Pan-African studies, BUS honor student leadership

Kyle Roerink

Character, scholarship, citizenship recognized at annual ceremony

Timothy Moore, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, said never before has he seen a group of students achieve in such a profound way.

He was speaking of the more than 100 students honored last night in Oscar Ritchie Hall for their academic accomplishments. More than 200 people were on hand as the Pan-African studies department held its 28th annual Alpha Kappa Mu Induction Ceremony. Black United Students jointly held their 33rd annual Ebony Achievement Awards at the ceremony.

Pan-African studies professor Fran Dorsey said the students honored rose above mediocrity and ascended to the highest heights of academia.

“It’s not a reward symbolizing the crowning of an academic career,” he said, “rather, it is a reward which signifies greater expectations in terms of your bringing into fruition a contributing light of enlightening service to human kind.”

Five candles of varying colors stood on the front of each table where the hosts of the program sat. Each color represented a valuable attribute of an individual’s disposition. White symbolized character, yellow stood for scholarship, the red exemplified citizenship, the blue denoted service and the green symbolized leadership.

Achieving “excellence in action” will require these students to be role models and active members in the community, said Ashley Tolliver, president of BUS.

“Tonight is special indeed,” she said. “I am honored to be in the presence of my peers and colleagues who have demonstrated outstanding success, leadership and community service at Kent State University. Many of us can attest to a series of trials and tribulations on our path to success. However, self determination keeps our community strong and moving forward.”

Pan-African studies means all African studies, and under the umbrella called “pan,” it is important to recognize all human beings as being part of a family, Moore said.

“Whether they are black, white, brown, yellow, Hispanic, Jewish, Russian, Caucasian,” he said. “No matter what background you are, we will recognize you when you achieve academically.”

Contact minority affairs reporter Kyle Roerink at [email protected].