Row of art hanging in a museum with man looking at frame on the end

Nominate individuals for Phase II of the Trailblazer Project

On behalf of the Office for Inclusion, Diversity and Equal Opportunity, the Trailblazer Project Committee is seeking nominations for Phase II of the Trailblazer Project. This project is a portraiture initiative aimed at diversifying the images that appear in campus common areas.

The campus community is invited to nominate individuals to be included in Phase II of the project.

Nominees should be Case Western Reserve University alumni, faculty, staff, undergraduate students, graduate/professional students, postdocs/researchers, or friends of CWRU with strong ties to the university who are/were trailblazers in their respective fields, contribute to the diversity of CWRU’s history, and embody the values and spirit of CWRU.

To nominate a distinguished CWRU community member, complete the Trailblazer Nomination Form. The nomination period will close April 20.

Phase I honorees

Unveiled during homecoming weekend 2017, Phase I of the project honored six distinguished alumni of color with portraits that now are displayed in the atrium of the Kelvin Smith Library.

These alumni made history at Case Western Reserve University, in the community and beyond:

  • Attorney Fred Gray—Leading civil rights lawyer who represented Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, and became the first African-American president of the Alabama Bar Association.
  • Judge Sara Harper—First African-American woman to graduate from Case Western Reserve University School of Law, one of the first two African-American women to sit on the Ohio Court of Appeals and the first African-American woman appointed to the Ohio Supreme Court.
  • Architect Robert P. Madison—First African-American to graduate from the Western Reserve University School of Architecture, first African-American architect in the state of Ohio and co-founder of the first African-American-owned architectural firm in the state of Ohio.
  • Former Surgeon General David Satcher—National leader in public health, first Surgeon General appointed as a four-star admiral in the United States Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and recipient of the Public Health Service Distinguished Service Medal.
  • Congressman Louis Stokes (posthumous)—Civil rights attorney who was the first African-American elected to represent Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives, first African-American on the House Appropriations Committee and chairman of the House Select Committee on Assassinations, which investigated the murders of President John F. Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (posthumous)—First African-American woman to serve as judge on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, the first African-American woman to serve as Cuyahoga County prosecutor and first African-American woman elected to represent Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives.

For more information, visit or contact Regina Gonzalez, director of diversity and strategic initiatives, at