“Honoring the Past, while Building the Future”

john l colbertGreetings my fellow alumni,

I write this first communiqué to honor all of the Black Alumni of the University of Arkansas who after being on the Fayetteville campus, with individual missions of wanting to change the world in one fashion or another, matriculated as trailblazers. I salute each of you. Each of our stories is worthy to be told. We value the impact that the experience had on you, while simultaneously recognizing the value that the impact of these vast experiences have had on those who’ve followed.  Compelled in that sense, I’ve chosen “Honoring the Past, while Building the Future” as our new theme. Let’s remember those who have nobly gone before us while we reach back to assist those who are to follow.

Your input and assistance in moving BAS forward is very important to this administration.  I encourage you to reach out to any of the current officers of BAS, as the BAS officers are here to serve and to provide assistance to any member wanting to know more about the society. The officers may also be contacted by those wanting to aid in the meritorious tasks of advancing the programs and activities of both, the Black Alumni Society and the Arkansas Alumni Association.  We welcomed and trained the 2013-2015 BAS officers as official leaders of this top-notch organization.  Please join me as we extend our heartfelt congratulations to the following officers: John L Colbert, president; LaTonya Foster, vice president; Corine Ackerson-Jones, secretary; Dr. Bobby Jones, immediate past president; and to our sitting Board of Directors – Emanuel Banks, Synetra Gilmer-Hughes, Kasey Carolina, Gus Farver, Ella Lambey, Lindsey Leverett, C. J. Mathis, Arkansas State Representative Reggie Murdock, Willie Mae Murdock, Karus Nelson, Oliver Sims, T. A. Walton, Dr. Christa Washington, Cedric Williams, Ebony Oliver Wyatt, Victor Wilson, Rod Toney, Ritchie Manley Bowden, Reshandra Strickland, Keith Britton, C. J. Mathis, Marvin Caston and Parice Bowser.

I challenge each of you to put your best foot forward. We must ensure our role as a premier society at the University of Arkansas and there are many ways for YOU to assist.  Why not start that journey by following these steps:

  • Become and remain a member of Arkansas Alumni Association (AAA).
  • Become an active member of the Black Alumni Society (BAS).
  • Encourage your fellow classmates to become members of the association.
  • Stay informed about the programs and activities of the AAA and BAS.
  • Volunteer to serve on a subcommittee of BAS.
  • Submit names for the 2015 BAS Awards
  • Establish an endowed scholarship for BAS Scholars. (insert a click here: for Establishing a Scholarship – article is at the end of newsletter)
  • Start now by planning to attend the 2015 BAS Reunion.
  • Give us your input on how we can improve our society.

We look forward to your input on “Honoring the past, while building the future.”  Making your thoughts known today could possibly assure that your voice is heard as we engage the decision making processes of the organization.


John L Colbert

BAS President, 2013 – 2015

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