Black Alumni Society to Honor Five at Biennial Reunion and Awards Gala

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The Black Alumni Society of the University of Arkansas will host its biennial reunion on campus April 4-7. The reunion week includes professional development, engagement and recognition of students, award recipients and scholarship donors.

Events include:

  • Sam M. Walton College Office of Diversity and Inclusion Award Reception, 5 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Chancellor Hotel
  • Arkansas Alumni Association Welcome Back Reception, 7 p.m. Friday, April 5, at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House
  • J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences Alumni Breakfast, 9 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at The Chancellor Hotel
  • Cook-out and Yard Show, noon Saturday, April 6, at The Gardens
  • Black Alumni Society Awards Gala, 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6, at the Fayetteville Town Center

During the gala, the Black Alumni Society will present “The Time is Now” awards to recognize several University of Arkansas graduates, donors and friends. The awards reflect the society’s history at the U of A and recognize non-university graduates who have played a significant role in the society or the university.


Wyatt Weems Memorial Award: This award recognizes an individual who is not a graduate of the University but has contributed a significant amount of time, and/or developed positions with the Black Alumni Society to promote the purpose and mission of the society.

This year’s recipient is Vivian Walton of Fayetteville, an Item Data Expert on Proctor & Gamble’s Walmart Global Sales Team, lifetime member of the Black Alumni Society, and mother of three U of A graduates.

Dr. Margaret Clark and Dr. Gordon Morgan Living Legacy Award: 

This award is named after Margaret Clark and Gordon Morgan, the first two African American professors at the University of Arkansas. The award is presented to an alumna, alumnus, staff or faculty member making outstanding accomplishments at the local, regional, state, or national level and who has performed work worthy of recognition.

This year’s recipient is Cedric Williams ’93 B.S.B.A., who has worked for 24 years as a State Farm Insurance agent and was recently elected Mayor of Forrest City.

Myron “Mike” Macechko Advocate for Diversity Award: 

This inaugural award is named for the executive director emeritus of the Arkansas Alumni Association, a pioneer in increasing diversity at the University of Arkansas and in the Arkansas Alumni Association. The award is presented to recipients who have demonstrated an appreciation for increasing diversity and evidenced skill in building and maintaining harmonious cross-cultural relationships. Recipients are selected by the U of A Office for Diversity and Inclusion.

This year’s recipients are Airic Hughes, ’11 B.A., ’15 M.A., a doctoral student working as a graduate assistant in the Department of History; and JoAnn Kvamme, assistant director of the Environmental Dynamics Program for the Graduate School of International Education.

Dr. Lonnie R. Williams Lifetime Achievement Award:

This award recognizes an alumna/alumnus who has made significant lifetime achievements professionally or personally, and who is considered to have extraordinary distinction in a chosen field.

This year’s recipient is Emanuel Banks, ’97 B.S.C.E., deputy director and chief engineer for the Arkansas Department of Transportation. He is the first African American to hold this position. 

Reunion theme

The biennial reunion theme this year is “The Time is Now,” which emphasizes four important components from society President Corine Ackerson-Jones’s vision and focus around giving to the organization: a “My Time” gift to upgrade from general membership to life membership status; an “On Time” gift or donation of $199 or less; an “Our Time” one-time gift from a group or individual commemorating a meaningful time in a person’s life at the university; and a “Primetime” gift for an ongoing scholarship established and given each year to a Black Student Association member.

Find member and non-member reunion registration information and package pricing at

Please contact Angela Mosley Monts, assistant vice chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion, at for guidelines to establish a scholarship, reunion event information and for sponsorship inquiries.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2.7 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Angela Mosley Monts, Black Alumni Society
Office of Diversity and Inclusion


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