This past weekend, I was grateful to attend the Alumni Reception that was organized by Ben Hughes, the OMA Program Coordinator. The reception served as an informal get-together where alumni of color and current Haverford students could get to know each other, hear each other’s experiences on this campus, and build a multi-generational network within this community. For the first part of the reception, we were free to mingle, and I used this time to catch up with some friends from Haverford House. The second part, we did formal introductions. Students were asked to describe their involvement on campus, particularly related to affinity groups. Alumni were asked to speak about their jobs, and their most significant moment of their Haverford career.
As can be imagined, we heard of all sorts of stories! The alumni were graduates of all years spanning early 1970s, to coed integration in 1980s, and some from the first AMA class of 2004. Their significant moments were filled with struggle, struggle to be one of the four students of color on campus, having IDs checked when questioned if they belonged here, maintaining and creating affinity groups that served as their only representation on campus. Those stories were also filled with pride in their own success and the ability to return to campus and be a true representation of “Lives that Speak.”
I was honored to be in a room filled with alumni who paved the way for other students of color. It was a humbling and inspiring experience, and I do wish the OMA continues to foster this network of alumni of color.