May 7, 2012- Graduation Speaker
As a member of the Talented Tenth, Vivian has always taken her position of privilege seriously. By virtue of her place in society and her position in the crossroads, she has helped to define and enrich the culture of the countless individuals who were fortunate enough to cross her path.
After a pioneering launch into the information sciences, Vivian Ann Davidson Hewitt was the first black librarian in Pittsburgh and the first African-American president of the Special Libraries Association (1978-1979). She has also been chief librarian for the Rockefeller Foundation, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations.
She and her husband, John, had a shared interest in art and travel. Through their travels, family connections and friends in New York, they amassed one of the most renowned collections of African-American art, which today serves as the cornerstone of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts Culture in Charlotte, N.C. Over the years, she donated 40 pieces of original Haitian and other African-American art to Geneva College.
She has written an autobiographical history of her remarkable life, called The One and Only.