Fellow alumni and friends of Prairie View A&M University National Alumni (PVAMU NAA) I would like to personally thank you for allowing me to serve as your 36th National President. I would also like to thank the Atlanta Alumni Chapter for serving as a gracious host for our 39th National Convention. If you have not attended a convention then you really do not know what you are missing. I was honored to sit next to former Ambassador Andrew Young at the President’s luncheon. His speech was both informative and inspiring.
3 M’s Update
For the past four years you have heard about the 3 M’s (Membership, Mentorship, and Management) focus of this administration. While there were many accomplishments over the past four years, my biggest disappointment is not being able to get significant improvements in our annual Membership numbers. This past year was the poorest performance during this administration. Everywhere I go I ask alumni if they are members of the NAA and they say “No”, it is usually due to lack of awareness. The Texas Monthly points to Texas A&M University alumni as the highest percentage of donors at 25%, while Prairie View sits at 7.5%. We must find a way to engage our alumni in supporting our university. Most say they do not see the benefit, but I question that rationale because the NAA has over $3.5 million dollars in Endowed Scholarships and NAA members comprise the majority of donors for the new Stadium. These are but a few reasons to become involved. After all, we are only talking $60.00 / year. Anyone who eats out occasionally knows that is less than two nights of dining out. Is our support of the next generation of panthers not worth 2 nights of dining out?
I am pleased to report that Mentorship has improved as reported by our chapters and alumni. At the NAA level, the addition of the “Alumni Career Day on the Hill” as a recurring event provides alums with both spring and fall opportunities to share their expertise and help students prepare for “The Real World”.
Finally, Managementis the crowning glory of this administration. We have been able to add at least one new chapter a year, triple our financial reserves, and maintain a physical presence with staff in the Prairie View community. We have also managed to put the National back in National Alumni Association. Alumni are connected via the Web and using email to reduce operating costs. When we took the helm of the NAA it looked like just another chapter, but we are now one of only two Officially Affiliated groups with our University.
When I look back over the past four years I can only thank God for all that we accomplished. Alumni all over the United States are proving that “Prairie View has and is still Producing Productive People”. Every challenge that we faced as a Unified team, we were able to overcome them. In the current tough economic times we have been able to not only survive but reignite that great Panther Spirit. To be a member of the Prairie View Panther Family simply means that we can disagree on the cause of the problem but we will work together to resolve the problem. It is not what we read in the press that defines our University but the national and international impact of every student that has set foot on its grounds. We have to do a better job of telling our story. I firmly believe that the future success of the African American community depends on opportunities offered through the classrooms of Prairie View and other Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). I am not implying that all is well at PV, but like many families, we have internal problems that can be solved by continuing to work together to develop and implement solutions.
Finally going forward I am not sure of my post Presidential plans, but I am certain they will involve additional family time. They will also include continued support to Prairie View A&M University, the National Alumni Association, and the new Stadium being led by the PVAMF foundation. I urge all alumni to continue or start supporting our communities and University family. Remember, NAA Annual Membership dues are only $60.00. Please Join Today.
Always Panther Proud,
35th NAA President