Chair_J_Smith


      A MESSAGE FROM THE
      GAAFU, INC.  CHAIR

 

 


Season’s Greetings Fellow Fisk Alumni,

 

I bring you Holiday Greetings from the General Alumni Association of Fisk University, Inc. (GAA). This is my final message for the 2021 Calendar Year. Hopefully, you have been able to navigate the many challenges the year has presented.

 

I am looking forward to 2022 being less confining and more open to face-to-face interaction. However, we must continue to be vigilant with our safety measures.

 

With that said, I know we are looking forward to on-campus activities in 2022. Plans are for an All-Class Reunion, April 29-May 2, 2022. Commencement will be held on Monday, May 2nd. The commencement speaker is The Honorable Alma Adams, U.S. Congresswoman representing North Carolina’s 12th district. Dr. Adams is at the forefront of advocating for HBCUs and was influential in establishing the HBCU Caucus

 

We have had a busy but fruitful semester. The GAA has held its Biennial. There have been three (3) regionals – Far West, Eastern, and Southern. In the November 2021 issue of our membership newsletter -  Bulldog Bites – we indicated our elected and appointed leadership for the GAA. Since then, the Southern Region has elected Jenise R. Burks ’11 as chair and Kimberly Fritts Swett ’03 as vice-chair. Their two-year terms begin January 1, 2022. Thanks to outgoing Southern Region chair Terrance Hurd ’86 for his leadership. Also, the Eastern Region has re-elected Deborah Mitchell Curry ’80 as chair and Milton Sloan, Ph.D. ’80 as vice-chair. Please join me in supporting our regional leaders and the leadership of our local constituent associations. If you want to know if there is a local constituent association in your area, they are listed on the Fisk website.

 

In addition, delegates met on 12/11/21 to approve bylaw amendments. The bylaws were last updated in 1989. Thanks to the bylaws committee for supporting this effort.  Committee members include Anthony Murphy '99, chair, and the GAAFU Parliamentarian; Beverly Hill Dixon ’76, GAAFU vice-chair: Ayo Thomas ’11, vice-chair Midwest Region; Carla Lewis Longley, D.D.S. ’83, Judge Deborah Hill Biggers ’75, Pamela S. Calloway, Esq. ’80.

 

Next year, 2022, there will be two GAA Regionals – Midwest and Southwest. You will receive Save-the-Date information so that you can mark your calendars.

 

Those who attended our 2021 regionals were able to hear firsthand updates from Fisk President Vann R. Newkirk, Sr., Ph.D. These are exciting times on the Fisk campus: new building (Roland Parrish Center), repair and renovation (Fisk Memorial Chapel and former Race Relations Institute building), proposed new $10 million Science Building (to be located on Jackson Street where old President’s house is currently), athletic field, Starbucks in the John Hope and Aurelia E. Franklin Library, Fitness Center on the lower level of Adam K. Spence Hall, the Marching Band, the new fence at The Richardson House, outdoor Pavilion, and more. On the academic front, the university is developing an Elementary Education program, Master’s of Executive Leadership (online), to begin Fall 2022, Kinesiology and Social Work. He also shared that our enrollment stands at 941, the highest in almost 20 years.

 

A great deal of our work occurs in our committees. Let me bring your attention to four standing committees – Membership, Communications, Recruitment, and Fundraising. We need alumni support and involvement with each. Membership is chaired by Will J Carter ’57 with assistance from GAAFU Vice-Chair Beverly H. Dixon ’76.  Alumni Trustee Lela Wingard Hughes ’77 chairs the Communications Committee. Contributing writers are needed for our newsletters (Bulldog Bites and Good Afternoon Alumni) produced by the Membership and Communications committees.  Recruitment is chaired by Carla Lewis Longley, D.D.S. ’83.  All alumni are asked to recruit one student and invited to the monthly Alumni Network Recruitment meeting held the last Tuesday of most monthsFundraising is chaired by Deborah Rountree ‘82. Contact them if you are interested in joining their committee.

 

Let me begin to close this message with an update on one of our icons – Will J. Carter '57. He is experiencing some health challenges that have kept him from functioning 100%. Really, in his case, the percentage is more like 1000%. Anyone who knows Will knows that he is all in when it comes to Fisk! Currently, he needs us to be the wind beneath his wings. Cards may be sent to his attention at 3519 Ruth Street, Houston, TX  77004-5515.

 

Fiskites, as we move into the New Year, let me encourage those of you who want to help move Fisk forward to join the GAA. We need you to work on the local, regional, and national levels. Contact me at gaafu.chair@gmail.com.

 

Reminder! We have until midnight on December 31, 2021, to make our tax-deductible contributions to Fisk for them to be included as part of your tax returns. Gifts can be made online via the Fisk website or by texting FISK to 56512. You may restrict your donation or support the Fisk Fund (which allows the university to utilize funds where the need is the greatest). Your gift, restricted or unrestricted, counts in your class giving.

 

Happy Holidays and Fisk Forever!
Janine Smith '84


December 2021


Fisk Forever Network Online Community

Alumni are invited to join the Fisk Forever Network Online Community.  Connect now.  Rediscover old friends, grow your network and ensure the classmates you want to connect with can find you.


Fisk University's supporters represent the university across the nation and around the globe, demonstrating our values of Diversity, Excellence, Teamwork, Accountability, Integrity, Leadership and Service, fulfilling our mission of Cultivating Scholars & Leaders…One By One.

Support the University by making a one-time gift or establishing a monthly recurring gift. You may also Give by Cell. Just text "FISK" to 56512.

 

Fisk University, in its educational programs and activities involving students and employees, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or age. Furthermore, the university does not discriminate against veterans or individuals with disabilities.