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The Dartmouth
June 17, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Black Alums celebrate group's 25th aniversary

More than 100 members of Dartmouth's Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association gathered at the College to discuss "social, economic and political empowerment" and to celebrate the group's 25th anniversary.

The weekend included seminar and panels covering everything from raising successful children to political empowerment, weekend co-Chair Kenneth Marable '74. Marable's wife Joan served as the other co-chair.

The weekend's events were kicked off Friday evening with a cocktail reception in Tindle Lounge, Joan Marable said.

The reception was followed by the "Take an Alum to Dinner" program, sponsored by the Afro-American Society. Kenneth Marable said the "Take an Alumni to Dinner" program was one of the weekend's most successful events, and it facilitated student-alumni communication.

"Many students don't know what alumni do," Marable said. "This was an opportunity to talk to someone from their hometown ... to sit down over dinner and find out what life is like after Dartmouth."

After a general session Saturday morning in 105 Dartmouth Hall, the members of BADA spent the majority of the day attending a seminars and panel discussions.

Kenneth Marable said one of the seminars featured prominent alumni discussing life during and after Dartmouth.

Sociology Professor Ray Hall was the moderator of the seminar, which sought to "define the meaning of success before, during and after Dartmouth," according to the weekend's program.

Participants were to "discuss how a Dartmouth graduate assimilates into the outside world while committing him or herself to the Dartmouth community."

On Saturday night BADA held its "Gala Banquet," according to Kenneth Marable. Dean of the Faculty James Wright "gave an incredible presentation and three major awards were given out," he said.

This year's appreciation award was given to Director of Alumni Relations Nelson Armstrong '71, who is one of the founders of BADA.

BADA was founded by Stuart Simms '72. Armstrong said Simms saw the important role that alumni play on campus and wanted to establish such connections for African-American students as well.

The first black student to attend Dartmouth was Edward Mitchell, Class of 1828. Although there have been black students at the College since that time, it was not until recently that there were enough black alumni to justify the creation of an alumni association.

Armstrong said the College originally had some "concern about fragmentation" of the alumni and desired to "keep as many alumni in mainstream alumni associations as possible."

Armstrong said black alumni felt there was a real need for a black alumni association because some issues were not being addressed in the Dartmouth alumni association.

He said there was a need for fellowship specific to African American alumni and students. "Those things made it important to have an African-American alumni association," he said.