Arcadia Alumni

Black Alumni Association

Mission and Vision

The Black Alumni Association of Arcadia University (BAAAU) was founded in 2018 and is open to all Arcadia University alumni.

Mission Statement

The mission of the BAAAU is to promote the presence, empowerment, and success of Arcadia University’s Black alumni, students, faculty, staff, and community members through professional, educational, social, and networking programs, as well as through philanthropic support and opportunities.

The BAAAU seeks to serve as an advocacy organization for Black Arcadia alumni by fostering a sense of pride and commitment to the University, while enhancing its prestige and reputation.

Vision Statement

The BAAAU serves:

  • as a unifier amongst Black Arcadia University alumni and Arcadia University
  • to encourage and enhance opportunities for Black alumni to foster personal and professional networks
  • to provide support for current Black Arcadia University students through mentorship and networking opportunities
  • to acknowledge the legacy, contributions, and accomplishments of Black Arcadia alumni
  • to support the University’s efforts to recruit and retain a diverse faculty, staff, and student population
  • to guide students as they navigate and overcome obstacles throughout their academic career at Arcadia University and beyond​

BAAAU Preview Support Program

Committed to equity in the Arcadia student experience, BAAAU established its Preview Support Program, designed specifically for low-income Black students attending Arcadia University. BAAAU would like to ensure full participation in Arcadia's Preview program by students who would otherwise be unable to take advantage of this program's richness. On behalf of these students, BAAAU asks members of the Arcadia community to consider helping all students participate in Preview.

In 2017, 5 percent of Black students participated in Preview; in 2018, participation rose to 6.5 percent. By 2019, because of donor support, student participation had risen to 8.7 percent. BAAAU aims to support 10 students annually, but we need your help.

Your generous contributions will go a long way to enable a memorable, life-changing, educational experience. Donations can be made online or sent by mail to:

Arcadia University
Office of University Advancement
450 S. Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038-3295
Attn: BAAAU Preview Support Fund

Please make checks payable to Arcadia University and write "BAAAU Preview Support Fund" on the memo line.
For other ways to give, click here.

Give Now

Communications & Resources

June 5, 2020 Statement,  Resources, and Support

On June 5, leaders of the Black Alumni Association co-authored a statement to the Arcadia University community, shared via social media and followed by email:

Dear BAAAU Family,

In times like this, we recognize the responsibility for groups and organizations to speak out against racial injustices in continued hope for a paradigm shift. BAAAU leadership admittedly struggled with articulating the proper words to accurately describe our feelings in this moment. However, we knew a prolonged silence would not be helpful. We stand in solidarity with the George Floyd protestors, who are making their voices heard against a battle that first began on the shores of Jamestown, Virginia in 1619. In short, #BlackLivesMatter.

We have intentionally chosen to move in preparedness versus haste. We are finalizing plans to help combat systemic barriers that have affected and continue to plague the Arcadia community both off- and on-campus. In the upcoming weeks, we will communicate our plans with the entire BAAAU group, which will be distributed via email and our social media networks.

In the interim - to aid our continued effort to support various aspects of the Philadelphia community - we have listed below resources and local black-owned businesses that we encourage you to support. Stay balanced, stay safe, and stay focused.

In Solidarity,

Black Alumni Association of Arcadia University Leadership

Aliyah Abraham '17, Stephen Tyson Jr. '13M, and Octavius Blount '15


Community Resources & Support

 Bail Funds

Philadelphia Bail Fund

Philadelphia Community Bail Fund 

National Bail Fund Network 


Community Organizations

Philly Peace Park 

Know Your Rights Camp

West Philadelphia Corridor Collaborative 

ACLU Pennsylvania 


Local Black Businesses to Support

List of Black Philadelphia & South Jersey restaurants


Black-owned Bookstores

Harriett's Bookshop (258 E. Girard Ave.)

Uncle Bobbie's Coffee & Books (5445 Germantown Ave.)

Hakim's Bookstore & Gift Shop (210 S. 52nd St.)

Amalgam Comics and Coffeehouse (2578 Frankford Ave.)

Black and Nobel Books (411 South St.)

Sankofa Award for Distinguished Achievement

The BAAAU presents the Sankofa Award for Distinguished Achievement annually at Alumni Weekend. Recipients are Arcadia University graduates of African-American/African diaspora descent who exemplifies the spirit of Sankofa. This award is presented to a deserving graduate in recognition of their significant professional accomplishments, as well the contributions they have made in mentoring and social justice activism in the African American/African diaspora community, which greatly enhance the prestige of Arcadia University.

Past award recipients:
2020: Zyhkeya Waller-Young ’99
2019: Candace L. Griffin '13M
2018: Octavius LaVon Blount '15

Nominations are currently be accepted for the 2021 Sankofa Award.

Submit a Nomination 


Alumni who are interested in joining one or more of the Black Alumni Association's committees should contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at or 215-517-2566.

  • Alumni Outreach Committee: Oversees the alumni visibility and awareness of the BAAAU
  • Board Development & Nominating Committee: Oversees the election process and the progressiveness of the Executive Committee
  • Communications Committee: Oversees efforts related to branding, publiciity, communications, content-writing, social media, photography, etc.
  • Events Committee: Oversees planning, coordination, and support for athletic, social, networking, and educational events
  • Membership Committee: Oversees the welcoming of new membership, promotion and publicity of membership opportunities
  • Sankofa Committee: Oversees the efforts to assist offices such as Enrollment Management, University Advancement, Institutional Diversity, and others in the creation of transformational spaces to improve the campus climate and promote critical thinking both within the University community
  • Scholarship Committee: Oversees processes related to scholarship awards, including maintaining contact with scholars request updates each semester and provide to alumni leadership and members, and working with Communications Committee to publicize current recipients of scholarship(s) in group's e-communications