January 2017 ocean beat final

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Ocean Beat JA NUARY 20 17

The Official Publication of the Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter

Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul Marching Band

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Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul Alumni Chapter Officers Garnet Foster President Joselyn Coats V. P. of Membership Donald W. Black V. P. of Finance Nita Williams Treasurer Vacant Recording Secretary Donald W. Black Corresponding Secretary Leonard Faniuel Sergeant At Arms Bruce Freeman Parliamentarian Nita Williams Financial Secretary Reginald Thompson Chaplain If you want to submit information to the TSUOOSAC Newsletter, please email information to: Oceanalumni@gmail.com or mail to: Texas Southern University National Alumni Association Ocean of Soul Chapter P.O. Box 88155 Houston , Texas 77288

ON THE COVER Texas Southern University Ocean of Soul Alumnus Kirk Whalum performing at the Kirk Whalum “A Gospel According to Jazz” Christmas Concert on the campus of Texas Southern University. Photo Credit: Texas Southern University <

Houston Mayor inspired TSU students to excel in commencement address Texas Southern University held its 2016 Winter Commencement ceremony on December 10 and reinforced its designation as a special-purpose institution. Family and friends of the graduating class filled the University’s H&PE Arena to watch the academic work of their loved ones culminate in bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. TSU awarded 807 degrees to graduates in its numerous fields of study. The journey of two students – Renald “Ren” Moore, who went from serving time in the Texas Department of Corrections to college valedictorian, and Ana Gabriela Cepeda Morales, a blind student– was a shining moment and highlighted TSU’s commitment to providing higher-education opportunities to non-traditional students. Morales received thunderous applause and standing ovation as she walked across the stage to accept her degree with her service dog, Calliope. Both Moore and Morales credit the campus-wide support they received, particularly from TSU’s Office of Disability Services, as key factors to completing their education. “When I first arrived on campus, I didn’t even know how to use a computer,” Moore said. “And honestly, I expected an icy reception from faculty and my fellow students, but I was wrong. TSU greeted me with open arms and provided me with the necessary guidance, attention and assistance I needed to see this day.” “Graduation is a major accomplishment for me,” Morales said. “Despite all the difficulties and obstacles I had to face, Sharon Benavides, Kaya Pickens, and Dr. Johnnie Williams among others, constantly encouraged me to keep going to accomplish my goal.” TSU President Austin Lane, presiding over his inaugural commencement ceremony, presented Port Arthur businessman Roosevelt Petry with university’s highest honor - the honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. Petry was honored for his steadfast support and commitment to TSU students. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered the commencement address. Mayor Turner has been a longtime advocate for Texas Southern, both in his role as a state legislator and as a former adjunct professor in TSU’s Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He delivered a rousing speech to motivate the graduates. “You are a reflection of everyone who has helped you to be here today, so every time you do well they do well, have no regrets and always remember that the best is yet to come,” he said.

Texas Southern University 2016 Winter Graduation

Congratulations to our 2016 Winter Commencement Graduates from the Ocean of Soul. Top to Bottom: Aminata Stewart, Miguel Garcia, Cassandra Skinner and Nathan Sampson

The Ocean of Soul will be a participant in the 2017 Honda Battle of the Bands Showcase, January 28, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia

Kirk Whalum “A Gospel According to Jazz” Christmas Concert on the campus of Texas Southern University Photos courtesy of Texas Southern University






Sea Sick , Water Bound T. Shirts AVAILABLE IN GREY AND MAROON


2016 Homecoming T. Shirt AVAILABLE IN WHITE ONLY


To order, please visit www.tsuoceanalumni.com

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