2007 Black Alumni Mentorship Reunion

Black Alumni Reunion 2007:
"We Have Come A Long Way"

By Brettney DāSean Smith '07
Photo Gallery

The Minority Student Union (MSU) hosted the 17th Annual Black Mentorship Alumni Reunion. The Logistics Chair of the Black Alumni Reunion, Jason Hall '08, along with Dean Williams, planned diligently this year to ensure that all things were in order for an unforgettable weekend. This year's theme for the reunion was "We Have Come A Long Way," and it was in honor of the strides that former African-American Hampden-Sydney College (H-SC) alumni have made to open the doors of educational and career opportunities to current students. The theme perfectly aligns with the mission of the reunion which is for the alumni to aid the current students with graduate school, to create network opportunities for the students, and for the alumni to serve as distinguished role models for current students. In addition to assisting the current students, the alumni also have the chance to influence prospective students' decision to attend H-SC.

H-SC Alumni H-SC Students
H-SC Black Alumni
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H-SC Current Students
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Friday marked the beginning of the reunion in which the alumni arrived to a Welcome Reception at the new MSU house, the former Lambda Chi Alpha House, to enjoy various cookout delectables, such as hamburgers and hotdogs. After the Welcome Reception, the alumni and students gathered in the house to chat with each other and afterwards the alumni headed to their hotel rooms to get rested for the following day's events. Saturday morning consisted of two workshops; the first workshop dealt with the Willie Lynch letter, a document-although its authenticity has been questioned-that gives an explanation of how to keep black people divided against each other and an explanation of why black people have been under oppressive forces in American Society. The workshop consisted not only of an explanation of the theory, but also the workshop consisted of how the theory can be applied to the current factions that exists amongst the African Americans, an issue that sparked a lot of interpersonal dialogue between the alumni and students. The second workshop dealt with graduate school, specifically with regards to things that students should know prior to entering graduate school, along with helpful hints on how to survive graduate school. After the workshops, the alumni and students ate lunch and returned to Crawley forum to view a student showcase. This showcase consisted of musical performances by "Aaron Sapp '09 and the BASIC Choir" and pianist/multi-talented artist Aaron McCoy '10; these musicians gave the audience an exhibition of various music genres that ranged from gospel to neo-soul.

Dr. Randy JonesAfter the showcase, an Alumni v. Students basketball game ensued in which the students triumphed over the alumni, and the student basketball team consisted of players such as Shawn Middlebrooks, Mike Edwards, and Ronald Johnson. Both alumni and students had a chance to take a break before attending the evening events of a cocktail reception with President and Mrs. Bortz and the Banquet Dinner. The Banquet Dinner was held in the Board Room in Settle Hall where Dr. Randy Jones spoke about his experience as a Prince Edward County native and how he had to overcome various economic and social adversities to obtain his position as a current Robert Scholar Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia School of Nursing. Dr. Jones inspired the students and made them realize how, as Mr. Rucker Snead '81 always states, "You can do anything with a degree from Hampden-Sydney". Sunday, the last day of the reunion, was filled with praise and worship as the BASIC Gospel Choir sang church hymns and as Tony M. Moore gave a sermon about how the Lord has blessed African Americans in helping them to achieve greatness in American society. I believe that this weekend was an irrevocable experience and that this 17th Black Alumni reunion was clearly an indication of how we as African Americans have come a long way at H-SC.

April 2007