Students now, Alumni forever!

Students now, Alumni forever!

“Years have passed, yet the diploma hangs perfectly centered behind my chair and the graduation ring sits proudly atop my finger…constant reminders of the formative years I spent as an undergraduate.”

DPPP logo

“For the record, I did not attend Prairie View A&M University, but I did attend an HBCU that provided me with a hefty dose of the Black experience and, more importantly, a better understanding of the giving-back concept. Ordinarily, one would consider these lessons to be indicative of an HBCU education, but my epiphany occurred during a freshman-week session called ‘students now, alumni forever.’

Alumni, as defined by Webster, are graduates, former students, or old pupils. My college said, “Anyone can matriculate through college, earn a degree, and become a graduate but our alumni do that and so much more. They are individuals who completely embrace the uniqueness and importance of an HBCU education by beginning their support now and continuing it forever. Which kind do you want to be?”

By Nelson Bowman, alumnus of Morehouse College

Andre Evans - 2007

Andre Evans republished this article in a 2007 issue of the student newspaper, the Prairie View Panther, and he explained, “I am still an undergraduate and I cannot fully explain to you the invigorating experience received from giving back to your alma mater, so I gave you a testimony from someone who could. True, I am attempting to foster within the students an altruistic spirit, but I would never limit that to monetary donations. When you reach the point of self-actualization, you will realize that you have so much to offer other than money. Your support, love, and even presence can be a contribution.”

Evans closed by encouraging students to join the Pre-Alumni Association, but I will encourage students who are truly interested in giving back to the university to start by submitting an article, short story, or poem for consideration to be published on our website.

We have lost so much in the absence of the student newspaper, and the Digital PV Panther Project wants to amplify the voices and creative spirit of students at the oldest public HBCU in Texas. Our mission is to eliminate the silences and prevent the erasure of history at PVAMU, and we have made great strides when it comes to historic preservation in the archives. The students who work on the project have devoted their time and attention to processing and digitizing some of the most important documents that remain housed at this institution, and I am so proud of their monumental achievements since we hired the first group of eleven undergraduates in the summer of 2022. We have received external support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Texas State Library & Archives Commission, and the Summerlee Foundation, and we have received internal financial support from Dr. Krishnamoorthi through the RISE program and Dr. Musa Olaka, the esteemed director of John B. Coleman Library. My heart is truly full.

But the truth is that we simply cannot fulfill our mission without the support and contributions of the students. The students are the bone, the sinew, the very life’s blood of this great campus. So come see us in Room 111 of the library–past Dunkin Donuts on the right–or send us an email at [email protected]

Help us Preserve the Now!