Greetings Redbirds,

I pray this message finds you well. I am humbled to lead the Illinois State University Black Colleagues Association’s (ISUBCA) mission to support the students, staff, and faculty of our beloved alma mater. It is with great pleasure that I share with you some of the impactful programs that are being planned by the leadership of the ISUBCA. We are working hard to make more of an impact by offering better programming. As the legendary Spike Lee would say, “Mo’ Better.” I believe that to accomplish our mission, we need you!

Here are some of the many plans in the works, along with a call to action and a list of BCA leadership that you can contact. Please remember, you can always reach out to me or BCA Vice President Dennis Banks ’85 at any time with ideas or questions.

Scholarships: We are working on plans to offer more scholarships to more students. To do this we need more donors and volunteers. For more information, contact Eyvonna Hemphill ’80.

Homecoming: We are developing plans to host an awesome Homecoming experience including a virtual scholarship event as well as an in-person meet and greet, concert, tailgate, and an opportunity to walk in the Homecoming parade. Help us make the most of this year’s theme “Celebrating Red,” by considering being a volunteer, donor, or sponsor. This year’s Homecoming is October 10-16.  For more information, contact Sylvester Davis ’99, M.S. ’04, or Dr. Aja Holmes ’00, M.S. ’02.

Mentoring: We are developing aggressive plans to host a mentoring program for students and will need volunteers to mentor. Recruitment for mentors will be forthcoming. If you are interested in serving on the committee, contact Dr. Angelyn Anderson ’95, M.S. ’97.

Membership: We have begun an initiative to collect alumni stories. We need volunteers to share their respective stories about their experiences at Illinois State and are currently interviewing alumni who are graduates from the 1960s or prior. For more information on membership, contact Beverly Glinsey ’81 or Daniel Jackson ’18. Those interested in the story initiative can contact Caryn Lee ’94.

Chicago BCA Weekend: ISUBCA has rescheduled the reception honoring our legacy, Andrew Purnell Jr. ’57 to start off our weekend. Please join us at the Oak Lawn Hilton on Friday, June 24. The following day, June 25, we are planning our annual cookout in Chicago at the Dan Ryan Woods. Help our group spread the word by sharing the story included in this newsletter or finding ways to distribute or post our cookout flyer. As a part of #RedbirdImpact Month, BCA will also be asking attendees to bring donations to give to the School Street Food Pantry located in Bloomington-Normal. Learn more about items by reading our cookout story. For more information or to help at the cookout, contact Sandra Kelly ’77, or Mike Willis ’82.  

Fundraising: We need more sponsors/partners to carry out our mission. We will be reaching out to BCA business owners and executives to help to secure funding for our programs. For more information, contact Joletta Gladney-Martin ’87.

Alumni interested in being an active member of the Black Colleagues Association can learn more through the BCA website about membership as well as express an interest in getting involved. Remember, by becoming a contributing member you have the ability to vote at meetings and receive special privileges such as early Homecoming registration access.  

We are Redbird Strong!

Danny Pierson ‘81
President-ISU Black Colleagues Association