University of Pittsburgh
October 19, 2009

Pitt's African American Alumni Council to Hold News Conference 10:30 a.m. Oct. 23 to Announce $3 Million Financial-Aid Campaign, Celebrate 40 Years of Progress in Diversity Initiatives

Alumni leaders present in 1969 to be panelists at the conference

Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH-The University of Pittsburgh's African American Alumni Council (AAAC) will hold a news conference at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 23 in the William Pitt Union's

Kurtzman Room, 3959 Fifth Ave., Oakland.

Held during the Sankofa Homecoming Weekend, the AAAC news conference will announce the launch of the public phase of a $3 million campaign to provide critical financial aid through three funds: the Bebe Moore Campbell Scholarship Fund, the Jack L. Daniel Endowed Book Fund, and the AAAC Endowed Scholarship Fund.

Late Pitt alumnus Bebe Moore Campbell (EDUC '71) was a nationally acclaimed best-selling author and Pitt trustee; Distinguished Service Professor of Communication Jack L. Daniel, who will participate in the AAAC news conference, is a Pitt alumnus (A&S '63, '65G, '68G), Pitt's former vice provost for undergraduate studies and dean of students, and a Pitt student leader during the 1960s.

The AAAC Homecoming Weekend events will celebrate the progress in diversity initiatives made by the University since 1969, when a Black student group known as the Black Action Society (BAS) occupied Pitt's computer center. Some of these activist alumni will be on hand at the news conference, including AAAC President Linda Wharton-Boyd (A&S '72, '75G, '79G).

It's been 40 years since the BAS group called for the University to address the inadequate number of Black students, faculty, administrators, and staff; to provide academic support and resources for Black students; and to recognize the significance of African American life and culture on the campus. These areas have been the subjects of ongoing and effective institutional efforts over the course of the intervening years.