University of Puget Sound was named a 2018 Legacy Award winner at the Tacoma Urban League 50th Anniversary Gala Celebration on Friday, Oct. 5.

Held at downtown Tacoma’s Hotel Murano, the event celebrated the Urban League’s work supporting and strengthening the local African American community. In addition to Puget Sound, Legacy Awards were presented to individuals who were pivotal to the organization’s success and longevity, including founder Thomas Dixon, Bonnie Pinckney '77, and former Tacoma Urban League CEO and current mayor of Tacoma Victoria Woodards.

“Puget Sound students, staff, faculty, and alumni have worked in partnership with the Urban League as staff members, board directors, and volunteers,” award presenter Kamrica Ary-Turner told the audience.

Ary-Turner explained that Puget Sound’s support of the Urban League dates back to the founding of the chapter in 1968. “Thomas Dixon was a Puget Sound student at the time, and the university was the first organization to give a donation to help fund the initial dues,” she said.

Ary-Turner also pointed out the legacy of Puget Sound alumni directing the Urban League.  “Mr. Dixon attended Puget Sound and received an honorary doctorate from UPS in 1988, and now our current CEO, T’wina Nobles, earned her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts in Teaching from Puget Sound, as well,” she said.

The award was accepted by Puget Sound President Isiaah Crawford, who described the bond shared by the university and the community nonprofit. “The issues that are important to you are important to us: education, workforce development, and providing access to opportunity,” Crawford said. “Both the Urban League and the university are about producing leaders that our community and our world so desperately need.”

The mission of the Tacoma Urban League is to assist African Americans, other ethnic minorities, and economically disadvantaged individuals and families in the achievement of social equality and economic independence. Learn more at