By the CNN Wire Staff
(CNN) – George Hickman Jr., a flight mechanic with the famed Tuskegee Airmen, has died, according to a spokeswoman for the group.
Hickman, who served in Europe during World War II, died this past weekend, Sandra Campbell, public relations officer for Tuskegee Airmen Inc., said.
Hickman, who was 88, died in Seattle, CNN affiliate KIRO reported.
University of Washington basketball coach Lorenzo Romar said he will miss Hickman, who worked for the Huskies' athletics' department.
"He was one of the most inspirational men that I have ever met," Romar tweeted. "Things will be a little different right before we go out on the court not being able to shake the hand of George Hickman."
Football coach Steve Sarkisian also tweeted about the man that the university's athletics department called an icon.
"He represented the UW and the Tuskegee Airmen with class. I will always appreciate how he treated my family," he said.
The Tuskegee Airmen, who earned a place in history as the first African-American pursuit pilots, protected U.S. bombers from enemy fire during missions over parts of Europe and North Africa. Their training program, first based at the historically black Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1941, eventually grew to include nearly 1,000 pilots and several air bases.
By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
(CNN) – Latino student populations have been on an upward trajectory in the U.S. for decades, and a report released Monday says the group’s growth reached record levels last year, both in public schools and colleges.
The number of 18- to 24-year-old Latinos in college topped 2 million in 2011, accounting for 16.5% of all enrollments, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center. The number means Latino representation in U.S. colleges and universities is on par with the percentage of Latinos among the U.S. population, also 16.5%.
Record numbers of Latinos are also finishing college, with 112,000 earning associate degrees and 140,000 earning bachelor’s degrees. Pew states both statistics are new highs, yet Latinos still lag behind whites (1.2 million bachelor’s degrees and 553,000 associates) and blacks (165,000 bachelor’s and 114,000 associates) in degree attainment.
“Some of the growth in Hispanic college enrollments simply reflects continued growth in the nation’s Hispanic population – since 1972, the number of Hispanic 18- to 24-year-olds has grown nearly five-fold, rising from 1.3 million then to 6 million in 2011,” the report said.
However, population alone cannot explain the numbers, as eligibility to attend college also is a factor. In 2011, 76% of Latinos age 18 to 24 had completed high school, another record and a 3.5% improvement over 2010 numbers.
At the pre-kindergarten-through-12th-grade level, Latinos made up 23.9% of students in 2011, another record, according to the report from the nonpartisan Washington-based think tank.
By Mallory Simon, CNN
(CNN) –Augusta National Golf Club has admitted its first female members, the private club announced Monday.
The decision to admit former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and business executive Darla Moore of Lake City, South Carolina, ends a longstanding policy excluding women as members of the exclusive Georgia club, which hosts the Masters.
"This is a joyous occasion as we enthusiastically welcome Secretary Condoleezza Rice and Darla Moore as members of Augusta National Golf Club," Billy Payne, chairman of Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters Tournament, said in a statement. "We are fortunate to consider many qualified candidates for membership at Augusta National. Consideration with regard to any candidate is deliberate, held in strict confidence and always takes place over an extended period of time. The process for Condoleezza and Darla was no different."
Rice served under President George W. Bush as the first female national security adviser and the first African-American woman to hold the post of secretary of state. She also served on President George H.W. Bush's National Security Council staff and was a special assistant to the director of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1986. Moore is the vice president of Rainwater Inc., the investment firm founded by her husband, Richard Rainwater. Fortunate magazine once named her among the top 50 women in business, and the University of South Carolina's business school is named in her honor.
Payne noted the significance of admitting the first women to the club. Augusta's membership, which includes titans of industry and finance, has been male-only since its opening in 1932.
Editor's note: Anita McBride is an executive-in-residence at America University in Washington. She was first lady Laura Bush's chief of staff and worked in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations.
By Anita McBride, Special to CNN
(CNN) – When Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate, the media frenzy surrounding the announcement included claims that the choice was bad for women and that it would not attract women voters. Ryan's pro-life voting record was especially highlighted, and once again, the "war on women" came to the forefront and diverted attention from the ultimate women's issue in this election - our dire economic future.
It is misguided to think that women vote as a bloc. We are a diverse group, and it is nearly impossible for any candidate to appeal to all sides of the political spectrum. The reality is that women's top concerns are the same as men's, and like men, women are more likely to vote along party lines.
U.S. Rep. Ryan's addition to the Republican ticket ensures that the debate about the economy will be vigorous. For women, and all Americans, nothing can be more important.