black_alumni_societyThe Black Alumni Society held its fall board meeting on Saturday, September 19, 2009. Linda Bedford Jackson opened the meeting at 9:25 p.m. Board members present: Dr. Bobby Jones, Corine Ackerson-Jones, Gus Farver, LaTonya Foster, Synetra Gilmer, T.A. Walton, Dr. Christina Washington, Cedric Williams, Ebony Oliver Wyatt, Parice Bowser, Jocelyn McDaniel (BSA Student Representative), Reggie and Willie Mae Murdock, Emanuel Banks, Celia Anderson, Lindsey Leverett and Karus Nelson.

Excused Board Members:  John L Colbert, Lott Rolfe, Carrol Williams Perkins, Melisa Monts, Kasey Carolina, Darryl Lunon and Dee Dee Brown Campbell.

Bedford Jackson welcomed the group and gave an update on the BAS Legacy Club, the 2010 BAS Cruise and the Alumni Attitude Study. Bedford Jackson encouraged the board to read information coming from the Association. She also stated there was a very low response from African American alumni for the survey.

Bedford Jackson also stated the Legacy Program was a recruitment tool and it would recognize families who have multiple generations attending the UA. The cost to participate in the club is $100 per family. The board also wanted to see a Legacy Scholarship fund established for participants in the club. The board voted to establish both the BAS Legacy Club and the Legacy Club scholarship, which includes family relations i.e. parents/grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc.

Bedford Jackson also informed the board to please sign up for the BAS Cruise. Without participants by November 1, 2009, BAS will lose cabin spaces.

Cedric Williams, 2009 Reunion Chair, gave a reunion update. The Reunion had a 30% alumni and friends participation rate. Cedric thanked the NPHC Greek organizations (Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Phi Beta Sigma, Kappa Alpha Psi and Omega Psi Phi) for assisting with the Reunion events.

The BAS Challenge Scholarship fund continues to be a success and because of the donations 10 students were awarded scholarships for the academic year of 2009-2010.

Synetra Gilmer, 2011 Entertainment Chair, gave the following update:

The 2011 BAS Reunion will be held in Fayetteville, AR. The reunion will return to “The Hill” to commemorate the 10th Reunion. The tentative date is April 16, 2011. The goal is for the reunion to coincide with the Red and White game and Razorfest.

The success of the 2009 reunion was utilizing Facebook and Social Media for Young Alumni. The same advertising tactics will be utilized for the 2011 Reunion.

Melisa Monts and John L Colbert will co-chair the 2011 Reunion. The theme “Honoring UA Female Athletes”

Endowed Golf Tournament – Gus Farver, Iota Tau Chapter, alumni and undergraduates of Kappa Alpha Psi will plan the tournament along with Angela Mosley Monts, BAS Coordinator.

Gospel Celebration – Corine Ackerson-Jones will chair. Dr. Bobby Jones will be the speaker.

Banquet – John L Colbert will chair and Ebony Oliver Wyatt will co-chair.

Celia Anderson, Bedford Jackson and Mosley Monts will work with the Arkansas Alumni Association’s Communication Department. The 2011 reunion will utilize target marketing to hit all eras within the Association.

The board went through a brief training session on membership and board information. Due to the selecting of the scholarship recipients, the board decided to do additional trainings through webinars. Mosley Monts will schedule the trainings for the board.

The board felt the following committee chairs played a significant role in BAS with their time and volunteer commitments.  T.A. Walton moved to make all committee chairs a member of the BAS Board. Parice Bowser second. A friendly amendment was made by LaTonya Foster to make all committee chairs a part of the board. The motion carried. The following committee members are now a part of the BAS Board:

  • Endowed Scholarships Chairs, Reggie and Willie Mae Murdock and co-chair Emanuel Banks
  • 2011 Reunion Registration Chair, Ella Lambey
  • Membership Chair, Corine Ackerson Jones and Shonda Brown
  • Alumni Ambassador Chair, Lindsey Leverett
  • Communication Chair, Celia Anderson
  • Young Alumni Chair, Karus Nelson

The board had a major discussion on which schools to adopt in Northeastern Arkansas. The board decided the committees for the Alumni Ambassador program and the Adopt a School chair persons would make a recommendation to the board for the schools to adopt.

The board also voted to partner with St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Office of Diversity and Walton College Minority Affairs office to pilot a program for ACT testing. The details are listed below:

The Black Alumni Society will partner with St. James Missionary Baptist Church, Office of Diversity and Walton College Minority Affairs Office to produce an ACT Pilot Program. The focus of the program is to provide and prepare minority students with test taking skills specifically designed for the ACT. The program also will train student ambassadors from the Office of Diversity on how to administer the ACT as well.

Bryan Hembree, Director of Academic Scholarships will teach the classes. The classes are open to all students and will be either five or six weeks prior to the ACT test dates. The training will be held at St. James Missionary Baptist Church 764 West North Street, Fayetteville, Arkansas. The training for the October 24, 2009 ACT was held from September 21 to October 19, 2009. Students received a pre and post ACT test to measure their skills from the training. Listed below are the dates for the remaining training sessions:

  • January 4  – February 1, 2009  (February 12, 2009 ACT Test Date)
  • February 15 – April 5, 2009 (April 10, 2009 ACT Test Date)  The training will not be administered during Spring Break, March 22-March 26, 2009.
  • May 3, 2009 – 7, 2009 (June 10, 2009 ACT Test Date)

Students also will sign an agreement for test scores to be released to the UA and to St. James. One of the goals of the project is to be able to deplore Student Ambassadors and BAS Alumni Ambassadors to facilitate the tests in other parts of the state.

There was a discussion about where and when sessions would be held for December 2009 and February 2010 and why Fayetteville was selected as the place to hold the sessions: Mosley Monts stated with the pilot it would be easier to control. Bryan Hembree, the teacher, is located in Fayetteville as well as the Office for Diversity student ambassadors.

Other concerns: will the pilot be a true representation of the sample population of African American and Hispanic students since NWA is considered to be economically advantaged? Dr. Washington, a researcher, stated the students social economic backgrounds were not part of the criteria but the training the students will receive in the ACT session.

All board members will also take the Arkansas Alumni Association online Alumni Ambassador Training to become BAS Ambassadors in their area. Bedford Jackson also encouraged the board to participate in their local Chapters and any Arkansas Alumni Association or UA events.

The board will purchase two shirts for outreach activities. One shirt will be a button down and the other one a t-shirt. Leverett and Oliver Wyatt will design the shirts.

The board divided into four groups to select the BAS Challenge Scholarship recipients. The board had 63 recipients submitting applications. Based on the economic needs the board decided to select 5 students and each student would receive $750.

BAS Challenge recipients receiving $750 include:

  • Destiny Boykins
  • Shunterrence Terrell
  • Antonio Brown
  • Chven Mitchell
  • Celise Weems

The spring meeting will be held on Monday, April 26, 2010, during the BAS Cruise.