Alumni Cosby, Packnett to be honored at first Trailblazers ceremony

Event is 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 15

Two outstanding educators — one who served generations of Washington University graduates, another who is helping develop the college students of tomorrow — will be honored at the first Washington University Trailblazers recognition ceremony.

The Washington University Trailblazers acknowledges, commemorates and celebrates the contributions that black alumni, faculty and staff have made to the institution and the broader community.

Cynthia Cosby and Brittany Packnett
Cosby (left) and Packnett

The inaugural honorees are:

Cynthia Cosby (BS ’93): Cosby retired from Washington University in 2015 after 45 years of service. Cosby helped establish the Black Alumni Council and many of its key programs, including the Black Alumni Council Endowed Scholarship and an emergency fund for students. Cosby also is executive director of the African Heritage Association of St. Louis and  founder of the annual St. Louis African Arts Festival, a highlight on St. Louis’ cultural calendar.

Brittany Packnett (AB ’06): Packnett is executive director of Teach For America St. Louis, which serves more than 20,000 students in corps member and alumni classrooms. Packnett also is a member of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing and the Ferguson Commission. A passionate advocate for educational equity and social justice, Packnett was named one of Time magazine’s “12 New Faces of Black Leadership.”

The event will be at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 15, at Hillman Hall at Washington University in St. Louis. To learn more or to RSVP, visit the Trailblazers website.

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