Black Alumni Weekend mixed traditional favorites with new offerings this year for a reunion tailored for just about everyone.
Hosted biennially by the Alumni Association, this year’s event was held March 29 through April 1 and drew more than 1,140 alumni and guests to the University—nearly double 2005’s attendance. They enjoyed a full schedule of seminars, discussions and social gatherings.
Many events fostered links between alumni and current students, including a “speed networking” reception. A Black Business Showcase also drew a large crowd of students eager to make connections. Its keynote speaker was Elaine R. Jones (Law ’70), former director and general counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the first African-American woman to graduate from UVA’s Law School.
The Office of African-American Affairs, celebrating its 30th anniversary, drew alumni to the Luther P. Jackson House for an open house and a familiar face: Sylvia Terry (Grad ’72), associate dean and director of the highly successful peer advisor program.
A Greek cookout was new this year, and evening entertainment included New Orleans jazz at Alumni Hall and a party hosted by Pharrell Williams at Mem Gym.
“We want to provide opportunities for alumni to interact with each other and the University,” says Jason Life, the Alumni Association’s director of reunions and class activities. “Our goal is make that happen as much as possible.”