On October 5, 2012, during the IUP Homecoming weekend, five alumni who founded the African American Alumni Scholarship returned to campus and attended the African American Cultural Center annual Homecoming Cultural Enrichment Night at Cozumel Mexican Restaurant, featuring Mexican cuisine and a salsa dance contest.
The men, members of the group known as “The Players,” included Donald Howe ’79, Mike Higgins ’80, Claud Epps ’80, Jamie Wallace ’80, and Jamie Wallace ’82. Prior to this event, on October 4, they toured the AACC office and talked informally with several students. At the restaurant, they were joined by another alumnus, Aaron Princes ’08 and ’09.
From left: Steve Whiting ’82; Jamie Wallace ’80; Carolyn Princes, associate dean of Students for Multicultural Affairs/director; Naya Mcrae, 2012 African American Alumni Scholarship Recipient; Claude Epps ’80; Mike Higgins ’80; and Donald Howe ’79 (missing, 2013 recipient Nina Waters)
As a panel, each alumnus introduced themselves and provided words of wisdom and encouragement to the students in attendance. They all fully participated in the Cozumel program, including the salsa dance contest. One member of the “Players” group was recipient of the first place prize for the salsa dance contest, and the alumnus presented the entire winnings to his undergraduate partner.
The alumni also had an opportunity to meet and greet the 2012 IUP recipient of the $500 African American Alumni Scholarship, Naya McCrae. Unfortunately, invited guest and 2013 recipient Nina Waters was unable to attend the event. The overall program provided students with an opportunity to interact with people from the university and local community of different racial/ethnic and social backgrounds in a culturally-enriching and pleasant environment.
It was quite apparent to the 32 persons in attendance that the objectives of Cultural Enrichment Night were met, and the event was an overall success. It received a rating of 4.86 out of a possible score of 5.00. On behalf of IUP and its students, the 2012 scholarship recipient presented the alumni with a small token of appreciation for their work and support of students.
The “Players” also attended the Crimson Huddle and met with many people, including the new president of IUP, Michael Driscoll, and attended the football game.
The African American Cultural Center extends special thanks to the African American alumni for their support and for helping to make AACC Homecoming activities at Cozumel successful.
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