Virginia Union University Hosts the 2022 Ruth Coles Harris Leadership Institute Awards Luncheon

September 07, 2022

[RICHMOND, VA – September 7, 2022] -- Virginia Union University (VUU) will host the 2022 Ruth Coles Harris Leadership Institute Awards Luncheon on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at 11:30 AM in the Claude G. Perkins Living and Learning Center on the university’s campus. At the luncheon, three community leaders will be honored for their lasting impact on people and within their communities. 

The luncheon, hosted by the Sydney Lewis School of Business, is named in honor of Dr. Ruth Coles Harris, the first African American woman to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in Virginia. At the time of her certification, Dr. Ruth Coles Harris was an accounting professor at VUU. As the first director of the Sydney Lewis School of Business, she oversaw the development and expansion of the school’s curriculum, leading to an enrollment of over 400 students when she retired in 1997. Upon her retirement, she was named a Distinguished Professor Emerita at the university. The Ruth Coles Harris Leadership Institute offers a lecture series to deepen students’ understanding of business as well as workshops and seminars for the development of students and the community. 

"Through the Ruth Coles Harris Leadership Institute, individuals have the opportunity to sharpen skills that can be used to find new and innovative ways of developing and managing people,” said Dr. Robin Davis, Dean of the Sydney Lewis School of Business and Associate Provost for Academic Affairs. “They can develop new business opportunities or even address and solve societal issues that can transform the world." 

At this year’s leadership luncheon, three business and community leaders will be recognized for their community impact: 

Tyrone E. Dickerson, CPA, recipient of the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants’ Ruth Coles Harris Advancing Diversity and Inclusion Award and member of the Virginia Union University Board of Trustees. 

Rev. Dr. John W. Kinney, Pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Beaverdam, Virginia and Dean of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at VUU from 1990 to 2017. 

Shane Roberts-Thomas, owner and chef of Southern kitchen and The Deuce Restaurant located in Richmond’s Jackson Ward. 

Additionally, four students from the Sydney Lewis School of Business will be awarded scholarships of $2,500 for their outstanding achievement. 

For more information and to purchase tickets for the awards luncheon, visit vuu.edu/register.