Multicultural K-State students and alumni gathered in the K-State Alumni Center this weekend to celebrate the 40th anniversaries of the Black Student Union and the United Black Voices Gospel Choir.
The event was the Biannual Black Alumni Reunion sponsored by the K-State Alumni Association and the Black Student Union.
Brandon Clark, assistant director for alumni programs for the K-State Alumni Association and co-adviser to the Black Student Union, said more than 150 alumni and their families attended the weekend celebration.
“They love coming back and they keep coming back every year,” Clark said.
Clark also said this year there was a large response because of a new marketing strategy: The use of a Facebook.com page to promote the event. The association traditionally contacts alumni through e-mail, but Clark said the use of Facebook has become more and more prevalent.
Charlene Jones, a K-State alumn from Kansas City, Kan., attended the event for the first time because of the group.
“Because of Facebook, you’ve got people here from the East Coast, West Coast, overseas; everybody’s here,” Jones said. “Some came from very far away to be here today.”
Jones said she noticed many changes at K-State, including the landscape and the new parking garage, but she found the same old sentiments with the BSU and choir.
“I think it’s the same,” Jones said. “We were always a very united group, always very diverse even though [the choir] was called ‘United Black Voices.’ We’ve always welcomed people of all cultures, all races and I’ve been seeing a lot of that here tonight and throughout the weekend. I’ve seen all kinds of people. I’ve seen Caucasians. I’ve seen Latinos. I’ve seen everyone. It’s really been good.”
On Saturday night, the BSU held its 6th annual BSU Represents in the alumni center in conjunction with the reunion.
Brandon Hall, junior in finance and president of BSU, said the function is an opportunity for multicultural groups and organizations at K-State to come out and represent their causes. Each organization presented information about themselves along with a brief history. Also, all of the traditionally-black sororities and fraternities gave a step performance, a highly choreographed dance that uses rhythm.
“The BSU gives the black students the opportunity to be here with their fellow black students,” Hall said. “Basically we are here as a support system to our black students.”
After the Represents presentation, a reception toasted the two organizations for their 40 years of existence. During the reception, a collage was donated to the BSU by K-State Alumn Tony Quinton. The collage featured pictures from various black organizations on campus over the years.
Also performing were the Poise Hip-Hop dance team and the gospel choir. Several alumni joined the gospel choir to perform again on Sunday.
“This [choir] gives us a chance as far as students at K-State to sing together,” said Jasmine Hammond, junior in public relations and marketing and president of United Black Voices Gospel Choir.