Black Alumni Weekend: Merging the past and present at MSU

It's Black Alumni Weekend at Mississippi State University. A variety of events have been hosted to celebrate Mississippi State University's Black alumni.

STARKVILLE, MISS. (WCBI) – It’s Black Alumni Weekend at Mississippi State University.

A variety of events have been hosted to celebrate Mississippi State University’s Black alumni.

The biannual Black Alumni Weekend, a four-day event, is an effort to provide support to current and future Bulldogs.

“The purpose of the weekend is to provide scholarship funds for the Black Alumni Advisory Council at Mississippi State University, where we give thousand-dollar scholarships to students at the university. And so this whole weekend is designed to first bring awareness to the scholarship and overall awareness and engagement in the Alumni Association at Mississippi State University,” Gates said.

Co-Chair of Black Alumni Weekend Candance Gates, says they also hope to connect the past with the present.

“The ultimate goal is to connect the African American community with the greater alumni associations at Mississippi State. So just making sure we are increasing engagement and participation, as well as mentoring our undergraduate students so that they know they have this connection once they graduate,” Gates said.

A gala, a luncheon and brunch, speaking panels, and more have were just some of the events that took place. This year, Gates and her fellow Co-Chair Lenora Hogan partnered with Bully’s Pantry to help out current students.

“One of the things we started this year is the community service piece. So we have started with implementing, putting items in Bully’s Pantry to support the students,” Hogan said.

“Bringing non-perishable single serve items, um personal hygiene items that students need very very often. Those are some of the things the pantry needs more of and so were pushing to the community and to our attendees to help us to donate fifteen hundred of those items,” Gates said.

Camille Young is an alum and past president of the alumni association and has been involved in this event since it began in 2016.

“It has grown tremendously. Our alumni are really getting more involved in not just black alumni weekend but in all aspects of the univesrity and this is a weekend that allows them opportunities to learn more about the different things that are going on within the university, within their respective colleges, and it provides a great opportunity to be mentors for students and just to be more involved in the place that shaped all of us into the people who we are,” Young said.

Sunday morning, organizers will be hosting a Gospel Brunch, featuring Gospel artists and the Black Voices of MSU.

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