Hi, I’m Shun Strickland and I’m super excited to serve as co-chair of the 2017 Black Alumni Reunion with Lindsey Leverett Higgins. Our goal is to create an experience you won’t soon forget while raising money to provide scholarships for our Black students. As our reunion committee brainstormed on new ideas, we discovered that spades and dominoes are a “Hill” tradition no matter what decade our alums belong to.
I’m sure you can remember nights filled with spades, dominoes and “trash talk”. I learned to play spades as a freshman in Reid Hall getting beat badly by upper classmen who showed no mercy. I played until I learned to win. Interestingly, many of my friendships started over a game of spades. Even though I never learned to play dominoes, I count way too slow, I can remember gathering to watch people play and feeling like I was at home.
A room full of people, listening to music, eating chips and laughing made us feel at home, even though many of us were hours away from where we grew up. Spades and dominoes helped us create community. It helped with homesickness. It reminded us that we weren’t alone. We had each other.
We wanted to restore that tradition at the reunion by hosting BAS’ first Spades and Dominoes Tournament. It’s our desire that the best teams from every year will enter and then we will use this opportunity to expand our community across the decades. We all know there’s nothing like a little friendly competition to establish new relationships. In addition to having fun and building new relationships, we’ll use the entry fees to add to our scholarship fund.
Do us a favor, help us identify the best spades and dominoes players from your time on the Hill. Let them know that we are looking to determine the best of the best. Will it be someone from the 80s, 90s or a new school team that gets to boost that they are the best team of all? We’re looking forward to naming a champion and building a tradition that last for years to come.
We look forward to seeing you all at the reunion. Bring your partner and your “trash talk”.