Clark Atlanta University Names Gay-linn E. Gatewood-Jasho Executive Director of University History, Traditions, and Ceremonials
ATLANTA (Septmber 9, 2021) − Clark Atlanta University (CAU) announced Gay-linn E. Gatewood-Jasho has been promoted to serve as the University’s first Executive Director charged with overseeing the new Office of University History, Traditions, and Ceremonials.
In this new role, Gatewood-Jasho will direct efforts to build programs that will safeguard historically significant documents, papers, artifacts, and traditions as well as ceremonial intellectual assets from CAU, along with influences of the parent institutions of Atlanta University and Clark University/Clark College. Previously, Gatewood-Jasho was Senior Director of the Office of Alumni Relations with responsibility for the direct provision of alumni services and support to 40,000-plus alumni.
“Gay-linn Jasho brings to this important role an impeccable record of outstanding accomplishments, and her extensive knowledge and strategic planning experience will help us move forward in a manner that is well planned and impactful,” said Dr. George T. French, Jr. He added, “Not only is she a seasoned member of our leadership team but she also has been the longest-serving Director of the Office of Alumni Relations, which has equipped her with exceptional subject-matter expertise ideally for this new role.”
Given the heightened focus on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in recent years, Dr. French said he is pleased that CAU has embraced a unique opportunity this year, establishing the Office of University History, Traditions, and Ceremonials, which he said is backed by the necessity of ensuring that the University’s evolving growth maintains an intentional degree of synergy with the distinguished history, traditions, and ceremonies that make CAU “One Exceptional University.”
Beginning in 2008 through July 2021, Gatewood-Jasho was CAU’s ambassador to its multi-generational alumni constituents, and she provided supervisory leadership in all alumni activities, programs, and services. Directing the CAU Office of Alumni Relations for more than a decade, Gatewood-Jasho traveled extensively to work with alumni locally and nationally. Signature occasions include: “From Paws to Claws,” a series of alumni-student-networking events that welcomed over 10,000 incoming, first-year students, as well as numerous upper- class students; “CAU on Broadway,” traveling to New York to support Tony Award recipient Kenny Leon’s (CC ’78) directed plays; Golden Sons and Daughters (50th class reunion) and Legacy Alumni (50-year-plus class reunions), with honoree-enhanced, ceremonial recognition as part of the annual commencement events held in May.
“Gay-linn possesses a high degree of second-to-none tenacity in all matters involving CAU’s history, its traditions, and especially its ceremonials,” said Yolanda Thompson (CC ’81), Clinical Chaplain; former Adjunct Professor Mass Media Arts department and former Director of the Office of Public Affairs of the Georgia Department of Corrections. “I am confident she will meet and exceed expectations with this extraordinary opportunity because of her unwavering work ethic.”
To date, Gatewood-Jasho has served under the leadership of six Presidents, starting with employment assignments during the terms of the last two Presidents of Clark College. Among her future initiatives, Gatewood-Jasho said she looks forward to identifying an opportunity to showcase some of the historical papers and documents that reveal how tirelessly devoted CAU Presidential leaders have been to the University’s mission and to their shared commitment to promote the viability of the HBCUs.
“I am humbled to be offered such an extraordinary opportunity, and the timing is very exciting to be in this role, helping CAU move forward and build for its future,” said Gatewood-Jasho. “Among HBCUs, our CAU history runs deep. We are the oldest HBCU in the state of Georgia and our more-than-combined 308 years of tenacious passion for education, history, traditions, and ceremonies must be honored and celebrated.”
It is Gatewood-Jasho’s longevity of over 35 years of service to the institution, her reputation for integrity and commitment to CAU’s alumni and programs that one alumni leader perceives will prove invaluable as Gatewood-Jasho begins her new role. Working in conjunction with the Clark Atlanta University Alumni Association, Inc. (CAUAA, Inc.) was vital. While the Office of Alumni Relations has diligently supported 40,000-plus alumni each year to ensure their experiences with alumni programs and services are remarkably unforgettable, Gatewood-Jasho also has supported the leadership and work of the national and local chapters of CAUAA, Inc.
“This is a great fit for Gay-linn to be the first in this new role because she has been so diligent in upholding history and traditions in the Office of Alumni Relations,” said Devin White, National President of CAUAA, Inc. “She is going to do an excellent job for CAU, and nothing but the best will come out of her efforts in this position.”
Thompson provided a reminder of one of Gatewood-Jasho’s memorable events demonstrating her well-timed commitment to help foster CAU’s historical relevance: “Gay-linn offered to support a shared initiative between alumni in Judicial professions and their friends, along with Mass Media Arts and Criminal Justice faculty members and their students – and our first Law Day happened and it was tremendously impactful. Gay-linn convened a panel of guest speakers who came to share their expertise and wise counsel: two of our alumni who had integrated The Law School of Emory University during the turbulent 1960s – Judge Marvin Arrington, Sr. (CC ’63) and Judge Clarence Cooper (CC ’63); Attorney Antavius Weems (CAU ’95/’98), an outstanding attorney who has earned national recognition; the renowned Judge Glenda Hatchett; Attorney Patrise Perkins Hooker, the first African American to serve as President of the State Bar of Georgia; and the Dean of The Law School of Emory University, at that time, Professor Robert Schapiro.”
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Gatewood-Jasho, who is a 1981 graduate of Clark College, B.A. degree in Mass Communications with a concentration in Broadcast Management, and a 1994 graduate of Clark Atlanta University, M.A. degree in Counseling and Human Development, began her career at her undergraduate institution in 1986 as the Office Manager in Alumni Relations, followed by other positions that increased the scope of her knowledge and insight of the University community, which included: Reunion Project Coordinator/Manager of Data System in Alumni Relations; Director of the Department of Community Services; and Director of the Department for Students with Disabilities.
Previously, Gatewood-Jasho, who is a consecrated Diaconal Minister of the United Methodist Church, served as a visiting lecturer and interpretation specialist for the All Africa Conference of Churches in Nairobi, Kenya. During this two-year assignment, Jasho worked with representatives of 13 nations in Africa.
About Clark Atlanta University
Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African-American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African-Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African-American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that comprise the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions.