Lion's Paw Medal 2023:
Dumas has acted, directed, or written over three hundred plays, films, and commercials. He received an Emmy Award for his ensemble work in SEPARATE BUT EQUAL with Sidney Poitier. He received a Fellowship for Playwriting from the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. He was honored as best actor by the Hollywood/Beverly Hills NAACP for his work in B.C. HISTORIA.
As a writer, Dumas produces a weekly column, “Under the Baobab,” which appears in the Centre Daily Times. He has published three books: NONTRADITIONAL CASTING, UNDER THE BAOBAB, and I, TOO, AM AN AFRICAN. He and his wife of fifty years worked on a memoir about their life together in the Movement.
In the community, Dumas was the 2012 Democratic Party Candidate for the US House of Representatives. He was the first chairperson of the State College Borough Human Relations Commission. He also served on the Borough’s Planning Commission and MLK Plaza Committee. He is past president of the Yale Club of Central Pennsylvania and the United Nations Association of Centre County. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP and one of the original members of Community & Campus in Unity (CCU).
Dumas is extremely involved in the lives of his students, with an emphasis on diversity action. He is known for going above and beyond for his current and former students during his tenure at Penn State and after retirement. He has been a model for students on campus and in town for civic responsibility.
In 2009, Charles and Jo Dumas took their commitment to the students one step further by establishing a scholarship – the Frances Foster Award in Theatre at Penn State – in memory of the late actress Frances Foster. The scholarship’s purpose is “to honor and recognize outstanding achievement by undergraduate students who excel scholastically and artistically and whose ethnic and or cultural background enhance the diversity of the School of Theatre.”
Congratulations, Charles, and welcome to the Lion’s Paw Family.