"We are here to pay tribute to distinguished alumni who have benefited from a Howard University education and . . . we are the official beggars of the university."

With these words Richard L. Terrell, chairman of Howard University's International Sponsors' Council and vice chairman of the board of General Motors Corp. defined Howard's Carter Day dinner Wednesday night at the Sheraton Park hotel.

The fund-raiser commemorated both Howard's 111th anniversary and its first year's effort toward raising $100 million for the university's future development.

Four Howard alumni were honored Wednesday for distinguished post-graduate service: artist Lois Jones Pierre-Noel; the Rev. Marion C. Bascom, senior minister of Douglas Memorial Community Church in Baltimore; Carlton B. Goodlett, editor and publisher of the San Francisco Sun-Reporter and president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association and D.C. Superintendent of Schools Vincent E. Reed.

The $100-million goal of the New Direction Fund was set at last year's anniversary dinner.

Terrell announced that more than $22 million had been received as of Jan. 1 and said he was "confident that we will reach our goal" by June 30, 1982.

Wednesday's turnout was the largest of the university's annual Charter Day celebrations and included Mayor Walter E. Washington, Iranian Ambassador ardeshir Zahedi, D.C. Police Chief Burtell Jefferson, entertainer and civil rights activist Dick Gregory, jazz artist Lionel Hampton, and Vernon Jordan, head of the National Urban League.