Avery Research Center’s Executive Director Honored with ExCEL Award, Fashion Feature

The Libraries’ own Patricia Williams Lessane has had an exciting week.

On Wednesday, March 28, the Executive Director of the Avery Research Center for African American History and Culture and Co-Principal of the Race and Social Justice Institute was honored with the 2018 Excellence in Collegiate Education and Leadership (ExCEL) Award for Administrator of the Year. Williams Lessane joined more  than 30 students, staff, faculty and community members honored for their commitment to creating a campus environment that promotes diversity and excellence.

The accolades continued with Williams Lessane featured in the “Real Women, Real Clothes” series hosted by actress Reese Witherspoon’s Draper James blog.

A cultural anthropologist whose focus areas include Pan African religious identity, Black feminist theory, and representations of Black life in popular culture, Williams Lessane earned a BA in English from Fisk University, a MALS from Dartmouth College, and a PhD. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Before joining the College of Charleston, she was a faculty member at Roosevelt University and a consultant for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago.

Williams Lessane and the Avery Research Center are gearing up for the 2018 Annual Fundraiser celebrating Curtis Franks and Deborah Wright as they enter a well-earned retirement. The event will help the Avery Research Center establish internships and conceive public programs to continue the example Curtis and Deborah have set for the Avery Research Center going forward.

The celebration, featuring Charleston’s own The Black Diamond Band, will take place on Saturday, April 7, 2018, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the William Blacklock House Garden at 18 Bull Street, Charleston, South Carolina.

Parking is available in the St. Philip’s Street Garage, Addlestone Library parking, on the street for an hour, and the Avery Research Center (125 Bull Street).

Donations begin at $100 per person. For tickets, visit https://giving.cofc.edu/avery-research-center.