Arkansas Alumni Association | Black Alumni Society

Dear BAS Members,

As I write this letter to you, I am filled with gratitude and excitement. First, I am grateful for the accomplishments of the previous administration under the dedicated leadership of Corine Ackerson-Jones. Your contributions are a lighthouse that will be helpful as we steer forward.

I am also excited about the new year and the dynamic team that will help build on our theme: “Connect with the Past; Engage and Be Present; and Inspire for the Future.” We know that our University of Arkansas experience did not end with a cap, gown, and degree on sheepskin paper. Those symbols of completion were actually a call to higher service and a reminder that we are caretakers of the lighthouse. Our shared experiences connect us in a special way and the farther we cast our light, the sharper our vision becomes for the tasks that lie ahead.
< Connect with the Past. Engage and be Present. Inspire for the Future.

Connect with the Past

In connecting with the past, we will recognize contributions, accomplishments, and courageous acts of African Americans who’ve attended the University. By sharing these stories of pride and purpose, we inspire others to be their best. Like a tiny rock dropped into a pool, this ripple effect can enhance awareness of talents and abilities, plant seeds of hope, and help transform communities. If you know of alumni who deserve to be recognized for exceptional achievements or service, please e-mail me at

Engage and Be Present

We will engage and be present by actively supporting BAS initiatives. You will have opportunities to support programs, both on and off the University campus. One of our upcoming alumni engagement programs will occur in Dallas, TX during the annual Arkansas vs. Texas AM football game the weekend of Sept. 27 and 28. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us as we partner with the Texas A & M Former Black Students Network for social activities, community service, networking, and a diversity recruitment fair.

Inspire for the Future

We will inspire for the future as we reach out to current and potential students by being visible and actively engaged in campus and community activities. Sharing our stories of challenges and tips for overcoming barriers will inspire and enlighten young people who are on their educational journey. We want them to know that we are here for them. A starting point will be the recruitment fair in Dallas this September. The recruitment initiative requires special attention considering that the number of black students attending the University is declining each year. To address this issue, we need to be intentional. Additionally, we need your involvement in helping to retain students once they enter the University. Oftentimes, students just need to hear from someone who can relate to their experiences and share encouragement. Please let us know if you would like to be a mentor to our students.

Together, we can achieve our goals for BAS. We are all ambassadors with voices that can spread the word about BAS and our alma mater.

Finally, if you are aware of other alumni, please share their e-mail addresses with me and I will gladly add them to the mailing list.

Thank you for being a part of BAS, and I look forward to seeing you in Dallas!

Ritche BowdenBest regards,

Ritche Bowden
Black Alumni Society, President
Arkansas Alumni Association