SMU honors history makers at Black Alumni Scholarship event

Black Alumni of SMU will celebrate 13 of the organization’s history makers and introduce the inaugural Black Alumni Scholarship at an evening reception from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17, 2012, in Centennial Hall, Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

The honorees at the reception will include some of the first African-American athletes to play at SMU, alumni who championed civil rights on campus and leaders such as the former student body vice president who established the annual SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage. A slideshow of historic photographs, press clippings and other documents from the SMU Archives will help tell the stories of the honorees. They include:

  • Jerry LeViasJerry LeVias ’69 (right) – the first African-American player in the Southwest Conference to receive an athletic scholarship.
  • Mike Rideau ’76 and twins Joe and Gene Pouncy ’74 – members of the 400-meter relay team that won the Southwest Conference championship for three consecutive years.
  • Bernard Jones ’01 – the first write-in candidate elected to the SMU Student Senate and, in 2002, the first person elected student body president without a runoff in a multi-candidate race.
  • Rev. Michael Waters ’02 – the former student body vice president who, while serving as a chaplain’s assistant in 2004, founded the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage to the “shrines of freedom” throughout the South.
  • Rev. Zan HolmesThe “SMU 33” – a group of students, including Rufus Cormier ’70, Charles Howard ’72, Charles Mitchell ’71, Michael Morris ’72, Anga Sanders ’70 and Detra Taylor, whose activism in 1969 drew attention to the need for more diverse faculty and curriculum.
  • Rev. Zan Holmes ’59 (right) – a Perkins School of Theology graduate who, as pastor of Hamilton Park United Methodist Church and a Texas legislator in 1969, helped successfully resolve the standoff between the “SMU 33” and University administration.

The program is open to the public. For more information, contact Mary Jo Dancer, 214-768-1303.

More about Black History Month 2012 at SMU

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