Telling It Like It Was: Supporting Black Students

Today the Northwestern University Class of 2018 joins the ranks of alumni. NUBAA has dramatically and emphatically been of service to each generation of Black students at NU. Here are some specific ways in which we demonstrate our commitment and provide support.




Since 2013, NUBAA has raised over $300,000 in student scholarship funds, including support of traditional needs-based funds such as the Gardner-Exum Scholarship Fund, The Alpha Phi Alpha Endowment Fund, The Alpha Kappa Alpha Endowment Fund and the NUBAA Promise Scholarship. In 2015, we introduced the NUBAA Achievement Scholarship (NAS) to offer financial aid eligibility based on performance. In the last three years alone, the NAS has generated over $130,000 in gifts and pledges, and NUBAA itself is making an additional $25,000 contribution to the NAS at its annual meeting!


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In 2014, we developed a student-alumni mentor program we call the NUBAA Student Based Initiatives (SBI). We have had over 400 alumni participate with students via mixers, direct mentoring, internships. Several graduating students have received full term employment from this program.


During 2017-18 academic year, we hosted different SBI events in the following disciplines: The Arts, Athletics, Business & Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Medicine/Health, and the Legal Professions.



In 2015, NUBAA was out front in bringing clarity to the role and evolution of The Black House. Circumstances necessitated development of a petition of students, faculty, staff and alumni including approximately 2500 signatures, followed by participation and oversight in subsequent university efforts that have resulted in a multimillion dollar renovation and reimagining of the space and services offered in the building more synonymous with the Black experience on campus.



THE JOY (Journey of Our Years)

NUBAA has co-sponsored and/or the NUBAA President has participated in The Joy (The Black Celebratory) every year since its inception. In 2016, NUBAA began a new tradition of presenting graduating students purple NUBAA stoles as a measure of welcoming them into the next phase of their Wildcat existence. Enjoy these photos from the 2016 event (other years are available within

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Congratulations to the Class of 2018! Welcome to NUBAA! Go Cats!

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Telling It Like It Was: The Launch of


In 2014, in the midst of much to do and much to say, the NUBAA administration was seeking for means to connect with the thousands of members and supporters of the Northwestern Black alumni community. Armed with a ton of ideas, we approached Northwestern to ask for alteration of the official alumni communication vehicle, Our Northwestern, to accommodate our needs. When that proved not to be possible, we developed our own vehicle to communicate directly to our membership on matters of importance. is organized to provide one click access to everything you need to know as follows (links are active):


  • BUY NUBAA: This link provides you with access to NUBAA shirts, sweaters, pens and other paraphernalia as made available for the price of donations to our various scholarship funds.
  • GIVE NUBAA: This link takes you to the official Northwestern University giving portal for NUBAA’s three main scholarship funds.
  • JOIN NUBAA: This link allows you to obtain your dues-free membership. Try it. The entire process takes about 90 seconds!
  • PARTICIPATE NUBAA: This link allows you to register for the next NUBAA event.
  • READ NUBAA: This link takes you to the scroll of blog posts and other relevant information about and coming from NUBAA and Northwestern.
  • SEE NUBAA: This link takes you to our photo and video buckets. These collections include tens of thousands of pictures, organized by events and class years. They are currently being updated to include all the activities of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover.

Equally as important, has served to inform, organize and galvanize our members and supporters.

  • has proven pivotal in growing and maintaining our membership base, which has exploded to almost 5000 members.
  • was pivotal in getting alumni involved in the successful effort to push back proposed changes to services within The Black house in 2015.
  • continues to evolve as the online site of the NUBAA Archives.

We are proud that has grown to have over 2600 followers. Inside the site, look for the follow button, add your email address, and you will receive an email whenever a new blog post is made. The landing page currently features activities from the Commemoration but is being updated for even better functionality and a fresh look. This is where you come to stay in the know and where NUBAA tells it like it is! Go Cats!

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We’re Thirty Days from the NUBAA 50th Anniversary Bursar’s Office Takeover Commemoration Week: Join Us!

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On this day, fifty years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. The effects of this tragedy were felt around the world, including on the campus of Northwestern University. In the midst of all the other matters confronting Black students, it lit the fuse to the powder keg of Black student discontent, yet his life’s work continues to fuel our nation’s march toward justice and equality.

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Thirty days from now, we will be commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the peaceful student action that was the takeover of the Bursar’s Office. Approximately seventy-five percent of the still-living members of the takeover will return to campus to participate in the over-twenty programs NUBAA has planned. These events include theatrical and musical performances, symposia and panels including President Schapiro, former Dean of Students and Vice President of Student Affairs (during the takeover) Jack Hinz, the return of three of the four Deans of African-American Student Affairs, a symbolic groundbreaking for the “new” Black House, and presentation of two commemoratives for the action at the Bursar’s office. We will also preview the upcoming book Voices and Visions – The Evolution of the Black Experience at Northwestern University, co-authored by NUBAA President Jeffrey Sterling and former NUBAA Vice-President Lauren Lowery. Additionally, the NUBAA50 Luncheon will honor those deemed to have advanced the Black experience forward at Northwestern. And this is all before the NUBAA Summit gets started!

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At the 4th Annual NUBAA Summit and Salute to Excellence Gala, we begin with an opening reception, enjoyed via a yacht cruise in downtown Chicago on Friday evening. On Saturday, we will premiere the NUBAA-commissioned documentary The Takeover – The Revolution of the Black Experience at Northwestern University, narrated by Harry Lennix. The premier will be followed by a star-studded panel reviewing the film. We will honor Democratic National Committee Vice-Chairman Michael Blake with our Emerging Leader Award. During the Salute to Excellence Gala, we will celebrate prominent alumni and NUBAA members, including central figures in the 1968 Bursar’s Office takeover.

As always, the NUBAA Summit will host businesses representing hundreds of millions of dollars in procurement opportunities, and it will offer seminars for business and entrepreneurial growth. Finally, we will wrap up on Sunday with a Celebrity Golf Outing (names to be announced!) and a Fashion Show for your entertainment.

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There’s something for everyone to enjoy and every reason for you to support and pay tribute to the efforts of those having paved the way for your success and contributing to a greater Northwestern. Please join us for any part or all of the NUBAA Commemoration Week activities. Click here to register. We look forward to seeing you.

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Northwestern University Report on Faculty and Student Diversity and Inclusion Academic Year 2014-15




As we approach the 2016 Annual Meeting (8:30 am Sunday, June 12th or via webcast at at The Black House, we felt you would be interested in reviewing Northwestern’s side of the story on diversity and inclusion. Attached is the 2014-15 report on “all things diversity” at the University. It is an in-depth review of effort and accomplishment that also presents ongoing (and glaring) opportunities. For this blog post, we will focus on one specific example. In the report, you will note an all-time high of 10.2% African-American admitted in 2014, while simultaneously only achieving a 6.3% enrollment rate.

2014-15 NU Diversity Report_FINAL

In NUBAA’s surveying of students and alumni, we have sought to understand the difference between this disparity (called the “yield”), which remains the lowest among demographic groups. There appears to be one consistent train of thought to explain this disparity. Northwestern has to reevaluate its competitiveness in its administration of financial aid. First the great news: Northwestern compares favorably to most any institution in its providing aid to the indigent. those; its recent policies have virtually removed financial burdens from qualified students below a certain level of family income.

However, that is not all of the story, and this is not where the cause of the poor yield is to be found. It appears the poor yield is best and easily explained by the absence of financial aid based on merit, when most of Northwestern’s peer and peer-aspirant universities are now offering merit-based financial aid. Underappreciating the fact that not all African-Americans applying to Northwestern and in financial need are indigent is to the University’s disadvantage; competitively it must address the evolving propensity of other institutions to provide aid for students based on merit. It is of note that NU already applies this train of logic for recruitment of athletes and international students.

Regarding the report: it is increasingly disingenious to trumpet the admissions numbers for African-Americans as some record of value, knowing these numbers are not translating into students who are actually enrolling.

NUBAA Achievement Scholarship
NUBAA Achievement Scholarship

This again points to the rationale and need for the NUBAA Achievement Scholarship (NAS). It is the only achievement-based financial aid effort at Northwestern for African-American students. Our success with the NAS ($38,000 in scholarships in its first year) demonstrates the need and the ability to change the decisions of students who wouldn’t otherwise attend NU, as it did in three concrete examples. I have been directly told by a highly ranking University official that the single most effective way for NUBAA alumni to increase the enrollment rate is to support the NAS.

However, this is no longer just a plea to contribute to the NAS (although you can by clicking here). Northwestern must reevaluate its financial-aid strategy in the face of this ongoing failure to significantly increase the enrollment of African-Americans. The burden of increasing student enrollment when such a void exists shouldn’t fall to the efforts of alumni. When the University is able to note an increase in Latino students to 11.8%, Asian Americans to 18.5% and “multi-racial” to 5.8%, we know the University is capable.

The entire report is a laudable list of efforts, but activity isn’t necessary accomplishment. When we can identify the direct reason for a diminished conversion from admission to enrollment and are told why, the response of a sincere entity would be to incorporate these solutions. In the face of a wildly successful We Will campaign, it would seem the money could be found if the priority existed.

Please join us at the Annual Meeting tomorrow morning! More to come.

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NUBAA Achievement Scholarship – Over $38,000 in Student Awards in its Very First Year!


Today we are proud of NUBAA Nation and believe we have reason to be so. NUBAA was very prominently featured at yesterday’s Northwestern Alumni Association Scholarship Luncheon.

Here’s what you should know.

NUBAA Achievement Scholarship
NUBAA Achievement Scholarship

In its first year, the NUBAA Achievement Scholarship (NAS) awarded over $38,000 to 3 scholarship recipients who otherwise would not have attended Northwestern. As a reminder, the NAS is an achievement, non-needs based, award given to African-Americans who otherwise might not qualify for financial aid.

However, NUBAA’s impact didn’t just stop there! The following needs-based financial aid scholarships were also awarded:

  • The NUBAA Promise Scholarship, our needs-based endowment fund, awarded a scholarship of just over $2,000.
  • The Gardner-Exum Scholarship awarded a scholarship of over $7,000.
  • The Alpha Phi Alpha Scholarship awarded a scholarship of over $2,500.
  • The Alpha Kappa Alpha/Cora Regulus Crider Scholarship awarded a scholarship of over $2,500.

Your efforts to directly support efforts targeting African-Americans are making a difference. Your support of NUBAA programming and your direct contributions to (click GIVE NUBAA) have made this possible. Thank you for your support of Northwestern and NUBAA. Go Cats!


NUBAA (Financially) Strong: Building a Million Dollar a Year Organization

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A particular focus of NUBAA’s efforts is to sufficiently expand so that we can simultaneously address the ongoing and emergent needs of the students and build an infrastructure that allows us to address the ongoing and emerging needs of our alumni.

There is a single simple concept we’d like to introduce regarding the future of NUBAA:

NUBAA must be sufficiently financially strong to pursue its objectives in the manner it deems best.

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There are two major components to this effort. In this post, we discuss the financial aspect of NUBAA’s growing infrastructure.

We have specifically set a goal of growing NUBAA into an organization that generates no less than a million dollars a year. This amount of financially strength would allow us to grow all our scholarship funds in meaningful ways, advocate for issues of interest, endow professorships (and maybe even the Black House?) and sustain a professional infrastructure.

How do we get there? As you know, we are a dues-free organization, so that isn’t going to get it done.

  • We can accept your direct contributions – just appreciate that donations directly to NUBAA doesn’t qualify under NU’s guidelines for reaching a tax-exempt letter from them.

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  • Support one of the NUBAA Endowment Funds. The NUBAA Promise Scholarship is endowed, growing and spinning off scholarships now, but we can and will do more. The NUBAA Achievement Scholarship is in the midst of a $600,000 fundraise that will more than double our total ability to support students. The Gardner-Exum Fund has been supporting students for over a generation. We do ask that you make your University gifts through NUBAA. We would do well to demonstrate our unity and collective financial strength in this way.

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  • You can support our Anchor events, all of which are fundraisers. In case you didn’t know, our anchor events are Destination Homecoming (Oct. 16-18th), The NUBAA Summit and Salute to Excellence Gala (Feb 26-28th, Los Angeles), The NUBAA 5K Race to Diversity (Spring), and The NUBAA MultiCity Mixers (Summer). There is a difference between attending an event and supporting an event. Understanding our efforts, supporting NUBAA events requires not only your attendance but also your advocacy. Attend with a crew! Become an event sponsor, if it’s within your ability. Support our ad booklets. Make donations.

Sponsor_Summit Strong

  • You can work with us to grow our sponsor base. Do you own a small business or work for a large corporation? NUBAA is not without value. Ask our current major sponsor, Merrill Lynch. We’ve exceeded our performance goals in our relationship with them. Let us create a win-win scenario for your business. It could be meaningful for your career to do so.

Click here to contribute to the NUBAA Achievement Scholarship. To make a donation directly to NUBAA, use the contact form below. If you have questions, contact us via the contact form below.

The next post will discuss The NUBAA Economy Project. Thank you for your ongoing participation and support of NUBAA and Northwestern University. Go Cats!

Accept the NUBAA August 31st $10 Challenge

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Alumni have very few ways to actually impact University rankings. One way this occurs is through alumni giving. A higher percentage of alumni who contribute to their university financially is a measure of an engaged alumni.

As you know, we are in the midst of a $600,000 fundraise for the NUBAA Achievement Scholarship, but let’s put aside the amount we’re raising for a moment. Our ask is simple: regardless of the amount you will eventually give, get on the scoreboard TODAY (it’s the end of the fiscal year) with a $10 donation. Increasing the percentage of NUBAA members who contribute to NU displays our engagement, helps the University’s rankings and bodes well for our partnership and upcoming initiatives. Engagement, not withdrawal, is the correct approach.

Our impact can be real.

  • We have 4500 members.
  • We have over 2000 followers on
  • We have over 1600 followers on Facebook.
  • We have over 500 members in our LinkedIn group.

Please take a moment and do it now! Then tag a friend to do the same!

Here’s your link.

Thank you.