July 06, 2005

Black Alumni Group reunion set for July 14-17

by Greg Scott

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Four past presidents of the Black Alumni Group will be honored by 500 fellow African-American alumni at the group's upcoming reunion, set for July 14-17 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Featured alumni guests and honorees will include former leaders of the organization – John S. Holmes, Richard Reynolds, Lamar Gentry and Hubert Avent – the only four presidents during the group's first 15 years of existence.

They will be honored at a reunion gala on July 15 in the Carbondale Civic Center.

The reunion's theme is "Putting On The Dawg: Soulful Southern Style." The Black Alumni Group is a constituent society of the SIU Alumni Association and hosts a reunion in Carbondale every other year. This is the ninth biennial reunion.

This year's reunion gala features a dinner buffet and cash bar and replaces the traditional banquet. With a subtitle of "Blacks in White, "gala guests are being asked to wear suave, chic, summer white attire. Featured entertainers for the occasion are Chicago rhythm and blues/soul performer Terisa Griffin, and Maurice "Ice" Culpepper, a popular deejay in the Windy City known for entertaining guests with old-school tunes.

Joining Griffin and Culpepper will be Olivia Fox, a 1988 SIUC graduate who has become a seasoned and dynamic industry professional. The St. Louis native hosts the morning drive "Olivia

Fox Show" for 95.7, The Beat in Tampa, Fla. Fox is the former co-host of the nationally syndicated "The Russ Parr Morning Show with Olivia Fox" from 1996 to 2002. Dubbed "The Queen of Telling It Like It Is," the award-winning radio personality amassed a diverse following of fans in cities across the nation.

In addition to the gala, reunion activities will include workshops, socials, an African Open Market, campus tours, golf and tennis outings, picnic and a brunch. The Sunday brunch will feature a performance by Genesis Arts Ministry, directed by 1988 SIUC alumna Tracy Holliway-Wiggins. Holliway-Wiggins is company manager for the St. Louis Black Repertory Theater and has appeared in numerous theatrical and television productions. Genesis was formed in 2003 as a creative arts ministry for young people in the Metro East area.

Interested alumni are welcome. Costs are as follows: $125 for SIU Alumni Association members, $170 for non-members; $165 for each member couple; $225 for each non-member couple; $275 per member family; $325 for a non-member family.

For more information call the SIU Alumni Association at 618/453-2417. Or, send registration fees to the Black Alumni Reunion, SIU Alumni Association, Mailcode 6809, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL 62901.

The Black Alumni Group, established in 1988, helps maintain professional, social and educational relationships developed at SIUC within the African-American community.

The complete reunion schedule:

Thursday, July 14

10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Registration, Student Center, second floor, SIU Alumni Association Office

7 – 9 p.m. Liberal Arts alumni reception, home of Dean Shirley Clay Scott, invitation only

8 – 11 p.m. Meet and Greet Social & Jazz Concert featuring The Eric Frazier '71 Trio, Carbondale Civic Center, 200 S. Illinois Ave.

Friday, July 15

9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Registration and Hospitality, Student Center, second floor, SIU Alumni Association Office

9 a.m. BAG Business Meeting, Mississippi Room, Student Center, second floor, (05-07 officer nominations)

10 a.m. – 6 p.m. African Market, Hall of Fame area, Student Center, first floor

11 - 11:45 a.m. Midlife: The Necessity of Reinvention workshop presented by Mariann (Berry) Aalda-Gedeon '71 & A. Re?ee West '77, Kaskaskia Room, Student Center, second floor

11 - 11:45 a.m. The Entrepreneurial Need workshop presented by Freddy Taylor '98 '00, Ohio Room, Student Center, second floor

11 - 11:45 a.m. Are you ready for College workshop presented by Kelly A. (Dixon) Jackson '92, SIUC admissions counselor, Illinois Room, Student Center, second floor

11 a.m.- 12:45 p.m. Teen Esteem workshop presented by Darzel Price '80, Mississippi Room, Student Center, second floor

12 - 12:45 p.m. Cultural Eating Habits of African-Americans workshop presented by Carolyn (Anderson) Davis '81, Kaskaskia Room, Student Center, second floor

12 - 12:45 p.m. Jazz in Chicago: A Musical Presentation workshop presented by Dr. Marguerite Mariama '71, '74, Ballroom A, Student Center, second floor

12P- 12:45 p.m. Respect, Diversity, Globalization, the World of Tomorrow…Today workshop presented by Cordy Love MA '04 & Carl Ervin, New Student Programs, Illinois Room, Student Center, second floor

2 p.m. Campus Tour, leave from the front of Student Center

6 – 7 p.m. Pre-Gala Reception, Carbondale Civic Center, 200 S. Illinois Ave

7 p.m. – 12 a.m. Gala: Blacks in White featuring Teresa Griffin, DJ Maurice "Ice" Culpepper, and Olivia Fox, Carbondale Civic Center, 200 S. Illinois Ave


Saturday, July 16

7 a.m. -1 p.m. Golf - Hickory Ridge Golf Course (pay upon arrival)

8 a.m. -12 p.m. Tennis Tournament, SIUC tennis courts

12 – 7 p.m. Picnic, Old Main Mall Area (near Davies Gymnasium), lunch served 1-3 p.m.

2 p.m. Campaign Speeches, BAG Officer Candidates, during the picnic

3 – 5 p.m. Elections, Old Main Mall Area- must be a member to vote

4 p.m. Basketball Tournament, Alumni vs. Students, Davies Gymnasium (near picnic location)

9 p.m. – 2 a.m. Reunion Party, Carboz, 760 E Grand Ave (behind Pinch Penny)


Sunday, July 17

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Closing Brunch, performance by Genesis Arts Ministry

1:30 p.m. Officer Transition Meeting, SIU Alumni Association Office, Student Center, second floor