Dear Members and Friends of BAS,

john l newOn November 21, 2013, I had the honor of attending the Annual Shades of Ebony Program. The BAS Scholars had chosen the theme: “Harlem Renaissance” to represent their heritage.

The keynote speaker, Airic Hughes, Class of ’11, emphasized the importance of why the BAS Scholars should embrace and celebrate their culture. I witnessed why these young people were selected as BAS Scholars. They demonstrated how gifted they were through their talent, their presentations, their attire and even their oratorical skills. They were the true essence of what a high-achieving scholar should represent.

The scholars were appreciative of the financial assistance provided to them by the Black Alumni Society. They gathered to share their common interests and to discuss their accomplishments throughout the year. It was evident that a lot of their success was directly related to the fact that the scholarships had been granted to them by the Black Alumni Society.

shades of ebonyThe experience I had in talking with our scholars, leads me to believe that our efforts have not gone in vain and it solidifies the idea that this financial support through our scholarship efforts must continue. The continuation is paramount to providing for these young, gifted and black individuals.

Earlier this month, the BAS Board revised the constitution and bylaws to reflect the mission of the society: To provide financial assistance to the African-American students at the University of Arkansas. The revised constitution will take us into the next century and the implementation of the mission and goals will allow these students to fulfill their long-term goals and dreams.

I must state that we are truly thankful and blessed for the many opportunities that we can provide for our students.  I would like to stop and take the time to say, “I wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!”


John L Colbert

BAS President, 2013 – 2015