Telling It Like It Was: From The NUBAA Archives to Voices and Visions – Get Your Copy!

On this, the last full day of the 2014-2018 NUBAA administration, the mind wanders to legacy: not of an administration, but of our history at Northwestern. Back in 2013, Lauren Lowery approached me with a notion she’d been working on: the development of an archive dedicated to the Black experience at Northwestern University. She graciously allowed me to join her in founding and bringing to fruition what is now The NUBAA Archives.

Well, the NUBAA Archives was never meant to be simply a collection of documents but a means of directing and telling the history of our experience from the vantage point of the Black community. To that end, in 2017 I was able to return the favor of work(!) to Lauren on an ambitious project to create the first comprehensive telling of the journey and history of African-Americans and other Blacks at Northwestern University. Voices and Visions: The Evolution of the Black Experience at Northwestern University does just that, through study of our history and first-hand accounts from over fifty individuals who have had pivotal roles in the advancement of that experience.

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Here is the Table of Contents from this book that totals over 550 pages. As you can tell from the amazing roster of contributors, this is a robust telling of an approximately 140-year history.



Section I: Early Northwestern

  1. The Earliest Black Attendees of Northwestern University
  2. History of Desegregating Housing at Northwestern University
  3. Dr. Michael Nabors: The Evanston Community and the Northwestern Black Student Experience

Section II: The Black Athlete and the Black Experience

  1. Norm Comer
  2. Jim Pitts
  3. Dee Todd
  4. Joseph Webb
  5. Rishal Dinkins
  6. Katrina Adams
  7. Ricky Byrdsong
  8. Oliver Kupe
  9. Daryl Newell

Section III: Birth of a Community: The 1968 Takeover of the Bursar’s Office

  1. Stanley
  2. Herman Cage
  3. Daphne Maxwell Reid
  4. Steve Colson
  5. Victor Goode
  6. Wayne Watson
  7. Kathryn Ogletree
  8. John Bracey
  9. Eva Jefferson Paterson
  10. Participants in the Bursar’s Office Takeover

Section IV: The Black House / Caring for the Community

  1. Milton Wiggins
  2. Alice Palmer
  3. Karla Spurlock-Evans
  4. Ulysses “Duke” Jenkins
  5. Jerre Michelin
  6. Penny Warren
  7. Debra Blade
  8. Kathleen Bethel
  9. Ce Cole Dillon
  10. Tamara Johnson
  11. Lesley-Ann Brown-Henderson

Section IV: Growth of the Black Experience

  1. Andre Bell
  2. Henry Binford
  3. Robert Moore
  4. Stanley Davis
  5. Aldon Morris
  6. Jabari Asim
  7. Harris Lennix
  8. Asadah Kirkland
  9. Black Greek Letter Organizations

Section V: New Challenges

  1. Charles Whitaker
  2. Tanya D. Woods
  3. Sarah Oberholtzer
  4. Macs Vinson
  5. Kasey Brown
  6. Paula Pretlow

Section VI: Modern Evolution of the Black Experience & A New Future

  1. Alexandria Bobbitt
  2. Charla Wilson
  3. Phil Harris
  4. Sonia Waiters
  5. Michael Wilbon
  6. Jabbar Bennett
  7. Jonathan Holloway
  8. Jeffrey Sterling

Voices and Visions will be released on Monday, July 9th. You can order your copy in either paperback or hard cover at Proceeds of the book will be donated to the NUBAA Achievement Scholarship.

Use the below contact form to be invited to a stop on our upcoming national book tour and to receive other information about Voices and Visions. Thank you for entrusting us to be stewards and caretakers of this history. We look forward to ongoing development and expansion of our stories for years to come.

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Finally, we leave you with words adorning the back cover of the book, provided by double Wildcat Johnnetta S. Cole.

This highly important book shares the experiences of African American students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni who studied, worked, struggled and triumphed at Northwestern University. The compelling stories of African Americans who are currently at the university are also told in this volume. Learning from these voices can lead to a far fuller understanding of Black experiences at Northwestern. For as the Ibo people of Nigeria say: Until lions have their own historians, tales of the hunt will always glorify the hunter. 

Voices and Visions is an invaluable resource as we continue to advocate for policies and procedures that can lead to a greater Black presence at Northwestern and a more inclusive culture on the campus.  Kudos to Dr. Jeffrey Sterling and Lauren Lowery, co-founders of NUBAA Archives, for writing a book we have been waiting for.

Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D.

C’59 and C’67

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Telling It Like It Was: The 2018 (4th Annual/Commemoration) NUBAA Summit and Salute to Excellence Gala

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The last day of the 50th Anniversary Commemoration of the 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover was the stage for the 4th Annual NUBAA Summit and Salute to Excellence Gala. The event meant to focus both on key individuals from the Bursar’s Office Takeover and the legacy left by the actions from the takeover.

Photos from the fantastic opening reception were shared in the previous post. Events from the day of May 5th included the following:

  • The NUBAA Summit offered seminars on philanthropy and entrepreneurship.


  • The President’s NUBAA Next Luncheon featured a stirring speech from the recipient of the Emerging Leader Award, Michael Blake who is the Vice-President of the Democratic National Committee.


  • The premiere of the NUBAA conceived and produced documentary, The Takeover – The Revolution of the Black Experience at Northwestern University occurred to a packed house, followed by a stirring panel discussion moderated by acclaimed actor and past NUBAA Salute to Excellence Award recipient Harry Lennix.


  • The NUBAA Salute to Excellence Gala honored a group of our most accomplished alumni, including participants in the Bursar’s Office Takeover.


Enjoy the slide show featuring over 100 photos from this unforgettable day of events. Tomorrow’s post will discuss our documentary in greater detail. Video of the events will eventually be available on and within The NUBAA Archives.


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And… a final special thanks to 2014-2018 NUBAA VP and NUBAA Summit Chairperson for each of the four NUBAA Summits, Sonia Waiters. Thank you for your role in bringing NUBAA Nation to where it is today!


Go Cats!

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The 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover Day Two (May 4) and NUBAA Summit Opening Reception

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Day Two of the NUBAA Commemoration activities picked up from Day One without missing a beat! The energy in the air at Alice Millar Chapel and the Louis Room of Norris University Center was amazing.

If Day Two didn’t bring a tear of joy to your eye, your heart’s in the wrong place! Consider everything that occurred:

  • The Northwestern Community Ensemble began the festivities with a rousing concert, displaying the original and current sounds that have made it a staple of Black culture at Northwestern for almost fifty years.


  • The students took the stage and delivered a theatrical reading and interpretation of the Bursar’s Takeover, based on the book Voices and Visions: The Evolution of the Black Experience at Northwestern University. We’re still wondering if some of the student performers were direct offspring of the B100 participants they were depicting!


  • We convened a historical panel, consisting of Vice President of Students (at the time of the Bursar’s Office takeover) Roland Hines, B100 participant (and former member of the Northwestern Board of Trustees) Wayne Watson and three of the four Deans of the former Department of African-American Student Affairs: Milton Wiggins, Alice Palmer and Karla Spurlock Evans, moderated by NUBAA President Jeffrey Sterling.


  • We held a ceremony honoring the wide variety of individuals impacting the Black experience at Northwestern. The NUBAA50 Luncheon was undoubtedly the largest such collection of historic figures ever assembled, including the picture of many of the attending participants of the Bursar’s Office takeover.


  • To wrap up a historic day, NUBAA took the celebration on the road. Some relaxed and others partied on a yacht diner cruise down Lake Michigan for the NUBAA Summit Opening Reception.


Enjoy the slideshow featuring over 100 pictures from all of the day’s festivities.

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Videos of the events will be posted on and placed in The NUBAA Archives. Go Cats!

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The 50th Anniversary of the 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover: Day 1 (May 3rd, 2018)

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After two and a half years of planning (whew!), NUBAA welcomed back over fifty of the members of the 1968 Bursar’s Office Takeover as well as approximately a thousand participants across the weekend’s activities for the 50th Anniversary of that fateful event.

Day One was very sentimental and emotional. Consider everything that occurred:

  • It began with the returnees taking a tour of campus, with many not having been on campus in over forty years! DSCF0025
  • The Commemoration kicked off in full speed with a high-powered Keynote Symposium featuring NU President Morty Schapiro, NUBAA President Jeffrey Sterling and Bursar’s Office takeover participants Kathryn Ogletree and John Bracey. DSCF7806 (1)
  • The panel was followed by an amazing procession through the courtyard toward The Bursar’s Office. DSCF0062
  • A commemorative plaque that is permanently affixed to the Bursar’s Office was unveiled. DSCF0083
  • We held a short program at Rebecca Crown Center, during which a stirring poem “We Were Just Kids” was presented by B100 participant Kimya Moyo. DSCF7872DSCF0155
  • We held a symbolic groundbreaking at The Black House in recognition of the upcoming $4.5 million renovation and modernization of it! DSCF0175DSCF0192
  • We unveiled a Black House commemorative in honor of the B100. It will permanently occupy a wall in the conference room. DSCF0242DSCF0228
  • The B100 members were feted at a private dinner at the residence of President and Mrs. Schapiro.
  • A reception was held with the Department of Athletics, honoring the legacy of athletics as a part of the Black experience at Northwestern. DSCF0286DSCF0310

What a day! Enjoy this slide show featuring about 100 pictures from the various events. In this space ( we will be posting videos of the entire Commemoration! Stay tuned.

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Were you there? Check back tomorrow for the amazing slate of Day 2 activities. Go Cats!

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Register for the NUBAA Annual Meeting!



The NUBAA Annual Meeting will be held Saturday, June 30th between 8:30 and 10:30 am. It will be held at The Black House, 1914 Sheridan Road.

Please use the contact form to confirm your attendance and request an advance electronic copy of the Agenda and Office Reports. These reports will not be distributed at the meeting.


If you have any questions about the Annual Meeting, please forward to Go Cats!

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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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Bursar’s Office Takeover Commemoration and NUBAA Summit Activities: Know Before You Go!



Parking: Please note that there are several groups with campus events taking place on May 3-4, and parking will be limited. The recommended lot closet to Norris is the Segal Visitor’s Center (South) Garage located at 1841 Sheridan Road. The daily parking rate is $8.00. For more information, contact 847-491-3319.

Attire: May 3rd is business casual. If you are a member of a campus organization, you are encouraged to represent your organization. There a number of outdoor events on May 3rd thus comfortable walking shoes and outerwear are recommended. May 4th is business attire.

Agenda Overview:

May 3, 2018

10:00 am – 12:30 pm Check-in for registered attendees in Norris University Center, Second Floor. This is the only opportunity to pick up registration materials.


11:00 am – 12:00 pm Campus Tour departs from Norris University Center. See volunteers.


12:00 – 12:45 pm Box Lunch pickup for registered attendees in Norris University Center, 2nd Floor.


1:00 – 2:15 pm Commemoration Showcase: “From Protest to Progress” Symposium in Norris University Center, McCormick Auditorium, 1st Floor. Seated is limited and early arrival is strongly suggested.


2:30 – 4:00 pm Processional through campus steps off on the patio of the Main Library and includes short programs at the Bursar’s Office, Rebecca Crown and The Black House.


6:00 – 8:00 pm Reception to Honor Black Athletes at Welsh-Ryan Arena, Stadium Club. Transportation is on your own.






May 4, 2018

9:00 am – 12:00 pm Musical and theatrical tributes and “Voices and Visions” panel at Alice Millar Chapel. Registration not needed for attendance.


12:00 pm – 1:30 pm NUBAA 50 Luncheon at Norris University Center, Louis Room. This pre-paid luncheon is at capacity. No onsite reservations are available.


2:30 pm Transportation departs Orrington hotel for Swissotel. Boarding is only for those staying at the Orrington and registered at the Swissotel.



Parking: Parking at the Swissotel is $32 for valet, and overnight valet is $70 daily. There are self-parking garages with lower rates located on Lower Wacker Drive.

Attire: Chic attire is suggested for the Opening Reception on May 4th. The decks are enclosed and are climate controlled. On May 5th, wear business attire for day events. The Salute to Excellence Gala is Black Tie / Formal.

Summit Check-in: Available May 4th from 3-5 pm in Swissotel Lobby for program book and swag bag for Summit full-registered attendees. Check-in reopens on May 5th at 7 am, and seminars begin at 9 am, both on second floor conference center. There is no onsite registration.

Opening Reception: Cruise ship upgraded to the Elite Chicago. Transportation provided to Navy Pier for those staying at the Swissotel and boarding begins at 6 pm. The Elite boards at 7:00 pm and departs at 7:30 pm. For those driving, please factor in rush hour traffic and time for parking, if needed. There is no refund of tickets for guests who do not make it in time. There are two parking lots located on the north side of the pier. The East Garage is the closet to the ship. The Riva Turnaround/Turnaround 1 is recommended for drop offs by car or taxi.

Salute to Excellence Gala: Swissotel, Lucerne Ballroom. Reservation includes Purple Carpet Reception at 5:30 pm. Gala dinner and program begins at 7:00 pm followed by dancing.

If you did not register

Additional accommodations are only available for the events listed above specifically indicating they are free and open to the public. These include the Thursday processional beginning at 2:30 pm at The Rock and the Friday events from 9 am until 12 noon. Events involving meals have all sold out, and no additional seatings (with or without meals) can be accommodated. We greatly appreciate everyone’s interest and willingness to register in advance!