Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni
Congratulations to the Class of 2013. We hope you will help inspire future African American students by adding your name to the AVBA Wall of Fame .
AVBA News and Announcements
Thanks to all of you who joined us in person and via conference call for our recent AVBA business meeting. If you didn’t make it this time around, we hope to see you at the next meeting and at Reunion/Homecoming 2013. Check out the meeting notes from the February 27, 2013, AVBA First Quarter Meeting. Stay tuned for more updates about upcoming events!
Did you graduate in a year ending in 3 or 8? If so, we hope to see you at Reunion, October 3-5, 2013. AVBA will have featured events, and our signature Homecoming Mixer will cap off the weekend. These events are open to all AVBA members, so we hope you will come even if it isn’t your Reunion year! Stay tuned for more details.
Charleson Bell, President and CEO of BioNanovations.
Charleson Bell, BE‘07,MS‘09, and currently a PhD candidate in Biomedical engineering, looked the part of the scientist as he joined us from the BioNanovations lab in Memphis, Tenn. He gave a great talk during the First Quarter Meeting about the past, present and future state of BioNanovations. TestQuick, the technology he has invented, will be a game changer in the healthcare industry by reducing the time it takes to analyze a bacterial infection from three to five days to less than 30 minutes! Charleson spoke about being a minority in a STEM field, starting a new company and asking investors for large sums of money. AVBA wishes him the best of luck. Visit the BioNanovations website to learn more.
If you missed the MLK Keynote Address by Michelle Alexander, BS’89, our previous Alumni Spotlight, please check it out here.
AVBA Scholarship Fund
Contact us if you’d like to help with an upcoming AVBA event or visit the volunteer page to find Vanderbilt-wide volunteer opportunities.
Read the notes from our 3rd quarter 2012 AVBA General Body Meeting
How Do I Become a Member of AVBA?
- All black graduates of any of the colleges and schools that make up Vanderbilt University are regular members of the AVBA.
- All black students who formerly attended Vanderbilt University for at least one semester are regular members of the AVBA.
- Present and former black faculty and staff of Vanderbilt are designated associate members.
- Any other persons who are interested in and supportive of the purpose of the AVBA are eligible for associate membership, following their recommendation by any regular member of the AVBA.
- Regular members have voting rights. Only regular members hold elected offices. Associate members may serve on standing and ad hoc committees.
For more information about AVBA, please email Bethany Glass or call 615-322-4405.
In October 2009, the Association of Vanderbilt Black Alumni celebrated its 25th anniversary. Gathered together were alumni whose achievements testified not only to their personal ability and character, but also to the quality of a Vanderbilt education Our nation and the world need more future leaders with such ability, vision and character. The AVBA seeks a greater role in developing this group of our alumni at Vanderbilt through the creation of an undergraduate scholarship.
Expanding Access and Opportunity
Vanderbilt has witnessed significant progress in increasing both quality and diversity of all kinds among its undergraduate students. Minority students constituted 16.2 percent of all undergraduates in 2000; in 2010, they constituted 26.3 percent. Among first-year students, the increase was even more dramatic, from 17.3 percent in 2000 to 30.1 percent in 2010. Black undergraduates increased from 4.9 percent to 8.8 percent, a 4.3 percent rise over last year.
“My years at Vanderbilt have been more fulfilling than I ever could have imagined! I will be forever indebted … for the many gifts this scholarship has given me.”
During the same period of time, the middle 50 percent SAT score has risen from a 1220/1400 to a 1360/1530, and applications have more than doubled to more than 21,800 applications in 2010 for a first-year class of 1,600. Student quality and diversity create the best possible living and learning environment, and the critical factor in increasing both has been expanding financial aid and scholarships. Scholarships are essential to helping students achieve their dreams, and the most recent expansion of aid had the significant feature of replacing need-based loans with grants and scholarships. Most young graduates will leave with less student debt and have even more choices open to them following graduation.
Creating the AVBA Scholarship
To help Vanderbilt continue to attract and support an increasingly talented and diverse student body, the AVBA seeks to raise at least $100,000, the minimum required by the university, to establish a permanently endowed scholarship. Because the endowment is permanent, it would generate funds in perpetuity to provide scholarship aid.
The AVBA Scholarship would have the following features:
Vanderbilt would determine the number of recipients and the amount each would receive year by year based on the amount available from endowment distributions and the financial need of the recipients. Normally, the first scholarship would be awarded to an incoming first-year student or students in the fall after the $100,000 minimum cash goal has been reached. The scholarship would continue to grow as part of Vanderbilt’s endowment.
This is our opportunity to make a lasting impact at Vanderbilt.
An AVBA Scholarship fund of $100,000 would generate a scholarship of approximately $4,500 each year. Because students generally retain the same scholarship throughout their four years of study, over the course of four years, an AVBA Scholarship would provide the significant sum of $18,000 in aid to a deserving student.
The scholarships would be open to students in any undergraduate school who qualify for need-based aid and who have demonstrated a commitment to diversity, tolerance, and social justice.
Vanderbilt would provide ongoing stewardship for the AVBA Scholarship:
A brief description would be included in the official Undergraduate Catalog of the university, and Vanderbilt will provide updates as to the status of the fund to significant and/or designated contributors to the fund.
At campus meetings of the AVBA, the AVBA Scholar would be invited to meet AVBA leaders and key donors. This is a great opportunity to see firsthand the impact of your gift, and meeting such leaders would be very meaningful to the students.
Now is the time to give to scholarships. AVBA helped the university meet its initial $100 million threshold for Opportunity Vanderbilt , the initiative to endow need-based undergraduate scholarships, providing a solid financial foundation for the expanded financial aid program.
Supporting scholarships strengthens the AVBA’s bonds with Vanderbilt. The association already provides a vital link between black alumni and the university, promoting Vanderbilt while also championing the causes of African American students and organizations on campus. The AVBA Scholarship supports students and that vital link. Your support for this scholarship serves as a lasting commitment to Vanderbilt and providing access for talented and diverse students. Moreover, the scholarships will remind recipients to do their best because real people who place a high value on educational opportunity have invested in them. As students tell us over and over again, scholarships change their lives.