gilead 
Recognized by TIME 100 as One of the World's 
Most Important People

“I treasure my days on CAU's campus!  I remember sitting outside of Pfeiffer Hall with students and my dorm mother...singing and laughing and dreaming about what we would become.  But what I remember even more is that the professors were very clear that if they had a hand in your life, you were going to be somebody.  They raised us up to be somebody.”

Maurice Simpson
President - Young Democrats
of Prince Georges County;
Vice President - Young Democrats
of Maryland

“I went on two East Coast HBCU college tours my senior year in high school.  When I arrived in the Atlanta University Center, only one school stood out, Clark Atlanta.  The other schools were a little bland, but when I stepped onto CAU's campus, it was vibrant and full of excitement.  Students were moving around campus and interacting with each other.  I just fell in love with the atmosphere.  By my senior year, I was immersed in campus government.  I could have meaningful conversations with the President and the University's general counsel an dshare wthat the students felt was important.  The thing I remember is the degree to which they listened and repsonded.  That says a lot about a University and, to a large extent, defines the character of CAU.”


Jasu Sims

Public Relations Executive and
Acclaimed Blogger

“I've worked with lots of well-known brands--from Natalie Cole, to VH1 to Carol's Daughter, but the brand that means the most to me is CAU!  I knew I wanted to enroll there even as a child.  When I finally arrived, it didn't take long to feel welcome, like I belonged there.  The dorm step shows were the epitome of school spirit and chapel services gave me both a sense of self and of community.”