Joe Biden the former Vice President, Democratic nominee just announced Howard University Alumna class of 1986, member of Alpha Kappa Alpha, California Sen. Kamala Harris as his running mate today, the first Black woman nominated for vice president by a major party, general election candidate and either of the two major political parties.

Harris is just the second Black person (after Barack Obama) and the fourth woman (after Democrats Geraldine Ferraro in 1984 and Hillary Clinton in 2016, and Republican Sarah Palin in 2008) to be on a presidential ticket for one of the two major parties. If she and Biden win the November election, she would be the first Asian American, the first woman of any race or ethnicity and the second Black person in U.S. history to be vice president or president. According to Five Thirty Eight

When Kamala Harris enters the halls of Capitol Hill, Howard University goes with her. It’s impossible to separate the prominent policymaker from the institution that helped define her career. The place that nurtured her into the woman she is today. 

“My aunt Chris, who was the one who really had a big influence on me was an AKA and pledged at Howard,” Harris reveals. “So it was just very natural for me to want to end up pledging in the sorority which I feel really rounded out my experience. It’s a sisterhood that lasts till today.”

University President Wayne A. I. Frederick called the announcement “extraordinary.” 

“Senator Kamala Harris’ selection as the Democratic vice presidential candidate represents a milestone opportunity for our democracy to acknowledge the leadership Black women have always exhibited, but [that] has too often been ignored,” he said in a statement.

While Harris’ upbringing laid the foundation for her to spread her wings at Howard, it was her experience at the HBCU that taught her how to soar. She maintains that the years she spent on the D.C. campus developed her for the role she’d play in life and helped her create the identity she would eventually present to the world.