DR. Everod A. COLEMAN JR.
Dr. Everod A. Coleman Jr. is a graduate of Howard and Harvard Universities. And, he is a product of the Detroit public school system. At Howard he was a member of the university band, the homecoming committee, chairman of freshman orientation, and a member of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity — all while working at the Library of Congress and ultimately earned a degree in Zoology. Coleman entered the Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1969 as a member of the Harvard-Meharry-Howard exchange program for medical and dental students. While at Harvard he was the chairman of the Black Medical Campus Student Organization and a member of the Harvard Health Careers Summer program admission committee.
With this responsibility, he visited several HBCU campuses as a recruiter for the Harvard medical and dental schools. He also worked as a dental assistant and hygienist. Concurrently, he earned a degree in public health while continuing his dental degree studies making him the
first student in the history of Harvard School of Dental Medicine in 1973 to graduate with two Harvard degrees in four years. But, he says his greatest achievement at Harvard was meeting his future wife, Beverly.
Dr. Coleman went on to teach at the University of Michigan School of Dentistry and in 1976 he moved to Philadelphia and began working in a neighborhood health center. Subsequently, Dr. Coleman was a professor the University of Pennsylvania School of Dentistry, and served as a dental consultant for over twenty years. Today, Dr. Coleman is semi-retired. Mrs. Coleman, his wife of 46 years is Professor Emeritus of Radiology at the University of Pennsylvania and is currently the Fetal Imaging Chairman at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. They have one daughter who serves as a news anchor at NBC 10 in Philadelphia and they are proud grandparents.
HBCUs mean everything to Dr. Coleman. He sees them as the key to a stable foundation in navigating this country as a Black person. Maturing at a university during the Black Power movement was key to Dr. Coleman's development.
“It really impacted me to the point where we can say we need to do more than just go to school and say goodbye and not do anything for our community.” And, Dr. Coleman stressed that the lack of alumni involvement during his time at Howard had a negative effect on the university.
Dr. Coleman also says that HBCUs help create genuine, lifelong alumni friendships. He says both his wife and his daughter can all attest to the accessibility and support they have and continue to have from those people who were a part of their HBCU experiences. This is why he feels that it is extremely important for generations of graduates to develop the desire to give back and financially support these schools.
In conclusion, Dr. Coleman stresses, “…that knowing your history is integral to understanding how you'll succeed in your future.”