By Tyler White | Staff Writer
The Baylor Black Alumni Alliance is hosting its second reunion this weekend with a ceremony, tailgate and worship experience, allowing alumni to reconnect with each other and celebrate achievements.
The reunion will highlight the Heavenly Voices Gospel Choir and celebrate its 35th anniversary. Additionally, there will be an achievement awards ceremony to recognize the current student recipients of the Dr. Vivienne Malone-Mayes Scholarship and to celebrate the achievements of distinguished Black Baylor alumni.
Marie Brown, president of the Baylor Black Alumni Alliance, said the reunion is building upon the success of the first reunion in 2022.
“There’s really not a whole lot of other times during the year that I think Black Baylor alumni feel like it’s coming home and it’s coming back to something that is going to create interest and create a memory for them,” Brown said.
Brown said the reunion is also an opportunity for the group to show its support for current minority students and to continue to invite new students into the community it has created. She said the purpose is not only to gather Black Baylor alumni but also to foster this growing network.
“We’re not doing this for us,” Brown said. “We’ve graduated. We’re living our lives and doing our own thing. It’s more about the current students, faculty, staff and the students that are going to be coming to Baylor. That’s the whole purpose of our organization, but we want to create something that binds us all together.”
Tiffanie Chiles-Mitchell, vice president of the Baylor Black Alumni Alliance, said last year’s reunion was a great experience for alumni to return to campus and recognize trailblazers.
“It was really great to honor those people and to be able to acknowledge the fact that it hasn’t always been an opportunity,” Chiles-Mitchell said. “And for us to get together and break bread and celebrate and recognize and just praise God for the blessings that we have of being Baylor alum, it was really a great experience.”
Chiles-Mitchell said it’s important for all students to feel welcomed at Baylor and to feel included in a group. She said the purpose of the Baylor Black Alumni Alliance is to create that welcoming atmosphere.
“When you are of a group that’s not as included, it is really important to try to embrace and help build up and just provide an opportunity and environment to be loved on as Christ would want us to,” Chiles-Mitchell said.
Beyond the reunion, Chiles-Mitchell said the group wants current students to know the people who came before them are ready to support them through it all.
“We just want the students to know that there are former Baylor students, there are Baylor alumni and Black alumni that are available, are willing to help, do love them, want them to do great and want to see their success,” Chiles-Mitchell said. “That’s why we come back. That’s why we show up. That’s why we donate, and that’s why we’re involved.”