Chris Collins, The Black Bear – Homecoming is a great experience for current students and alumni members, an experience that is supposed to be inclusive to students and alumni from all backgrounds.
Homecoming looks to have a more inclusive feel this year, thanks to a new organization.
The Black Alumni Association has made this a mission of theirs. Their purpose is to connect the university’s black alumni and at the same time form a bridge with multicultural services (MRC) and their students.
The Black Alumni Association’s president, Dorothy Mclendon, knows the importance of an organization like this.
“There has never been a Black Alumni Association,” Mclendon said. “This started because we wanted to engage black alumni while connecting with students.”
“When we were students we didn’t have anything like this – a group that could be a network for us.”
George Winston, a charter member of the Sigma Theta chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha which is Missouri State’s Local Chapter and the BAA’s vice president, said they want to work with the university’s different groups and organizations to build this network and connect with students.
“We want to connect with the community leaders, whether that be National Pan-Hellenic Council and those organizations’ presidents as well as the Multicultural organizations such as the Association of Black Collegians,” Winston said.
The Black Alumni Association hasn’t officially been an organization for more than two months, with their first executive board members being elected August 10. However, this collective of alumni have been planning Homecoming events since July 2.
They are working directly with the National Pan-Hellenic Council to plan the first NPHC step show in over five years on October 28.
They are also putting together events that cater to returning alumni. A social is in the works, and they have their own tailgate tent.
The events, as listed on Missouri State’s calendar, are as follows:
Friday, October 27
- Black Alumni Meet N Greet at 7 pm
Saturday, October 28
- Omega Nu Omega’s 2nd Annual Putters and Pearls Golf Tournament at 7 am
- Band of Bears Homecoming Parade at 9 am
- Breakfast with Boomer at 10 am
- BearFest Village – Black Alumni & Multicultural Services Tailgate Tent at 11 am
- Football Game at 2 pm
- Step Show 6:30 at pm
- Alumni After Party (21 and older) at 10 pm
Sunday, October 29
- Gospel Brunch at 9 am
Although the BAA has been busy at work with Homecoming, they don’t plan on their work stopping there.
“We want to formalize, set a scholarship for our students and continue to connect our students and our alumni,” Mclendon said. “This is just the beginning, we want students on our council.”
One thing is for sure, BAA has some big things ahead.