The Black Colleagues Association (BCA) picnic, held on Sunday, July 9 at Jackson Park, could not have had better summer weather – the sun was out and not a cloud in the sky! Thanks to the detailed planning from BCA’s picnic committee and executive board and the volunteers from BCA and One Summer Chicago, the first of many picnics was nothing short of a success.

Picnic attendees were in for a treat the moment they stepped foot on the grounds. DJ Rated AG (a proud Redbird alum) provided tracks worth moving to until the sun went down. Many fraternity and sorority members got in on the fun too, like Omega Psi Phi who was spotted chanting and hopping in the open grass area. At one point, DJ Diggs, another Redbird, stepped in to give AG a little break from the tables.

A variety of food was available fresh off the grill thanks to Chef Andre, Chef Lindsay and Chefs-in-Training Mylin Brooks and Matthew Gray – from barbecue chicken to bratwursts, all the flavors were delicious. As alumni poured into the picnic, more food made its way to the table. There was plenty of food to go around, and more importantly there were more than enough people to share it.

The picnic generated an attendance of well over 300 people. Alumni included graduates as recent as this past May to those that graduated as far back as 1957. With so many generations of Redbirds in one place, it was only fitting to snap a photo of each decade, from the seventies to current-day. From wacky poses to big grins, this was a great way for Redbirds to connect on a whole new level. All the decade photos can be found via ISU’s Flickr account.

This year’s BCA picnic provided Redbirds with the opportunity to get in touch with alumni of all ages and share their mutual love for Illinois State University. Those that missed this year’s picnic can view pictures taken of the day as well. Those that attended the picnic can share comments, questions, or concerns about their experience so BCA can make next year’s picnic even better!

Being an active member in BCA is not only beneficial to the University, but also to its members. BCA creates opportunities and outings for alumni to continue building lifelong relationships while discovering newfound friendships. It’s a great way to get involved and get in touch! Once a Redbird, always a Redbird!