To my fellow alums and friends, what an exciting time of year! As we embark upon this holiday season, many of us will celebrate with family and friends, be reminded of all that we are thankful for, and reflect on the significant events of this year. The Black Alumni Board will do the same. We made several strides in 2013, from honoring our Black History Makers, to reconnecting with other alums, and recognizing outstanding SMU students through scholarship dollars generously given by you. We raised over $11,000 in only our second year, and were able to help two students continue their education at SMU. With that said, we want to continue to make a significant impact in the lives of our students going forward. That impact is made by your continued generosity in giving to the SMU Black Alumni Scholarship Fund.

This is the perfect time to give your tax deductible contribution before the end of 2013. You will directly impact the lives of students at SMU. Our goal is to be able to award multiple scholarships, so every gift counts. There is nothing too large or too small. Giving is easy. Please go to , and make your gift today. Our students need our support!

Also, stay tuned for more details on our big scholarship ball that will take place on March 1, 2014! We look forward to seeing you there as we make history in raising more money than ever for our students, and honoring those alumni who are making history as we speak. Have a blessed holiday season and a Happy New Year!


Brandy Bryan Mickens ’02
SMU Black Alumni Board
Development Chair


This month’s Q&A features the 2013 Black Alumni of SMU Scholarship Fund recipients, Mariam Alaka and Hanan Hassan. Through the help of your contributions, both ladies are truly world changers.

Q & A with Mariam Alaka

Mariam Alaka 

 Name: Mariam Alaka

 Class Year:

  Senior, pre-med major


  Chicago, Illinois


Current Extracurricular Activities: Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc., African Student   Association

 What made you decide to apply for the Black Alumni of SMU scholarship?

As a black woman at SMU, I applied for the scholarship because I believed it would get me connected and would expand my networking circle. Also, receiving the scholarship would help   relieve some financial stress as I prepare for my next academic step.

 What are your future career plans?

I will be attending medical school in the Fall of 2014.  After matriculating from medical school, I   want to serve an urban community. Also, I plan to build a clinic in rural Nigeria that would also offer educational programs to help fill the knowledge gap regarding critical health care issues specific to these areas. The clinic would be a community effort that is sustained by the people who live there meaning the doctors, support staff, and educators come from the area itself.   This would allow for the clinic to have a more significant and continuous impact on the community.

 How have your future plans benefitted from receiving the scholarship?

Thanks to the scholarship, I currently do not have to worry as much about my finances, allowing me to focus on the next step in my education and applying to more medical schools. Due to the opportunities, I have been networking more and meeting a variety of people.

Do you have any words for the alumni regarding your selection as a Black Alumni of SMU scholarship recipient?

There are really no words to   express how appreciative I am of receiving this scholarship. As a senior, it is very difficult to find scholarships which I fit the criteria for. All of your donations are making a difference, and helping create more successful  students!

  Q & A with Hanan HassanHanan Hassan

Name: Hanan Hassan

Class Year:

Junior, B.B.A in Accounting & Minor in English


Plano, Texas


Current Extracurricular Activities: President & Co-Founder of the Habesha Collegiate Students Network, Co-President & Co-Founder of the undergraduate Women in Business (WIB) at SMU. For the past year, I have been a tutor at the I Have A Dream Foundation in Dallas. Additionally, I am currently working on a service and research project for the SMU Engaged Learning program that will take place in Ethiopia

 What made you decide to apply for the Black Alumni of SMU scholarship?

I decided to apply for the Black Alumni of SMU scholarship because I knew that if I were lucky enough to receive the award, it would give me the additional financial support needed to pursue my academic goals.

 What are your future career plans?

After my undergraduate career, I intend on participating in the one year Master of Science in Accounting (MSA) program at SMU. After becoming a CPA, I hope to work in public accounting.

Do you have any words for the alumni regarding your selection as a Black Alumni of SMU scholarship recipient?

Thank you to the selection committee for believing in me and my efforts and thank you to the Black Alumni of SMU and others who have contributed to this scholarship fund. I truly appreciate your efforts, and I’m so grateful for this wonderful opportunity!