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University of Indianapolis announces Paul Washington-Lacey Emerging Leader Program

A new leadership program in the Office of Equity and Inclusion will continue the spirit of mentorship and community championed by the late UIndy employee Paul Washington-Lacey.

Alumni, donors, and members of the Washington-Lacey family joined together to fund the initiative as part of the successful Campaign for the University of Indianapolis, with the first student cohort in the program planned for spring 2018. Gifts to support this important work are encouraged today through November 18 by way of a new crowdfunding site,

In partnership with leaders across campus, the program will continue Washington-Lacey’s work by helping students develop their personal and professional skills and encouraging them to embrace the idea of paying it forward.

The Paul Washington-Lacey Emerging Leader Program will inspire student growth in four key areas: academic excellence, career readiness, leadership development and personal growth. The future success of students will preserve his memory and influence for many years ahead.

“Paul cared deeply and worked intentionally, and upon his retirement, he was convinced that he had made an enhanced difference upon the University. The naming of this program serves as evidence of Paul’s commitment going forward,” said Bonita Washington-Lacey, Paul’s widow.

Sean Huddleston, vice president for the Office of Equity and Inclusion, will administer the program.

“Paul dedicated the majority of his career to ensuring that students succeed in and out of the classroom. He represented the values of true leadership, and it is a fitting tribute to his impact that we will establish the Paul Washington-Lacey Emerging Leader Program to continue his legacy,” said Huddleston.

A dedicated leader and friend to many, Washington-Lacey worked as an admissions counselor and senior associate for career development and employee relations. In 1999, he received special recognition when he was named as an Honorary Alumnus by the UIndy Alumni Association. Washington-Lacey retired after 35 dedicated years of service to the students at the University of Indianapolis.

“This honor recognizes years of commitment and sacrifice to his calling to serve, care, inform and improve the lives of students.  We are again heartened by the outpouring of respect and love shared by so many friends, alumni and colleagues at the University,” added Bonita Washington-Lacey.

Since his passing in 2015, his legacy has been one of respect, admiration and gratitude from the many people who were fortunate enough to know him.

“Because of Paul, generations of students were able to graduate and use his example to advocate in similar ways. Paul’s influence on my life is great and I am honored to be among a group of alumni who have come together to support this effort,” said Jeffrey Barnes ’00, alumnus and UIndy director of events.