California State University, Northridge’s Orange Grove Bistro was packed with faculty, staff, students and community leaders attending the Black Alumni Association’s (BAA) second annual awards and scholarship fundraiser, Nov. 14.
The event, “Celebrating a Legacy of Success: Linkages Beyond the Classroom,” recognized the contributions of CSUN alumni, faculty and staff who have helped to elevate the lives of those of African descent. The organization also presented its inaugural scholarship to deserving students: Paisley Lenc, an English major, and Tony Craig Stevenson, an electrical engineering major.
“Since our chartering on Sept. 27, 2011, we have dedicated ourselves to connecting all those interested in promoting and supporting the needs of alumni, faculty, staff and students of African descent at CSUN,” said Shanté Morgan-Durisseau ’90 (Journalism/Afro-American Studies), president of the BAA. “This event helps fulfill our mission of creating linkages beyond the classroom.”
Those honored were:
- Harry Hellenbrand, CSUN’s former provost and vice president of academic affairs – Shining Star Award
- Bibliana Bovery ’86, LAUSD school psychologist and national second vice president, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. – Community Service Award
- LeRoy Geter ’75, retired associate director in student outreach and recruitment and past president of the San
Fernando Valley branch of the NAACP – Community Service Award
- Johnie Scott, professor, Department of Africana Studies – Legacy Award
- Marilyn Joshua Williams, professor emerita and the first African-American chair of CSUN’s Department of Elementary Education – Legacy Award
East Los Angeles College professor Anthony Samad served as the keynote speaker. Samad, an award-winning author and political commentator, talked about the importance of mentoring and supporting today’s students and their political activism.
“These young people are on the right side of history in the Black Lives Matters movement,” Samad said. “They are no more radical in their voice then we were in the 60s or 90s. We should defend their right to protest for right.”
Assemblyman Reginald Jones-Sawyer Sr., chair of California’s Legislative Black Caucus, and Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander were among the dignitaries to congratulate the honorees. Former CSUN President Blenda Wilson sent a letter of congratulations and served as a sponsor.
For more information about the BAA, visit csunalumni.com/baa.