Glenn Hutchins Receives Award From Civil Rights Organization

by February 4, 2013 0 comments

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Glenn H. Hutchins, co-founder of Silver Lake and the Chairman of the National Advisory Board of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard, received the Breaking Barriers Award from the National Action Network (NAN) at its annual King Day Luncheon in Washington, D.C., on January 15, the 84th birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The announcement was made by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University.

Professor Gates said, “This award is a well-deserved recognition for Glenn Hutchins’ tremendous support of the academic field of African and African American Studies. He is both extremely knowledgeable about the history of people of African descent, and compassionate about the challenges facing them, both at home and abroad. He not only talks the talk, he walks the walk.”

Regarding his service as Chairman of the Du Bois Institute’s National Advisory Board, Professor Gates added, “Glenn’s support of the Du Bois Institute has helped to make it a focal point for scholarship and learning about people of color in the United States and throughout the world.”

Other honorees at the King Day Luncheon included Arlene Holt Baker, Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO, who received the Economic Justice Award; Rosalind G. Brewer, President & CEO of Sam’s Clubs, who received the MLK Day Merit Award; and Bruce S. Gordon, former National President of the NAACP, who received the MLK Lifetime Service Award. The awards were presented at a reception featuring special remarks by Reverend Al Sharpton, Martin Luther King III, Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, and Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education.

Honorees were selected for their significant contributions to the betterment of social justice and civil rights. Glenn Hutchins received the Breaking Barriers Award for his longstanding support of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute and the academic field of African and African American studies. In 2005, Mr. Hutchins was awarded the Du Bois Medal to acknowledge his support of the African American Studies program at Harvard University.

Mr. Hutchins is co-founder of Silver Lake, the global leader in technology investing. He is chairman of the board of SunGard Corp. and a director of the NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc. and Mercury Payment Systems. Mr. Hutchins served President Clinton in both the transition and the White House as a special advisor on economic and health-care policy. He is also a director of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and Vice Chairman of the Brookings Institution. Mr. Hutchins is a director of the Harvard Management Company, which is responsible for the University’s endowment, and Chairman of the Du Bois Institute at Harvard. He is an owner and member of the Executive Committee of the Boston Celtics basketball team. In this role, Mr. Hutchins is also active in the Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation, which partners with New England-based non-profit organizations to provide support to children in need. He is also a trustee of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Mr. Hutchins holds an A.B. from Harvard College, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.

NAN is a civil rights organization founded in 1991 by Rev. Al Sharpton, with the goal of working in the spirit and tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. NAN works extensively to promote a standard of decency for all people regardless of race or sex, social justice for all communities, and improvements in race relations. With chapters throughout the U.S., NAN promotes a modern civil rights agenda that includes the fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people regardless of race, religion, national origin, and gender.


Named after William Edward Burghardt Du Bois who, in 1895, was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University, the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research is the nation’s oldest research center dedicated to the study of the African and African American history and culture. The Institute was established in 1975 to create fellowships that would facilitate the writing of doctoral dissertations in areas related to Afro-American Studies. Today, the Institute awards up to twenty fellowships annually to scholars at various stages of their careers in the fields of African and African American Studies, broadly defined to cover the expanse of the African Diaspora. The Du Bois Institute’s research projects and visiting fellows form the nucleus around which revolve an array of lecture series, art exhibitions, readings, conferences, and archival and publication projects.


Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and American Research at Harvard University. He is the Editor-in-Chief of, a daily online magazine covering the news and culture from a variety of black perspectives. He is the author of sixteen books and has made twelve documentaries, including the PBS series, Finding Your Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., which examines the histories and genealogies of a number of well-known personalities. He is the recipient of fifty-two honorary degrees and numerous awards, including the MacArthur “genius grant” and the National Humanities Medal. He was named to Time‘s “25 Most Influential Americans” list in 1997 and to Ebony‘s “Power 150” list in 2009 and its “Power 100” list in 2010 and 2012. The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Reader, a collection of Professor Gates’s essays, was published in 2012.

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