WASHINGTON, D.C. – Charles D. King, a Howard University School of Law alumnus who has risen to prominence in Hollywood, told the story of his journey from Hollywood agency mailroom to entertainment company CEO at this year’s Charter Day Convocation.
“Upon graduation, I had a ten-year plan: one day be at the helm of an integrated media company,” King said. “When I graduated, I journeyed to Hollywood without a car, a job, and without a computer, and six figures in student loans.”
He landed in the mailroom of William Morris Endeavor talent agency. In a short period, King rose to senior agent in the motion picture department. He went on to become the first African-American partner in the company’s hundred-plus year history and the first ever African-American partner at a major Hollywood talent agency. MACRO, the company he founded in 2015, is today a leading media Hollywood firm representing the voice and perspectives of people of color.“
In four short years, we have nine academy award nominations,” King said. “When we launched we knew there was a market in Hollywood for a new paradigm of ownership and how we are portrayed on screens large and small. The fight continues to have our stories told authentically.”
King credited his activist and educated family, including his father and uncle. The two men were classmates and 1969 graduates of the Howard University College of Medicine. King urged students to follow their dreams and to remain true to their backgrounds.
He added, “At the moment of opportunity, you better bust through the door. And when you succeed, pay it forward, and honor the legacy of Howard University.”
Howard University’s Charter Day Convocation commemorates the special charter enacted by the United States Congress and approved by U.S. President Andrew Johnson that established Howard University on March 2, 1867.
In convocation remarks, Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick acknowledged Howard University as “The Howard University” in reference to the actual language found in the historic federal charter document.
At the convocation ceremony, Dr. Frederick and Stacey J. Mobley, chairman of the Board of Trustees, reiterated the planks of Howard University’s recently announced “Howard Forward” strategic plan: Enhance academic excellence, Inspire new knowledge, Serve the community, Improve efficiency and effectiveness, and Achieve financial stability.
“Howard University has a powerful legacy that is built upon rather than rested upon,” Dr. Frederick said. “We have reached a pivotal point in the University’s history where we must invest in ourselves and plan for the future.”
The March 1 Charter Day Convocation sets the stage for the following evening’s highly-anticipated Charter Day Dinner. The annual black-tie gala is Howard’s premiere fundraising event. This year, the proceeds from the dinner will support the Student Aid Campaign and its efforts to directly address the gaps that exist in financial aid for Howard students.
During the event, the Alumni Award for Distinguished Postgraduate Achievement was presented to Rosie Allen-Herring in the field of business and public service; Lori George Billingsley in the field of communications; and Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford in the field of public service. The Capstone Distinguished Service Award was presented to LaRue V. Barkwell.