Gray, Vincent Condol

From GW Encyclopedia

Vincent C. Gray's senior portrait in the 1964 Cherry Tree yearbook.
Vincent C. Gray playing intramural basketball for the TEP fraternity at George Washington University, December 1963.

Vincent Condol Gray graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from The George Washington University on June 7, 1964. Upon the completion of his degree, Gray began to take graduate courses in psychology (1964-1972), but never finished a graduate degree. As a senior, his academic achievements were honored by being placed on the Dean’s List for the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences. His activities at GWU extended beyond the classroom and included the Newman Club, a Greek fraternity, and Intramurals. The Newman club provided educational, social, and religious events for students. Along with fellow African Americans, Robert Wright and Garry Lyle, Gray participated in the integration of GWU Greek Life by pledging to the traditional Jewish fraternity, Tau Epsilon Phi (TEP), in October 1963. Their pledging paved the way for other African Americans to join fraternities and within a year, the Inter-Fraternity Council outlawed discriminatory practices in the rush process. During his tenure at TEP, Gray was actively involved in Intramurals—sport competitions among Greek fraternities and independent organizations. The Hatchet closely followed Intramurals and mentioned Gray’s athletic capabilities on the football field and basketball court numerous times. The basketball games were played at the Tin Tabernacle, which was usually packed with spectators. In addition, Gray broke previous traditions when he served two consecutive terms as President of TEP in contrast to the customary one term.

In 2009, GWU President Steven Knapp and The George Washington Alumni Association granted Gray the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award due to his significant achievements in the D.C. community. Gray’s extensive career in politics and social services for the District of Columbia began with his tenure as Executive Director for the D.C. Association for Retarded Citizens, where he advocated on behalf of people with mental disabilities. Under Mary Sharon Pratt, Gray took over the reins of Director of the Department of Human Services in 1991. While serving in that position, he focused on Public Health, Social Services, Mental Health Services, and Health Care Finance. In 1994, Gray began a decade of service to the Covenant House Washington as Executive Director. The faith-based organization served homeless youth in the District’s Southeast and Northeast communities.

In 2004, Gray’s career transitioned from social services to District of Columbia politics when he won the Ward 7 Councilmember election—a position he held from January 2005 to January 2007. Two years after his initial leap into DC politics, Gray was awarded Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia with a 98 percent vote. His tenure at this office lasted for two years, at which time he was elected the seventh Mayor of the District of Columbia. Gray was inaugurated as mayor in January 2011.

Document Information

Photograph Credits:
1. Vincent Gray's yearbook photo. The Cherry Tree, 1964: 28. Special Collections Research Center, Gelman Library, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
2. Vincent Gray playing intramural basketball. GW Hatchet 17 December 1963: 8. Print. Special Collections Research Center, Gelman Library, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Sources:
"About Chairman Gray." Council of the District of Columbia. n.d. Web. 13 January 2011.
The Cherry Tree, 1964: 28 and 189. Special Collections Research Center, Gelman Library, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Ibid., 1965: 182-183.
George Washington University Bulletin, 1964. Special Collections Research Center, Gelman Library, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Ibid., 1965.
"GW President Steven Knapp and the GW Alumni Association Announce Five Alumni Achievement Award Recipients." George Washington University News Release. 1 October 2009. Web. 13 January 2011.
The GW Hatchet 8 October 1963: 3. Special Collections Research Center, Gelman Library, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
Ibid. 29 October 1963: 10.
Ibid. 17 December 1963: 7-8.
Ibid. 3 March 1964: 7.
Ibid. 5 May 1964: 11.
Ibid. 10 November 1964: 8.
Date Added to Encyclopedia: January 13, 2011
Prepared by: Athena Smith

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