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Black alumni reunite, dance, celebrate

2:22 PM  Sep 20th, 2017
by Elysse Winget ’19; photos by Sylvia Stahl ’18

“I didn’t know you would be here,” old friends now reunited exclaimed as they ran across the Central Mall lawn to embrace and introduce each other to their families.

The luncheon cookout Saturday, Sept. 15, was one of several events on the Black Alumni Reunion calendar this past weekend. The reunion, which coincided with the 70th anniversary of Alpha Phi Alpha on the University of Dayton campus, welcomed back more than 200 black alumni.

Tables began to fill with families and friends enjoying burgers and hot dogs, sipping sweet tea and lemonade. There was a strong sense of community as individuals, dressed in Dayton red and blue, enjoyed a meal and memories together.

Rodric Cooper ’89, a fraternity brother of Alpha Phi Alpha, had come from Rochester, New York. He helped organize the fraternity’s 70th anniversary black-tie gala.

“The best part of this weekend has been seeing my brothers again,” said Cooper, who anticipated a sold-out celebration later that evening.

Cooper wasn’t the only Greek member of the crowd. Sisters of Alpha Kappa Alpha wore their pink and green letters and laughed and danced together as music played over the loudspeakers under the tent in the Central Mall. Frank Brunson ’80 sat with his fraternity brothers from Phi Beta Sigma as they looked over a photo album.

“Is that David?” Brunson asked his friend, Fred Brownlee ’80. “I just went to his daughter’s wedding.”

Brunson, who lives in Columbus, Ohio, said he has enjoyed seeing how the University has developed throughout the years.

Held every few years, the Black Alumni Reunion seeks to seeks to find a permanent home among a host of University celebrations, said event organizers.

Black Alumni Reunion cookout

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