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Black Alumni Association joins University Advancement team

by Ross Levine
Members of the BAA board along with staff and supporters (from left, rear): Daniel Atwater, Keenan Adamson, William Holland, Donna Gholar, Julia Cooksey, Lloyd McKinney, Stephanie Farmer, Raphael Henderson, Debbie Pattillo, Donovan Green, Kathryn Shirley, Simeon Stewart and BAA Assistant Director Patrice Theard. Seated from left: Michèle Turner, Verna Dauterive and California Assembly member Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer (Photo/Leroy Hamilton)
Photo: Members of the BAA board along with staff and supporters (from left, rear): Daniel Atwater, Keenan Adamson, William Holland, Donna Gholar, Julia Cooksey, Lloyd McKinney, Stephanie Farmer, Raphael Henderson, Debbie Pattillo, Donovan Green, Kathryn Shirley, Simeon Stewart and BAA Assistant Director Patrice Theard. Seated from left: Michèle Turner, Verna Dauterive and California Assembly member Reginald Byron Jones-Sawyer (Photo/Leroy Hamilton)

The USC Black Alumni Association (BAA) has moved from USC Student Affairs to join its three multicultural “sisters” — the Asian Pacific, Lambda LGBT and Latino alumni associations — under the umbrella of the USC Alumni Association.

The move gives the BAA greater resources for engaging the Trojan Family in order to fulfill its mission of providing scholarships and pathways to academic success for black students at USC.

“The BAA is excited about our new partnership with the USC Alumni Association,” said Michèle Turner ’81, the BAA’s executive director. “Our love for USC, our shared history as Trojans and our shared support for incredible USC students presents an amazing future together.”

Established in 1976, the BAA represents a constituency of 10,000 black USC alumni. Over the years, the organization has provided (with USC matching funds) nearly $6 million in scholarships to upwards of 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students in all USC schools. Currently, 130 students receive more than $360,000 in scholarship support each year, based upon criteria encompassing both financial need and academic merit.

At a reception held on Sept. 13, Associate Senior Vice President for Alumni Relations Patrick Auerbach EdD ’08 began his remarks with an African proverb: “A united family eats from the same plate.” He went on to say that “joining forces will enable us to share talents and resources for the mutual advantage of USC and its alumni and students.”

Senior Vice President for University Advancement Al Checcio, who was unable to attend the reception, asked Auerbach to thank the BAA’s leadership for shepherding the transition and expressed his belief that the continued success of the BAA scholarship program would be “critical in attracting more black students to USC, thus enriching the Trojan Family and strengthening the BAA’s proud legacy.”

In closing remarks, Turner expressed her conviction that the BAA was poised to “demonstrate the manner in which a multicultural alumni association can be wonderfully successful.”

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