Greetings again to all past, present and future U of A Black Alumni Society members!  Happy Birthday wishes, belated to some, also go out to all April Razorback alumni babies.

I understand that some wonder why I always end my letters with “A Luta Continuum.” Understanding the translation from Latin to English, most of us and especially our current students fully understand exactly why I close each letter with “The Struggle Continues.”  For those who currently don’t, I invite you to go back with me to my initial letter in which I described my very own personal struggles at the U of A. Although a good student, scholarships and Pell grants did not cover all of my college needs.  My working class parents could not afford to fill this financial gap.  In order to not only survive but to excel and succeed, at times I had to work three part-time jobs simultaneously while also being a full-time, demanding science major student. Now come with me more than 25 years later to a BAS board meeting as we review student applications for BAS supported scholarships.  Reading their narratives and hearing of students attending classes without being able to afford the books is heartbreaking. We currently have students, not just one but students, within a few hours of graduation sitting out this very semester because of a lack of funds to complete their registration.  As inconceivable as this sounds, other narratives are more dire and almost bring tears to my eyes and the eyes of all those who truly care about what happens to and with our students of color. I am sure you can see and will agree that for them, “A Luta Continuum.” If you agree, then we are half way there.  We are only half way there because “their” struggle should be “our” struggle! These students, our progeny are striving to walk in our footsteps. And if they, the U of A, the great state of Arkansas, these United States of America and even you and I are to truly succeed and excel, “their” struggle must become “our” struggle! Another opportunity is rapidly approaching. I ask that we seize the opportunity to begin, renew, increase and then sustain our support by purchasing tickets for the “Back to the Hill Classic” April 27-29, 2012. Join us for the “White Party” on Friday night and stick around through the Greek Show on Saturday for the “After Party.”  We can and will end “our” struggle but only with “our” support. If you would only “Look Back, Think Back, Come Back, and Give Back”, emotionally, academically, visibly, physically and financially, my closing will have to change to a huge, sincere and eternally grateful “THANK YOU” instead of ……

 

A Luta Continuum,

Bobby W. Jones, M.D.

President, U of A BAS

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