Mikel LaMar Husband, 36; Howard Fan And Official

By Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 22, 2007

Mikel LaMar Husband, 36, a popular communications director at Howard University, died Oct. 12 of an infection at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He had a heart condition.

Mr. Husband was director of communications for the university and Howard University Hospital. He also was an adviser to the Hilltop student newspaper and Bison Yearbook and an adjunct professor of journalism.

He was known for his infectious smile, energy and dedication to Howard and its students, said Jennifer James-Pryor, vice president of communications, who hired Mr. Husband in 2003. "He could light up a room."

Mr. Husband mentored numerous students and was an adviser to his fraternity, Phi Beta Sigma, and the Gentlemen of Drew Social Club, a student group.

"Literally any day of the week, students were lined up outside his door. He was always there for them," James-Pryor said. "He was a great listener. He understood them."

Mr. Husband was born in Monrovia, Calif., and grew up in San Dimas, Calif., where in middle school he came to be known as "Mr. Personality." He played football in high school and was editor of the yearbook. A senior class trip piqued his interest in attending Howard.

At Howard, from which he graduated in 1993, Mr. Husband was a member of the yearbook staff, the campus magazine and the Gentlemen of Drew Social Club. In his fraternity, he was known as "Foz."

After graduating from Howard, Mr. Husband helped start several magazines including YSB (Young Sisters & Brothers), Emerge and BET Weekend. He also lived in New York City for a year as a writer before going to a graduate magazine program at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. He received a master's degree in journalism there in 2001.

After marrying that same year, Mr. Husband and his wife returned to Washington. He worked at BET.com and Code Magazine before joining Howard's Office of University Communications. He started as publications director and was editor of the Howard Magazine, the university's alumni publication. He also helped to create the university's Graphics Standards Manual.

"No task was too small or large for him to undertake," James-Pryor said, adding that Mr. Husband was "very much a team player."

Mr. Husband was active in Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Washington as a Cub Scout leader.

Outside of work, Mr. Husband enjoyed reading and had recently finished the latest Harry Potter book. He also was a Star Wars fan.

Survivors include his wife of six years, Kafayat Salu Husband, and his daughter, Asher Salu Irene Husband, both of Washington; his parents, LaVonne Irene and Ronald Husband of San Dimas; a brother; and a sister.

© 2007 The Washington Post Company