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Lecture by Pioneering Athlete Opens Black History Month

Aerial campus shot

Lecture among Dickinson's 2022 Black History Month events

During a critical era in the fight for racial justice, a pioneering Black American will provide insights to help light the path forward. Carlisle native Gary Steele will speak about his inspiring experiences as a trailblazing student-athlete and Army leader during some of the most pivotal moments in modern U.S. racial history. He also will share his tips for resilience and success in the face of challenge.

Sponsored by Dickinson’s The Trout Gallery, the Feb. 3 livestream lecture, Becoming My Best Self With Gary Steele, is free and open to the public. It is among the social and educational events planned at Dickinson during 2022’s Black History Month.

Gary Steele

Gary Steele

Steele entered West Point in 1966 and earned distinction as the Army's first Black American to earn a West Point varsity letter in football. He also garnered four varsity letters in track and field and was inducted into West Point’s Hall of Fame in 2013. Next came a 23-year career in the armed forces. Steele retired as an Army colonel in 1993 and pivoted to human resources, eventually serving as HR director at Pfizer’s NYC headquarters and as Pfizer’s first European Animal Health Business Unit director. NFL Films featured Steele, his wife and children in the documentary Steele Tough.

Two years after Steele's 2020 campus lecture, The Trout Gallery brings him back to Dickinson as part of the museum’s ongoing, free public programming centering on race and social justice, made possible by grants provided by the Art Bridges Foundation. The college’s related exhibition of works by Horace Pippin continues through Feb. 19.

Stay tuned for additional events!

Because the Steele lecture is livestreamed, all members of the global Dickinson community are invited to attend. Campus-focused, educational, social and celebratory Black History Month events include:

  • Weekly social events, Wednesdays in February, beginning Feb. 9, hosted by the Black Student Union with support from the Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity (PSC). Activities will include a karaoke night and a game night.
  • Feb. 26: Black Excellence Gala, 6-8 p.m., hosted by the Black Student Union, with support from the PSC. This event celebrates students, faculty and Carlisle community leaders of excellence. 
  • Feb 24: Black Girls Chronicles Learning Series, hosted by Hope Station. While the focus is on Black girls, the PSC is offering scholarships to cover the registration fee for any Dickinson student who wishes to attend.  
  • Feb. 25: Black History Month Dinner Celebration (6:30-8 p.m.) and a game of Black History Month Bingo, with a chance to win a $25 Visa gift card. Hosted by the PSC.

An additional Black History Month event hosted jointly by the PSC and the Office of LGBTQ Services is also in the works. Stay tuned to the events calendar for forthcoming details on all of these events.


Published February 1, 2022