WMU News

Dennis Archer speaks at event saluting black graduates

April 10, 2005

KALAMAZOO--A second annual event paying tribute to black graduates at Western Michigan University will feature one of the institution's most-famous graduates--former Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer.

Archer, who graduated from WMU in 1965 and was recently appointed a WMU trustee, will be the keynote speaker at the second annual Black Congratulatory & Awards Ceremony on Saturday, April 23. The event, for African-American graduates and their families and friends, starts at 8 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Bernhard Center.

Close to 100 graduates are expected to attend following commencement ceremonies earlier in the day. The event also will include a performance by the WMU Gospel Choir, student remarks and the presentation of certificates to the graduates, who will be photographed with their family members and friends. Special awards also will be given for outstanding student achievements both in and out of the classroom. African-American faculty and staff also will be honored.

The event, saluting students graduating during the 2004-05 academic year, is being presented by the Black Congratulatory Council at WMU, with the help of donations from the community.

The council is dedicated to promoting academics and fostering a positive black presence at WMU, while reinforcing cultural values and pride through recognition, says Alexia N. Alexander, chairperson of the organization's public relations committee.

"The Black Congratulatory Council and Black Congratulatory Ceremony serve a great purpose," Alexander says. "Since its inception in 2004, the Western Michigan University BCC has steadily increased the positive representation of black students on campus and throughout the community."

Those wishing to make a donation to help pay for the event or purchase an ad in the event program booklet to help pay printing costs are asked to call Vaneitta Goins, BCC development coordinator, at (269) 387-2565. For additional information, call Alexia Alexander at (269) 387-1244.

Media contact: Mark Schwerin, 269 387-8400, mark.schwerin@wmich.edu

WMU News
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