Four Honored as 2022 Compassionate and Committed Service National Award Recipients
BY KIM JONES SNEED
The UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association annually recognizes alumni members and supporters who have demonstrated exemplary dedication and service in supporting and promoting the organization’s purpose and programs.
Four outstanding individuals were presented with the 2022 Compassionate and Committed Service Award. Honorees included Diane Gentry Martin, Shannon Hendrix and Jackey Cason, and Don Andrews. Each was recognized during the Alumni Luncheon and General Membership Meeting held on October 7 at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.
Recipient of The Above and Beyond Award
Diane Gentry Martin (second from the left) was the recipient of The Above and Beyond Award. Joining her during the presentation of the 2022 Compassionate and Committed Service Awards are (from left to right) National Alumni Association President Kymara Seals and Board of Directors Taffany Davis and Tanesha Thompson
Martin, a 1987 graduate of UAPB, received The Above and Beyond Award. She has served as the treasurer of the Memphis Alumni Chapter in Memphis, TN since 2019. Other leadership roles have included the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Summer Conference Souvenir Booklet Committee member and Publicity Committee Chairperson in 2010; UAPB Memphis Chapter Scholarship Gala Chairperson in 2011; Scholarship Committee Member in 2011 and 2022; UAPB Memphis Chapter Scholarship Committee Chairperson from 2012 to 2017; and Memphis Chapter Voter Initiative Committee Member in 2020.
In addition to serving in leadership roles, Martin thoroughly enjoys recruiting students to attend her alma mater. At one time, she was a Memphis Area Recruiter with the UAPB Department of Recruitment. Periodically, she spent her lunch period going to area high schools to talk to students about educational programs and activities offered at the university. She introduced senior students, who were accepted to UAPB, to the LIONS Summer Program which offers a jumpstart to their freshman year.
The award winner was also one of the chaperones for 60 area students on a bus trip to attend UAPB’s annual High School Day. Later that year, she drove three students from Memphis to the campus to assist them with completing registration for the Fall semester. On many occasions, when the UAPB Recruitment Department and UAPB Band had various recruitment functions, Martin assisted by serving food to the participating students. These acts of love and kindness in going ‘above and beyond’ shows her dedication to the future Golden Lions.
Chicago Received Chapter of the Year Award
Jackey Cason, president of the Chicago Alumni Chapter in Chicago, IL, received both the Chapter of the Year Award and President’s Award.
“The Chicago Chapter, under the leadership of Jackey Cason, has always headed the call of Dear Mother. This is shown by the financial support of $10,000 that is presented during the Homecoming Alumni Assembly. Even during the height of COVID, the Chicago Chapter continued to rally and were able to still provide financial support for students in the amount of $10,000. This is because of the leadership of Jackey Cason who never said no,” according to Cason’s nomination form.
Received the President’s Award
Shannon Hendrix (shown in the middle) receives the President’s Award. Celebrating with her are National Alumni Association President Kymara Seals and Board of Director Taffany Davis.
Shannon Hendrix, president of the Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter in Kansas City, MO, received the President’s Award. She was recognized for her excellence in spearheading the National Alumni Association’s Virtual Alumni Summer Conferences two years in a row. She served as chair for the 31st Summer Conference hosted by the Pulaski County Alumni Chapter in Little Rock, AR in 2021 and the 32nd Alumni Summer Conference hosted by the Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter this year.
Received the Behind the Scenes Award
Don Andrews, who serves as second vice president and business manager of the Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter in Kansas City, MO, received the Behind the Scenes Award. He is a 1969 graduate of Arkansas Agricultural, Mechanical and Normal College (now known as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff).
He was praised for how he considers the recommendations of the alumni and proficiently analyzes data to advise on future projections for the Chapter’s financial responsibilities, both expenses and revenues.
“His advisement has ensured that we are able to maintain average giving levels for the Audrey T. and Flossie (Williams) Davis Scholarship, the Greater Kansas City Alumni Endowment Scholarship, Kansas City Alumni Chapter Fund, the Dire Needs Financial Assistance Account, and the Alumni Center Capital Campaign Pledge,” according to Andrew’s nomination form.
“Don is exemplifying the best representation of an active alumni member in both handling the business and fun fellowship mode. He normally arrives and exits the room (or meeting) quietly, so when he chooses or is asked to provide comment, everyone is quietly awaiting him to render solution, as it is always solutions and never problems,” his form read.
ALUMNI NATIONAL NEWS
Thank you for a job well done!
Goodbye to three UAPB/AM&N Alumni Board Members
Teresa Brown was appointed to the Board of Directors in 2016 by then-President Tammie Hall-Roberts where she has served under the next three Presidents, Timothy Pighee, VeLois Bowers and Kymara Seals.
She is a Gold Life Member as well as the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff/AM&N Milwaukee Alumni Chapter President. In 2006, she served as a National Alumni Summer
Conference Committee Chairperson and has participated in a number of National Alumni Summer Conferences.
She is completing her second three-year term as a member of the National Alumni Association Board of Directors where she has served on the Summer Conference Planning Guide Committee under then-President Timothy Pighee, served as the Recording Secretary under then-President VeLois Bowers and served on the 2021 Summer Conference Planning Team, served as the 2022 Parliamentarian and Chairperson of the 2022 Nominating Committee under President Kymara Seals.
Brown is a 2017 recipient of the Chairman’s Circle of Excellence Award.
Dr. Leslie Davis
Dr. Leslie Davis has been a National Alumni Association board member for the past six to seven years. During her time as a board member, she held the positions of Second Vice President and First Vice President.
Dr. Davis was the chairperson of the Hall of Fame and that included the first virtual event held in 2021. The annual Student Roundup held during Homecoming and the Senior Reception were also co-chaired by Dr. Davis. She was service minded during her time as a board member. There was never a task that she was not willing to do on behalf of the association or for the
students of UAPB. As she leaves, Dr. Davis would like those remaining on the board to stay true to what the mission is for the association.
“We have worked hard to get to this point,” Dr. Davis said. “There is more work to be done but don’t undo what we have accomplished. Always make sure that the focus is UAPB and her students.”
Michael Mason will complete a one-year appointment to the National Alumni Association Board of Directors at the end of this year.
“When I received a call from President Kymara Seals to be a member of the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Board of Directors, I was surprised and in shock,” Mason said. “It’s an honor to serve as Board of Director for the UAPB/AM&N National Alumni. I came into the Board of Directors with a goal of providing the best support and continued progress of the mission of UAPB.”
“Across the nation the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff have Alumni who have been successful in their careers. I think it’s important for our national alumni to highlight the achievements of their graduates. I began with the campaign to help L.C Greenwood be nominated into NFL Hall of Fame. We fell short of this goal, but we will continue,” Mason said.
ALUMNI NATIONAL NEWS
Board of Director Election Results Announced
Winners include two newcomers who will be joining the Board for the first time
The UAPB/AM&N National Alumni Association, Inc. announces the results of its 2022 Board of Directors election. A total of seven directors were elected, including two brand new directors. They will all begin their terms on January 1, 2023.
In the Central Region, the winners were current incumbent LaDonna Hendrix and Tanesha Thompson, both of the Greater Kansas City Alumni Chapter in Kansas City, MO. Hendrix will begin serving her second three-year term in January. Thompson, who was appointed to the board in 2021 and 2022, will begin her first three-year term in January.
In the Great Lakes/Eastern Seaboard Region, current incumbent Phillip Williams of the Metropolitan Atlanta Alumni Chapter in Atlanta, GA was uncontested. He will begin serving his second three-year term in January.
Four candidates ran for two available positions in the Southwest Region. The winners were current incumbent Janice L. Roberts of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Alumni Chapter in Pine Bluff, AR and newcomer Jimmy Fox III of the Memphis Alumni Chapter in Memphis, TN. Roberts will begin serving her second three-year term and Fox III will begin serving his first three-year term in January.
Two candidates ran for two available positions in the Member At Large Region. The winners were current incumbent Dr. Ruth Jones of Huntsville, AL and newcomer Jennifer Trice of the Dallas/Fort Worth Alumni Chapter in Dallas, TX. Dr. Jones will begin her second three-year term and Trice will begin her first three-year term in January.
Congratulations to all of the winners of the 2022 Board of Directors election!
ALUMNI NATIONAL NEWS
The UAPB/AM&N Alumni Luncheon
By Tanesha Thompson
Homecoming was momentous as this was our first major in person Alumni event since the COVID-19 pandemic hit unexpectedly in 2020.
The Alumni Luncheon was held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center on Friday, October 7th with the theme, “We Are One: UAPB/AM&N; One Roar, One Pride” and was chosen to remind us all of our MOST IMPORTANT connection. As alumni, we must ensure that our Pride is strengthened by engaging current students. With this idea in mind, the planning committee invited current students to volunteer to support this event by coming early up to set up, serving as hostesses, helping with food service and participating in the program. The Alumni Luncheon Chairperson Taffany Davis and Co-chairperson Tanesha Thompson were in communication with Professor Henry Brooks, III to assist with volunteers.
This volunteer activity also gave the students an opportunity to mingle and make connections with alumni members across the country in areas of career and location. Other committee members were LaDonna Hendrix and Dr. Leslie Davis (National Alumni Association Board Members).
The Homecoming Student Roundup
The Homecoming Student Roundup is an event that was created to provide students with networking opportunities through the different alumni chapters under the leadership of then President Calvin Booker.
LaDonna Jones and Dr. Leslie Davis took on the task to ensure that the event was student centered and focused. At that time, the event was held at the Hyper Complex in the auditorium. Alumni representatives set up tables and sat on panels to address questions and concerns of the students. The success of the first roundup has led to what has now become an annual event whereby students are able to ask questions from the alumni and find out information concerning their local chapters. They are presented with chapter representatives for further networking and an extra level of support.
Alumni from Dallas-Fort Worth, Kansas City, Chicago, Memphis, Pulaski County and Pine Bluff have helped to keep this event going strong. The goal is to continue this event annually during Homecoming.
Some of the past comments from students have been:
1. I was not aware that my city had an alumni chapter.
2. I will let my friends in high school know to reach out to the local chapter.
3. What can I do to help the alumni association?
4. Thank you for thinking about us students. It means a lot during Homecoming.
LINKS LOVES HBCUs
Links, Incorporated instituted a national initiative entitled “Links Love HBCUs” at our national assembly in July of this year in which The Little Rock Chapter participates fully. However, Little Rock has been making a concerted effort to support the Arkansas HBCUs since 2007 with donations exceeding $200,000.00 this year, The Links are proud to dedicate that support to the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff with a check for $15,000.00.
It is our way of saying thank you for the service you provide to our students. Some of which would have very little access to higher education. We challenge the community to join The Links in supporting the University of Arkansas Pine Bluff.
Annette Slater, MD