St. Petersburg/Pinellas County Chapter at BCU national convention

FT. LAUDERDALE — The National Alumni Association of Bethune Cookman University (BCU), Inc. held its 47th national convention last month in Ft. Lauderdale. Hosted by the Ft. Lauderdale Chapter, the theme was “A New Spirit, A New Beginning.”

President Jennifer Adams of the National Alumni Association and host chapter President Michael Shorter planned and scheduled several inspiring activities. The schedule included leadership workshops, technology workshops, ceremonies, Ms. Alumni Coronation and a “Night in White” dinner/dance cruise.

James Feazell, Sr., Chaplain of the St. Petersburg/ Pinellas County Chapter received the highest honor an individual can obtain from the university, the Shaft of Light Award.  This award is given to a graduate of the university who perpetuate the memory of founder Mary McLeod Bethune as shown through leadership and contributions in many areas as well as being instrumental in the growth and the development the university.

Brandi L. Williams, class of 2007 and daughter of the late Lew Williams and Arthurene Williams, was crowned Ms. Maroon for 2015-16. This was the first time in several years that the St. Petersburg/ Pinellas County Chapter sponsored a contestant in the coronation, and thanks to the financial supporters in the Tampa Bay area, she made the royal court.

Additionally, Gwendolyn B. Anderson, president of the St. Petersburg/Pinellas County Chapter, was awarded the Presidential Outstanding Leadership Award for 2014-15 by Adams. Anderson was the facilitator of a leadership workshop and was assisted by Helen D. Davis and Williams.

The 48th Annual National Alumni Association Convention will be hosted by the Volusia County Chapter in Daytona Beach June 22 – 26, 2016. This convention promises to be memorable because the organization is returning where it all began, on the campus of BCU.
The mission of the local chapter is to support the university through fundraising activities and the recruitment of members. They engage in activities that promote and positively impact the name and reputation of the university, and also assist with student recruitment while encouraging alumni and friends of the institution to make financial contributions.

Embracing the motto of BCU, “Enter to learn, depart to serve,” many of the local chapter’s activities are focused on community service such as being supporters and participants of B-TAG, Clothes-to-Kids financial supporters, Church and Community Day Supporters, providers of Thanksgiving baskets to needy families, providers of holiday gifts for nursing homes residents, Martin Luther King Jr. Parade participants, provider of scholarship for high school graduates with acceptance letter to attend BCU and Group Church Worship.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the BCU’s National Alumni Association, dues have been reduced during the membership drive to $25 for the 2015-16 fiscal year.  The membership drive will continue through Sept. 1 then the regular price of $50 will be in place.

For your information and planning, the local meetings are held the second Thursday of each month from Sept. – June at the Enoch Davis Center, 1111 18th Ave. S at 6:30 p.m. The kick-off meeting/ social will take place Sat., Sept. 12 at 132 59th Ave. S from 4-6 p.m. for the purpose of recruiting new members. For more information, contact Anderson at (727) 867-1664 or any officer or member.

The 2015-16 officers include Gwen Anderson, president, Linda R. Swain, vice president, Gwendolyn Feazell, recording secretary, Helen D. Davis, corresponding secretary, Arthurene Williams, treasurer, Pastor Martin Rainey, public relations and James Feazell Sr., chaplain.

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