By Michael Maraghi, Staff Writer
On the evening of Wednesday, Apr. 19, St. John Fisher hosted the annual alumni of color dinner in Main-stage to celebrate the diversity of graduating seniors and returning alumni.
The event is yet another initiative aimed at reinforcing the strength that diversity provides on campus and to celebrate the successes of the Fisher alumni of color.
The evening began with a dinner catered by Lackmann Culinary Services with instrumentals by Nate Rawls Quartet. Guest speakers present included President Dr. Gerard J. Rooney, keynote speaker Christina Johnson- a sophomore at Fisher, and acknowledgements by Dr. Richard DeJesús-Rueff, Vise President for Student Affairs & Diversity Initiatives.
Also in attendance was Fisher alum Mrs. Shalunda Junious-Concepcion who delivered a powerful speech on perseverance and kind words to the soon-to-be graduating seniors in attendance.
“Every year for the last several years we’ve hosted the Alumni of Color dinner and the purpose of this event is to celebrate students of color that are graduating.” said Juana Viga, Assistant Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs and Diversity Programs. “We have Deloris Banks who was the first African American female to graduate from St. John Fisher College and she started this Alumni of Color dinner in hopes of bringing those students together and celebrating the hardships and obstacles that they face in order to be successful as graduates.”
Shamira McClain, senior, was one of the Fisher students in attendance.
“It was great to see all the alumni come and celebrate the gradating seniors and it was great to be honored by them as well. I would love to be a part of this celebration in the future and I definitely see myself coming back for events like this.”
The Alumni of Color Program is just one of the many events organized in collaboration with the Offices of Multicultural Affairs & Diversity Programs.