2010 Banquet: Many Faces, One Mission: Inclusion
2010 Hall of Fame (left to right): Dr. Mary Schuh '98, Khaleelah Hilliard '04, Bonnie Lai '04, Carol Tonge Mack '00, Dr. John Mabry '03, Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan '05 - not shown Dr. Jared Sexton '96
The Fifth Annual UNH Diversity Banquet was held on May 1, 2010, in Holloway Commons.
Cass Mercer and Devon Jackson opened to a room of more than 200 alumni, students, faculty, staff and members of the surrounding community. Jackson said, "This celebration is about honoring our past and challenging ourselves to continue to provide leadership in promoting a more inclusive community." The University of New Hampshire's Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, John Aber, delivered the welcoming remarks to Many Faces, One Mission: Inclusion. He stated that "Our celebration tonight is about possibility and expectation. UNH intends to keep building the democracy that Anna Garlin Spencer, a founder of the NAACP, wished for in the early 20th century, in which every human being is so respected - that they have an equal opportunity . . . to show what they were meant to become."
The 2010 Hall of Fame inductees were honored for their leadership, achievements and dedication to community service at UNH and in their new communities. These alumni represented a wide range of successes: some in the fields of patent protection, education, administration of institutes and student services, while more recent graduates are leading change in their community through their work in such places as college admissions, music and the law.
Associate Provost for Academic Achievement and Support Judy Spiller and Executive Director for Alumni Affairs Stephen Donovan presented the awards to Khaleelah Hilliard, Bonnie Lai, Dr. John Mabry, Carol Tong Mack, Dr. Joelle Ruby Ryan and Dr. Mary Schuh. Dr. Jared Sexton receives his award upon his campus visit to deliver the McNair lecture on May 12.
Spiller addressed the inductees saying, "You have brought distinction and pride to your Alma Mater through your contributions in cultivating a community of mutual respect and opportunity. Thank you."
The Dave Seiler Quartet accompanied UNH student Marcela Cruz and Raw Art Works student Dennis Hernadez.
Ellis Woodward, UNH Alumnus, introduced the Pathways GLBT Mentoring Program. Both the Pathways Connect Mentoring Program and Pathways GLBT Mentoring Program provide students with insight into navigating the post-college world. Woodward and two student members, Justin Linxweiler and Kevin Linton gave examples of how the program helped them build networks and prepare for professional and leadership positions.
JerriAnne Boggis, Chair of the Diversity Banquet Committee and Director of Diversity Programs and Community Outreach thanked all community members who have contributed to education on diversity. She presented Raw Art Works from Lynn, Massachusetts with a UNH MLK Celebration poster in honor of the work their organization does in serving underserved youths in their community. Raw Art Works partnered with UNH this academic year to create an art exhibit for the 20th MLK Celebration.
The Keynote Address was delivered by Donya Frank, Doctoral Student, Ocean Engineering at UNH and Marlon Shepard, a senior in College of Liberal Arts. Donya Frank gave the account of those who have supported her to get closer to her goal of becoming an ocean engineer; among them was one of her professors who nicknamed her "little doc", which gave her a progressive image of herself. Her parents provided her with many summer and extracurricular opportunities to broaden her experience whenever her public schools could not provide those challenges.
Marlon Shepard told the story of discovering his full heritage and identities. His parents from diverse backgrounds gave him the gift of ease in accepting people of different religions, cultures and backgrounds. He said, "When we give everyone the tools they need to succeed, we all win."
Provost Aber presented the 2010 President's Excellence through Diversity Award, to Sean K. McGhee, who has committed ten years to improving the lives of under-represented students at UNH. The President's Excellence through Diversity Award is given each year to honor outstanding leadership in promoting equity, advancing the status of under-represented groups, and serving as a role model at the University of New Hampshire.Provost Aber said, "Sean's diversity outreach stretches statewide; with the immigrants and diverse population in the Manchester community, with the NAACP, churches, and Vision Hispana. He is dedicated to promoting the vital and valuable role that under-represented groups play in our communities and will certainly play in the future of this state."
Devon Jackson delivered the call for support, urging the audience members to help through giving their time, talents and treasure. "Now is the time to help others along the way, to create a UNH experience for people from under-represented groups that give them an equal chance to fully succeed."
Vice Provost and Chief Diversity Officer, Wanda Mitchell and Professor John Seavey gave acknowledgment to sponsors, awardees, and planning committee members and offered closing remarks. Vice Provost Mitchell read a poem that urged attendees to "take risks, to help another and risk involvement, to reveal your dreams and believe even in the face of possible failure. People who risk nothing cannot learn, feel, change, grow or love . . . Chained by their attitudes - they are slaves; they have forfeited their freedom. Only a person who risks is free."
People are invited to make a difference in the lives of UNH students through giving to the UNH Foundation, by writing a check to the Diversity Initiatives Gift Fund. The fund fully supports the University's mission to create an educational community that is diverse, inclusive and equitable. Through the thoughtful generosity of alumni and friends, the Foundation is helping UNH fulfill its mission to provide the highest quality public education.
The UNH foundation supports the following diversity funds which may be found at; List of Endowed Funds
- Diversity Initiatives Fund
- Multicultural Recruitment and Retention Fund
- Alberta Curry Virgil Memorial Scholarship
- Dr. Frederick Samuels Fund for Diversity
- The Cleveland L. Howard Memorial Fund
- Kidder Fund
- Melbourne W. Cummings Endowed Scholarship Fund
- Peterson Carsey Endowed Minority Scholarship Fund
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