Have you ever desired to go on a voyage even though you know that it may be rocky, the waters a little rough, and numerous challenges could be presented? You take the trip anyway. You finish filled with joy, having formed new friends, having embraced numerous experiences, and recognizing that you are not alone. All of this was accomplished on a journey that many dared to take. My experience as one of the founding members and the first President of the Texas Woman’s University Black Alumni (TWUBA) could be compared to such a trip. However, you trusted me to be the captain on that voyage. This edition of the TWUBA newsletter marks my official end as the President of the Texas Woman’s University Black Alumni as I welcome a new president and other officers. I want to take this opportunity to share some of our triumphs under my leadership as your president.
When the small group, along with Anne Scott (Director of Alumni Relations), met over five years ago we developed a Mission Statement (See the TWUBA By-laws) and established goals which include some of the following: building a membership, creating community among graduates of color who would champion their Alma Mater, supporting scholarships for current students, building an endowment focusing on African American students, celebrating and documenting the history of integration at TWU. Wow! We began to structure an organization which connects and reconnects us to TWU and to each other. That is community. Thank you for your support in me as President, the total Executive Committee (officers and committee chairs), and the founders. We were given a plan based on the Mission and set about following that plan.
Under this leadership the TWU Black Alumni remains active, and we could not have done this without a community of graduates and friends who continue to support TWUBA. Some of the accomplishments of this leadership are listed below:
- Established By-Laws and implemented review and revision
- Established an endowment (upon which we must continue to build): THE TWU BLACK ALUMNI HERITAGE SCHOLARSHIP
- Awarded three independent scholarships
- Celebrated fifty years of integration at TWU on campus
- Recognized the first African American graduates with plaques and a tree planting on campus
- Acknowledged Distinguished Alumni, other alumni and current student achievement
- Involved community building by supporting graduates and TWU interest (Dallas Black Dance Theater, Denton Black Film Festival, WOCA Gallery in Ft. Worth)
- Celebrated current students at Black History commemoration with coffee and cupcakes, and purchasing a table for students at various luncheons
- Started a newsletter which is published through the Alumni Office about three times a year.
- Worked with the TWU Women’s Collection under Kimberly Johnson to continue documenting the African American presence and history at TWU
- Began formulating a concept of Mentoring with a portal proposed for the TWU Library
- Worked on building community by starting TWUBA groups in Dallas, Ft Worth, Houston and Denton
This is what we have accomplished, and I am excited and so grateful that others wanted to join this ship and sail together. However, we cannot stop in the middle of this journey. We cannot get tired! We must stay on this trip to “see what the end will be,” as the Spiritual says. Thank you for boarding this ship and allowing me and the executive committee to guide us for this time.
Special thanks to the Alumni Director, Anne Scott, who encouraged me to get a group and form a committee. This is now The Texas Woman’s University Black Alumni. I extend special thanks to each of those other founding members: Glinda Shaffer (’84 and ’89), Eva Poole (’74 and 76), Elyze Davis (2009) and Tawana McGowan (2011). I want to mention Addie Goode Davis, Glinda Shaffer, Major General Mary Saunders, and the Honorable Mary Ellen Whitlock Hicks. Each of these sisters listened to my question of “Where is everybody?” From that time, they along with others have supported whenever I called.
Our leadership has changed, and I am looking forward with equal excitement to supporting the new President and the new cabinet. I extend my warmest congratulations to them. I trust you to remain on this ship as the new TWUBA President, Deborah Whitlock Peoples, and the new officers continue to build and share their vision for the Texas Woman’s University Black Alumni.
Immediate Past President
Texas Woman’s University Black Alumni