LatonyaAs we continue the season of thanksgiving, I wanted to thank you for all that you do to enable our students on campus.  I was speaking to an alumnus recently who truly lives a life of service to others in a various different ways.  He said to me that you don’t always need a reason or a return on investment but one should just “do” and “give” because it is the right thing to do.   As I reflect on recent events on campus that culminated with the “Shades of Ebony” program hosted by the Black Alumni Society and presented by the Black Students Association and the Black Alumni Society Scholars. I was reminded of why we invest in our students on campus.


The events were well done.   Thank you Accee Milton for your leadership with the banquet and the spirit of excellence displayed.  Everyone worked very hard but your vision set the course. I am assured that the torch for our university and the future of BAS will be in great hands.  During the banquet, I met a student from Pine Bluff who shared his journey here on campus and the lessons he learned about persistence and learning from mistakes.


I could hear and see the determination he has to finish his education next semester even if he had to do it on his own.  You see, he did not ask for anything.  He simply wanted to share his story and the things that he is passionate about.  It touched several of us emotionally as he talked.  I was yet again reminded of the “why”.  To see students and former students share their journey left me so proud of the impact that we are making that I went home and had a good cry.  Serving others isn’t always easy but know that it is worth it!   I encourage you to continue to find ways to invest in our students on campus.  We all have unique gifts and talents that can be shared with not just students but other alumni as well.


Our alumni spotlight this month is someone who has worked tirelessly in the community and on campus.  He is not one for accolades but with some convincing, I was able to get his information.  He is someone that many of us know but have not been aware of his immense impact.


Randy Coleman, words cannot express how grateful we are to read about your accomplishments.  If you have not had the opportunity to listen to him share his vision for serving others, I encourage you to read about this amazing alum in his spotlight profile here.  I will leave you with a few things that I captured from a brief conversation I had while convincing him of why we wanted to feature him:

“We should all want to get involved and be a blessing to others.”

“I don’t do it for the accolades.   I am merely a vessel and a servant to others.”


I hope that your Thanksgiving is filled with joy, laughter and a spirit of gratitude.  Thank you again for the opportunity to lead and serve.


LaTonya Foster

Black Alumni Society

President, 2015 – 2017