Indianapolis Urban League President Anthony “Tony” Mason received an honorary degree in public service from Marian University May 6, 2023. He has been serving as president of the organization for almost a decade.
Over the years, he said the organization has expanded their programs to meet the needs of students, adults and families.
Some of the more notable works with the organization that he is proud of are assisting with pandemic relief, hosting weekly to monthly food drives and contributing to the city’s rent program.
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“We helped the city to allocate over $100 million in emergency rent assistance. We really do care about the community. Every day we come to work and honor the tagline that comes with the Urban League and that is empowering communities and changing lives,” said Mason.
The Urban League’s education initiatives include preparing students for college with scholarship programs. Every year they work with hundreds of students at local high schools to either prepare them for higher education or for life.
Honored for his service to community
“We get them immediately into our workforce development initiatives to ensure that they’re on the path to self-sufficiency,” said Mason.
Marian University President Daniel J. Elsener said the school’s board unanimously voted to approve Mason for an honorary doctorate degree.
“Tony Mason has been an honorable, wise leader in our community. Even when he was a younger fella he was recognized as a leader. He’s been a real concerned and instrumental leader in education,” said Elsener.
Elsener said Mason’s commitment to K-12 education and his involvement in city leadership should be recognized.
Mason is honored that Marian University selected him for this degree.
He knows that this is in recognition of the work he has done over the course of his career, and he praises every organization and mentor that enabled him to reach this point.
“None of this would be possible without my faith in God, but I also have an incredibly supportive family who has been there by my side. They’ve been patient with the long days and the crazy hours over the weekend. They know that it’s just been about me serving the community,” said Mason.
Marian University had the largest undergraduate class to date, with 715 students receiving their bachelor’s degrees from the University’s various branches: Marian University Indianapolis, Marian University’s Ancilla College and Saint Joseph’s College.
Mason said that the community’s call to action has not ended.
He is focused on underserved groups getting more access to various opportunities for a better life.
“We have so much work that still needs to be done. We have so many people that need to be helped. When we think about Indianapolis and particularly, Black Indianapolis, over 30% of our people are poor. That shouldn’t be. So, we all need to do our part,” said Mason.
Contact staff writer Jade Jackson at 317-607-5792 or by email JadeJ@IndyRecorder.com. Follow her on Twitter @IAMJADEJACKSON