|M. Moran Weston II|
On Tuesday, Oct. 26 at noon, Columbia will honor the late Rev. Dr. M. Moran Weston II -- a native New Yorker and founder of the largest African American–owned bank in the United States, Carver Federal Savings Bank -- with the dedication of a plaza on the Morningside campus in his name.
The event is free and open to the public, and light refreshments will be served. Remarks will be heard from the following speakers: Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia University; Austin E. Quigley, dean of Columbia College; Jessica Buchanan, president of Columbia University Black Students Organization; George Van Amson, Columbia University Trustee; Greg Weston, son of Moran Weston; The Rev. Canon Frederick Williams, rector of Church of the Intercession; and The Rev. Dr. James Forbes, senior minister of The Riverside Church.
A graduate of Columbia College class of 1930, Weston was appointed the University's first African American trustee in 1969 and served in that capacity until 1981, when he was designated a trustee emeritus. He was a tireless advocate for Columbia and the Harlem community; his dedication to the larger community inspired several student groups to campaign for a space named in his honor.
Weston's accomplishments spanned several sectors and included a wide range of successful efforts to improve the community. The Tarboro, North Carolina, native also served as rector of St. Philip's Episcopal Church in Harlem. His work as a banker alerted him to the growing need for affordable housing and led him to found six nonprofit housing development corporations that have provided thousands of homes for low-income families.
His leadership was recognized by a number of organizations, including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Mount Sinai Medical School and Hospital, the Greater Harlem Nursing Home and CARE. In 1981, the Archbishop of Canterbury conferred upon Weston the St. Augustine's Cross in recognition of his service. His devotion to shaping urban and public policy led Columbia's School of International and Public Affairs to name an annual lecture in his honor.
The University seeks to recognize Weston's many contributions and invaluable guidance by dedicating this plaza within the community he loved and served.
Media coverage is invited.