E MPOWERING O UR Y OUTH SPRING 2014 NEWSLETTER
The Spirit The Spirit is brought to you by the Cheyney University National Alumni Association Public Relations Committee. We are proud to highlight and share news from our growing network of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania alumni and encourage you to continue sharing your stories. For more information about The Spirit, please visit the CUNAA website at www.cheyneyalum.org and select “CUNAA Newsletter.”
Join the PR Committee If you would like to join the CUNAA PR Committee, please send an email to the PR Committee Chair expressing your interests and capabilities. Current Openings Advertising Manager News Editor Social Media Coordinator
Email Please send CUNAA PR Committee inquiries, alumni news or events, photo and content submissions to email@example.com. Please send general inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. Yasheaka Oakley Class of 2011 CUNAA PR Committee Chair The Spirit, Editor 2
Cheyney University National Alumni Association
Cheyney University Office of Alumni Relations
Mailing Address 1837 University Circle P.O. Box 121 Cheyney, PA 19319-0121
Gregory Benjamin Director of Alumni Relations Phone: 610-399-2419
The CUNAA office is located on the second floor of Marcus Foster Alumni Student Center on Cheyney University’s main campus.
Mailing Address 1837 University Circle Biddle Hall, Room 207 Cheyney, PA 19319-0121
From the President’s Desk... Greetings Cheyney Alumni Family, By now I’m sure you are fed up with the snow and cold weather; but take heart Spring is on the way. Take a look out your window; you can see buds on the trees and bushes. Soon we will be enjoying balmier temperatures, the days will be longer and we will be outside enjoying the blooming scenery. The good news is alumni giving is on the rise—at record levels. Thank you for your vigorous response to our two million dollar scholarship appeal. As most of you know between 2009 and 2012, we raised over one million dollars in scholarships thanks to alumni generosity. That money was represented on the symbolic check we presented to Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital at the 175th Anniversary Gala.
Board Members President Junious R. Stanton ‘69
Vice President Marion Haliburton ‘70
Recording Secretary George Walker ‘76
Coming off of that success, the Cheyney Alumni Relations Director, Greg Benjamin ‘81, suggested CUNAA do a two million dollar campaign, so we announced the drive at Homecoming last October. Since July of 2013, we have raised more than $308,000 which is being counted towards our two million dollar goal. If you have not contributed, don’t fret, we have almost five years to raise the money and with your support we will.
Yasir N. Roundtree ‘10
Maxine and Roland Coleman, two stalwart yet unassuming alumni, are spearheading a drive to increase Life Membership in the Cheyney University National Alumni Association. Maxine has presented some innovative ideas to the CUNAA Executive Board and we are excited about their plans. Keep your eyes and ears open for further announcements.
Heeding Cheyney’s Call is on the move. Our attorneys: Joe Tucker of the Tucker Law Group which specializes in labor, civil rights and educational law is the lead attorney. He is assisted by Michael Coard. Professor Sonny Harris has been a critical resource; his contacts and knowledge of the union and the PASSHE system have been invaluable. Michael and Sonny enlisted the aid of Dr. Earl S. Richardson, President Emeritus of and Distinguished Professor at Morgan State University and Mr. Pace J. McConkie, Esquire, Director of the Robert M. Bell Center for Civil Rights in Education to support us in our negotiations. Dr. Richardson and Mr. McConkie were the initiators of the lawsuit against the state of Maryland on behalf of Maryland’s four HBCUs. We have had one group meeting with the Governor’s Office of General Counsel, attorneys for PASSHE and the Office of Budget. The initial meeting was promising and we are scheduling follow up meetings.
Treasurer Paul A. Turner ‘62
Gaynelle Turner Lewis ‘73
General Board Member Theodore Duncan ‘72 Rosalind Jones-Johnson ‘70 Dr. Oscar H. Hankinson ‘55
Immediate Past President Dr. Sandra Merritt-Countley ‘67
Please continue to sign the Heeding Cheyney’s Call petition. You can see and sign it online at http://www.change.org/petitions/we-request-that-pennsylvania-governor-tomcorbett-end-the-ongoing-discrimination-against-cheyney-university-the-oldest-blackinstitution-of-higher-learning-in-america. Please send our Public Relations Committee Chair Ms. Yasheaka Oakley, a virtual hand clap by emailing PRCommittee@cheyneyalum.org; for the fine work she is doing promoting Cheyney University. She makes us look really good. We also thank our alumni for their pictures, articles, and support. Loyally, Junious R. Stanton, President CUNAA Executive Board 3
Solve the Cruel Mystery of Lupus www.LupusTristate.org
Welcoming CUNAA’s Youngest Life Member: Desmond King ‘14 This May, Desmond R. King, Class of 2014, will become the first student to graduate from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania having already paid his $1,000 Life Membership dues to the Cheyney University National Alumni Association.
On October 27, 2013, Cynthia Williams along with family and friends, participated in their first Lupus Walk near memorial Hall, Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body including the skin, joints, and organs inside the body. Lupus is more common, may occur at a very young age, and is more severe in African Americans and other ethnic groups. The Circle of Level, was Williams and December 13,
it is not every day that an undergraduate students wants to become a Life Member, especially when the student has yet to officially complete their undergraduate journey! While graduating seniors traditionally enjoy one year of free Regular Membership in the Cheyney University National Alumni Association, Desmond felt that becoming a Life Member would give him the opportuntity to “carry the legacy that Cheyney has to offer” with him immediately after participating in commencement on May 10, 2014.
Friends Award, Bronze presented to Cynthia “I am very proud of Desmond,” daughter, Ayana, on says Gregory Benjamin, Director 2013 for raising $1,200. of Alumni Relations. “I remember when Desmond came in as a Team leader Ayana Williams-Smith freshman. To see this young man coined the phrase “Rasheed Wins” in thrive to reach his accomplishment memory of her twin brother, Rasheed of graduating does my heart Williams, who passed away suddenly good to see what hard work and from Lupus on April 10, 2013. dedication can do.”
The Williams family wishes to thank the The Philadelphia-native chose Cheyney University Alumni Chapter of Cheyney University because he Delaware County for its generous donation. wanted to attend a Historically Black College or University after high You too can support World Lupus school. He says that he ultimately Month this may by wearing purple on chose Cheyney because it offered Friday, May 16 for Put on Purple Day. the Call Me MISTER education program for young males, but The 23rd Annual Lupus Loop 5K when he arrived at Cheyney, he Run/2.5 Walk will occur on Sunday, discovered the world of marketing October 26, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA. and set his sights on business.
He also rolled up his sleeves, dove in head first, and got very involved with the Cheyney experience by joining the Student Government Cooperative Association, Inc. and serving on the Miss Cheyney and Mister Cheyney Royal Court. King says that he was motivated to become a Life Member by several distinguished Life Members, including Barbara DanielCox ‘66, Sheree Monroe ‘04, and Greg Benjamin ‘81. “It is truly an honor to not only be an alumnus of Cheyney Univeristy of Pennsylvania, but to also be a Life Member of CUNAA,” said the former Mister Blue and White. As he prepares to graduate with the Class of 2014, Desmond King hopes that his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing will aid him in obtaining a fulltim position after graduation and reaching his postgraduate goals of obtaining an MBA, and ultimately, a terminal degree in education leadership.
Montgomery County Chapter Hosts Another Successful Winter Wonderland Dinner and Dance for Scholarships The Montgomery County Cheyney Alumni Chapter played host to friends and family at its annual Winter Wonderland Scholarship Dinner and Dance on Saturday, December 6, 2013 at the Williamson’s Restaurant in Horsham, Pennsylvania. Event Chair Carolyn Manns and her committee worked tirelessly to ensure a crowd-pleasing evening and a record turnout. The banquet hall was festooned with red poinsettias and seasonal greens.
News from Greater South Jersey On January 19, 2014, the Greater South Jersey Chapter of the Cheyney University Alumni Association hosted a “Chat and Chew” Reunion at the home of alumna Barbara Reid Barkley ’73 in Voorhees, New Jersey.
Winifred Sudler, Class of 1950, read, “Christmas at Melrose” (1920) by the renowned Leslie Pinckney Hill, president of Cheyney University for 40 years.
With more than 60 attendees, the “Chat and Chew” Reunion successfully engaged members of the Cheyney family, and friends of Cheyney, who were interested in renewing their commitment to Cheyney University, recruiting alumni to join the Cheyney University National Alumni Association, the local chapter, and promoting strategies that would allow the group to make tangible commitments that would support Cheyney and its students.
Kezirah M. Vaughters ’59, the Mistress of Ceremonies was surprised and humbled as she received the first ever MCCA Founders’ Award for her distinguished service from Loretta S. Williams, one of the chapter’s founders.
With acclamations, the Greater South Jersey chapter extends a special thanks to the Barkley family for taking the time to transform their home into an exquisite banquet manor, complete with blue “C” centerpieces;
More than 130 guests attended the night of festivities which included dining, dancing, raffle drawings and catching up with old friends. The buffet, which included a varied selection of main courses, vegetables and desserts, had a fine array for every taste.
and the Director of Alumni Relations Gregory Benjamin, for his support. In attendance were the National Alumni Association President, Junious Stanton and his wife, Sonjia. Lloyd Henderson, President of the Camden County East NAACP, highlighted the afternoon by presenting President Stanton with a citation recognizing his outstanding community service and leadership. The Greater South Jersey Chapter seeks to continue reaching out to Cheyney students from New Jersey and provide them with the supplemental aid they need to obtain their bachelorette degrees. The Greater South Jersey Chapter currently meets on the fourth Sunday of the month at the Barkley’s home in Voorhees, New Jersey. For membership information, please contact the Membership Chair, Barbara Barkley at (856) 751-2410 or the Greater South Jersey Area Representative, Dr. Audrey Thornton Miller by emailing DrAudreyMiller@comcast.net.
Interim President, Paul Turner recognized distinguished guests, Including CUNAA President, Junious Stanton and his wife, Sonjia Stanton. In the spirit of fellowship, guests who were alumni from other HBCU’s were acknowledged. MCCA has awarded four book vouchers to Cheyney University students every spring and fall semester and is proud to continue this tradition. They extend sincere thanks to all of the supporters and contributors in this scholarship initiative. 5
A Wolf on the Rise: Martina Randall
Photos provided by Tina Randall.
On May 13, 2014, Cheyney alumna Martina Randall will graduate from Temple University School of Podiatric Medicine, Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM) program—making her the second Bond Hill Scholarship recipient to attend and graduate from medical school. A member of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania’s Class of 2009, Randall was a Keystone Honors Academy scholar, biology major, and a member of the Cheyney Wolves women’s basketball team. During her time at Cheyney, Randall received the President’s Academic Excellence and Pennsylvania Athletic Scholar Awards on an annual basis and her achievements, in the classroom and on the court, have been featured in The Philadelphia Tribune, Westside Weekly and Inquirer. A former-Lady Wolves Most Valuable Player, Randall has continued to pursue her love of basketball as a Temple student, and has led her podiatric team to intercollegiate championships. Since leaving Cheyney, Randall has traveled to hospitals in Chicago, Pittsburgh, Boston, Arizona, Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia to shadow and work with the country’s best podiatric surgeons. Before applying for a Bond Hill Scholarship, Randall deferred medical school for one year to support a project conducted by Jefferson University Hospital and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health. During that time, she assisted with a research study focusing on the complications of maternal obesity during pregnancy and postpartum. After her experience at Jefferson University Hospital, Randall says she was exposed to gestational diabetes, which sparked her interest in diabetes as a whole. As a foot and ankle specialist, Randall will play a vital role in the education, and treatment of diabetic patients; particularly those with
neuropathy, which is a complication found in underlying medical conditions. “I chose podiatric medicine because of the coalescence of various aspects of medicine,” said Randall who is constantly searching for opportunities that will provide her with additional field experience and knowledge in her area of expertise. The president of the Temple University Sports Medicine Club, Randall served as a medical volunteer during the 2013 Boston Marathon terror attack that, according to CNN, killed three people and injured at least 264 others. Stationed at the finish line medical tent, less than 200 feet from the first bomb, she and her classmates received the experience of a life time as they worked a triage, rather than the basic runner foot care they initially expected to perform. The team worked to handle an onslaught of patients during the confusion caused by the explosives until medical teams arrived from nearby hospitals. “As I learned more, I became interested in reconstruction surgery for those who suffer from congenital deformities, as well as traumas such as; ankle fractures, calcaneal fractures and Pilon Fracture (distal tib/fib),” said Randall. “With all the surgery that is done, it was important to me to maintain an inlet to the sports medicine world. The foot is the beginning and end to the Gait cycle and many foot and ankle specialists are involved with professional teams, athletes, as well shoe companies such as New Balance.” Her hard work and advanced knowledge of foot and ankle care recently allowed Martina to participate in a two-week mission trip to the Central American country of Nicaragua, where she assisted those in need by performing foot and ankle surgeries.
After graduating from Temple, Martina Randall plans to complete residency as a foot and ankle surgeon at Palmetto General Hospital in Miami, Florida. As a podiatric physician, she will treat conditions affecting the lower extremities, providing palliative, acute, and chronic care. Martina is the daughter of Tina Randall, who previously attended Cheyney University for graduate studies in Administration and Supervision in Elementary and Special Education. Tina Randall says, “I am extremely proud of Martina. She is such a humble person and sets a great example for all of us, especially her sister Jordyn. I am so grateful and appreciative to Cheyney University and will continue to give back because of all that my child has received. I enjoy sharing Martina’s story with youth and letting them know that, with hard work, it is possible for them too.” Active members of the Cheyney University Delaware County Alumni Chapter and The Cheyney “C” Club, the Randalls consider Cheyney to be “extended family.” Currently, Martina’s aunt Terri Tyler serves as an adjunct professor with Cheyney’s School of Education, and Martina’s younger sister Jordyn volunteers during The Cheyney “C” Club Wade Wilson Golf Tournament annually. According to Jordyn, Martina is her idol. The youngest Randall says, “She makes me want to work even harder to be as successful as she is. I am proud of Martina and I know she will do great in Miami.”
- Story and Photos submitted by Tina Randall Photos: Martina Randall at graduation with Aunt Etienne Logan, performing surgery, and on a medical mission in Nicaragua. 7
Empowered Women of Color Congratulations to Dr. Angela L. Harris! Dr. Harris was hired as a Senior Staff Psychologist at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio in August 2013 after completing her APA-accredited internship at the University of South Carolina Counseling and Human Development Center in Columbia, South Carolina.
On the Red Carpet
...is where you can find Tanisha LaVerne Grant, a former Miss Cheyney University Dr. Harris graduated with a doctorate of Pennsylvania (1995) and a former degree in clinical psychology, July 2013 Miss Black Pennsylvania USA (1996). from Wright State University’s School of Professional Psychology in Dayton, Ohio. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in Her research examined the barriers to communication arts from Cheyney group psychotherapy for African-American University of Pennsylvania, Tanisha was college students with a focus on Black racial able to turn her internship with Philadelphia identity development and coping skills used NBC-affiliate, WCAU NBC10, into a fullby African-American college students. time position as an assignment editor. In her current position at Ohio University, Dr. Harris’ duties and responsibilities include, but are not limited to: individual and group psychotherapy for OU’s undergraduate/ graduate student population, crisis management, consultation, outreach, on-call response, and supervision of mental health graduate trainees. Her clinical areas of interests include: group psychotherapy, group assessment, interpersonal/relationship issues, identity issues (which a focus on Black and biracial identity development), adjustment/life transition issues, grief/loss, depression/anxiety, and personality disorders in minority populations. In the upcoming year, Dr. Harris plans to become an adjunct faculty member teaching Introduction to Psychology and/or Group Psychotherapy courses. Currently, Dr. Harris, along with her line sisters from Fall ‘91, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Delta Iota, are raising funds to make a future donation to the Cheyney University Alumni Scholarship Fund. 8
acclaimed film “Twelve Years a Slave;” legendary actor Lou Gossett, Jr., who won an Oscar in 1982 for the film “An Officer and a Gentleman; late night talk show host Arsenio Hall; Congresswoman Maxine Waters and many more. On February 22, 2014, Tanisha was on the red carpet as TV ONE aired live the 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards at the Pasadena Civic Center in Pasadena, California.
With her experience in television news, a love of entertainment, a sharp eye for great stories, and a background in acting, Tanisha is always on the move, interviewing some of the most prolific people in film, fashion, music and politics.
With wit and intellect Tanisha has been the official Red Carpet Correspondent and Host for many film premiers and televised events including the Broadway opening of “After Midnight,” Urban World Film Festival, African American Women in Cinema Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, OWN Live Out Loud series, and the African American Film Critics Association.
A number of Hollywood power players stopped to chat with Tanisha including the owner of TV One, Cathy Hughes; media mogul, talk show host, producer and actress Oprah Winfrey; star of the critically acclaimed film “The Butler,” actor Forest Whitaker; Oscar nominated actress Lupita Nyong’o of the critically
Hightailing between New York and Los Angeles, the determined and multitalented fashionista has been serving up her own red carpet style with her iconoclastic bald head. Tanisha has begun breaking down barriers to have bald women represented in mainstream media, particularly in the capacity of on air personality. Tanisha continues to work as a freelance entertainment and features reporter while raising awareness of the initiative to save Historical Black Colleges and Universities. Tanisha and her work can be found in the pages and on the websites of GLAMOUR, Essence, Ebony, Time Out New York, The Huffington Post and publications in Paris and Italy.
Southern Hospitality annually primarily at North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State University. Hackett said the chapter started as a suggestion in 2007 from Barbara Howell-Jefferson, a class of 1961 Cheyney graduate, at an Athletic Hall of Fame banquet.
Cheyney University Alumni Setting Roots in North Carolina Since officially receiving their charter in 2009, the Cheyney University Alumni Chapter of North Carolina has served as a haven for Cheyneyites throughout the Tar Heel state. Through fundraisers the chapter provides money for scholarships and book awards, and donations to the university’s “Soulful Sound” Marching Band. The chapter credits the marching band— under the tutelage of Professor Allen Gardner—with getting the name of the university out into a variety of communities. While Ozzie Hackett, president and a co-founder of the CUACNC, appreciates the recognition the chapter has received through awards, he’s most proud of what the chapter means to its members in North Carolina. “I’m most proud of pulling a group of alumni together with a common cause,” said Hackett, a class of 1960 graduate. “Even though we’re a small group, we’ve been able to help many students in need at Cheyney.” With nearly 25 members, the chapter meets three times
After he was appointed the alumni representative for North Carolina, Hackett considered starting an alumni chapter. Hackett received a list of names of alumni in North Carolina though some were deceased or had relocated. From that list, seven alumni members met for the first time in Jamestown, N.C. on Nov. 29, 2008 to discuss establishing an alumni chapter in the Tar Heel state. The chapter received its official charter from the Cheyney University National Alumni Association on Oct. 10, 2009. - Submitted by Andre Taylor, Class of 2004
Cheyney Strong in Metro Atlanta As Cheyney State College prepared me for life from 1979-1983, I give thanks to God who gave me the strength to endure my four years of college and my Cheyney University family for instilling knowledge and wisdom during my matriculation. As President of the Metro Atlanta Cheyney University Alumni Association for over 5 years and now Vice President for the last 3 years, I serve as the liaison between the chapter and the Atlanta HBCU Alliance where more than 40 HBCU’s come together and do fundraiser/ networking from mixers to a 5K run. The alumni chapter has been involved in raising money and awareness for Sickle Cell by being a co-sponsor of the Celebrity Bowl-a-thon for the past three years which I have served as Chairman. We are always ecstatic to host Miss Cheyney University when she arrives in Atlanta to participate in the Black College Queen Pageant. The chapter comes together to support her and Mister Cheyney with meals, baskets, and overall support. The Metro Atlanta Chapter meets every other month for a networking social as well as monthly conference calls. The most memorable social was at Bar One, owned and attended by Peter Thomas from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. The Metro Atlanta Chapter makes efforts to participate in fundraising activities and to be able to provide the first Arnold Pierce Scholarship to Southern students planning to attend Cheyney University. I thank Cheyney University for being the oldest HBCU and educating me throughout my life long endeavors and dreams. - Submittted by Rapheal Jones, Class of 1983 9
A Night Out with the Philadelphia 76ers The Cheyney University National Alumni Association took center court at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center on Friday, January 17, 2014 for CUNAA’s “Night with the 76ers” fundraising event.
Cheyney alumni the opportunity to play basketball with members of the Philadelphia 76ers in pick-up games, as well as foul shot and 3-point shot competitions.
This year, the event occured during the highly anticipated Philadelphia 76ers versus the Miami Heat rematch, which resulted in tickets selling out quickly and a large group of Cheyney adults, children, and relatives filling the stands to cheer on the home team.
Just before the game started, in front of a crowd of excited fans and 170 members of the Cheyney Family, CUNAA President Junious Stanton, Alumni Weekend Chair Camille Gadsden, and Cheyney University Alumni Relations Director Gregory Benjamin stood at center court to present CU President Dr. Michelle Howard-Vital with a check for $280,000 to support scholarships for ambitious students planning to attend,
A fun-filled evening that catered to both children and adults, this fundraiser provided the children and relatives of
and currently enrolled at, Cheyney University of Pennsylvania. This event, like many others the Alumni Association has planned for the 2014 calendar year, was hosted in support of the Cheyney University Alumni Scholarship Fund pledge that Cheyney alumni have made to the university. The goal is to ultimately raise more than $2 million dollars over the next four and a half years through individual and group donations, donor match contributions, reoccuring donations, and contributions from alumni willing to donate one percent of their annual income to the university.
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Cheyney University National Alumni Association 1837 University Circle P.O. Box 121 Cheyney, PA 19319 www.cheyneyalum.org 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization
Cheyney Prayers It is with the deepest regret that we inform you of the passing of the following members of the Cheyney University Family. We ask that you please keep these families in your prayers as they strive to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones. Carolyn Ross-Morgan Leroy R. Trapper, Jr. Ted W. Barnes Howard Jenningsâ€™ Son Gertrude Merritt
Carol Lorraine Cubbage-Davis Isola Dudley Brown Brandon Johnson Hamm, Jr. John De Pass Pamela Westâ€™s Father