The UK Black Alumni Reunion is an opportunity to cultivate community through a weekend of engaging educational experiences, social events and networking opportunities. The event is scheduled for April 13-15, 2023.
In the spirit of Harambeè, defined as “a coming together,” the reunion serves as a chance for Black alumni to gather, reconnect, socialize and come together as one of the most important UK alumni groups.
“Interest has been shown as several African American groups gather together during Homecoming season,” said Lillian Bland ’83 LCC, president-elect of the UK Lyman T. Johnson African American Constituency Group. “Instead of having separate celebratory groups, it was suggested we all become ‘one’ and have one large Black Alumni Reunion.”
Ensuring that Black alumni feel more connected to the institution is important for planning committee member Johnathon Davis ‘92 BE. Davis acknowledges it is sometimes difficult for that group to come back to campus if they weren’t socially connected while here and made few memories.
“Though we cannot change history, with a concerted effort, we can be intentional about changing the future,” Davis said.
The weekend celebration is in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Diversity, the College of Arts & Sciences/Commonwealth Institute on Black Studies, the UK Alumni Association and the UK Office of Philanthropy.
“There is strong evidence of a long legacy of Black history, Black culture, and most importantly Black excellence at UK that we all enjoy and that current students appreciate,” said Katrice Albert, vice president of the Office of Institutional Diversity. “Events like the Black Alumni Reunion allow us a special moment to ‘come home,’ reminisce on and recount special memories, reconnect with friends, faculty and staff, strengthen bonds with each other and be introduced to and interact with current UK students where Black UK traditions might be shared and taught to the next generation of our global leaders. It’s a family reunion that we cannot wait for you to enjoy.”
“The UK Alumni Association is proud to be one of the hosts of this event,” said 2022-2023 UK Alumni Association President Antoine Huffman ‘05 CI. “By connecting in person, Black alumni will learn how best to advocate for current students and how to offer our support to the university to advance initiatives to enhance diversity.”
An updated list of events and a link to register for events is located on the UK Alumni Association website. Space is limited for some of the events. Please register to guarantee your spot.
Thursday, April 13
5:30 – 7:30 p.m. | The Campbell House | 1375 S. Broadway
Mingle with other early arrivers in the recently renovated, historic Campbell House.
College-Hosted Alumni Events
Various locations across campus
Friday, April 14
College-Hosted Alumni Events
9 – 11 a.m. | Various locations across campus
UK Alumni Share Career Journey Stories
11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Innovation Lab at the Cornerstone
Alumni will share stories, memories and experiences. Lunch will be served followed by a networking opportunity for students and alumni.
A Conversation on the Power and Influence of Black Women Featuring UK Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS) faculty authors
2 – 4 p.m. | Esports Theatre at the Cornerstone
Confirmed speakers include Dr. Anastasia Curwood, Director of CIBS and Interim Chair and Professor of History, and Dr. Crystal Wilkinson, Professor of English in the MFA Creative Writing Program and Poet Laureate 2021-2022 for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A meet and greet event and a book signing follows the conversation.
Alumni and Student Mixer in Collaboration with UK NPHC
6 – 10 p.m. | The Campbell House | 1375 S. Broadway
Enjoy fellowship, food, and musical sounds from a local DJ.
Saturday, April 15
10 – 11 a.m. | Meet at King Alumni House
Take a bus ride down memory lane to visit some of your favorite buildings and witness first-hand how campus has changed.
11 a.m. | Historic Keeneland Race Course
Grab your favorite hat and join us for an exciting day at the races. Reserve Grandstand tickets available.
UK Softball vs. Tennessee
Noon | John Cropp Stadium | 570 Wildcat Court
Fun for the entire family as you watch the No. 1 ranked catcher in the nation lead the Wildcats in an SEC battle against the Volunteers.
Recognition Dinner Honoring Emmett “Buzz” Burnam
6:30 – 9 p.m. | The Campbell House | 1375 S. Broadway
Join us for the weekend finale as we recognize an individual who has left his mark on campus and on the lives of many students. Buzz Burnam, who recently retired from UK as the Director for Diversity Undergraduate Student Recruitment, was a campus presence for more than 50 years and still serves on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors in order to encourage more involvement amongst diverse alumni. Enjoy dinner and musical performances.
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