Skip to Main Content
CWRU Links



Winter 2012 - Volume 1, Issue 4

Date Released: 3 December 2012

Contributors: Sandra Allen - Brian Anthony - Janice Eatman-Williams - Alicia Graves - Linda Wheatt

President's Message

As president of the African American Alumni Association, it is an honor and a privilege to address students and alums in our fourth newsletter. I come with greetings and holiday cheer.

I would first like to congratulate all students for successfully completing final exams for the winter 2012 semester. I know it was tough, but studying for long hours should certainly pay off. Good luck to you. We look forward to seeing you all back on campus next semester!

We had an OUTSTANDING time during Case Western Reserve University’s African American Alumni Reunion 2012 in September. I want to personally acknowledge and thank each of you for attending. It would not have been the same without you.

Last, but certainly not least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you, Dr. Deborale Richardson-Bouie, for your hard work and dedication to the Office of Multicultural Affairs over the last eight years. This office has seen a lot of success during your tenure with the university. We wish you all the best and well wishes on your future endeavors. You will be missed, but never forgotten!

Have a wonderful holiday season and stay tuned for the next chapter of the African American Alumni Association.
Continue your journey with us. Get involved. Help a student. Share your vision.

Alicia Graves (CWR '05), President, African American Alumni Association

Alumni Spotlight: Brian Anthony, (CWR '06), AAAA Vice President

Brian Anthony was born and raised in Cleveland, spent much time in the University Circle area, and knew what the community had to offer. Not surprisingly, he decided to pursue his undergraduate degree at Case Western Reserve University. A 2002 graduate of Gilmour Academy, he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history in 2006, a Master of Public Administration from Cleveland State University in 2008, and his teaching licensure in integrated social studies from Notre Dame College in 2011.

From his first day at CWRU, he immersed himself in many facets of campus life, including participation in intramurals, playing at Severance Hall with the Symphonic Winds Orchestra, serving as president of the African-American Society and volunteering as a mentor/tutor at area schools. His focus was to become a well-rounded student who could affect change within his community.

He currently works as an educator at Euclid High School, with a concentration in history and math. In addition to assisting students in the classroom, he also serves as co-advisor to a scholars’ group for African-American males and as head track coach for Forest Park Middle School. When not with students, he enjoys concerts, sporting events, trivia contests and spending time with wife, Erika.

What is one thing about yourself that most people don’t know?
When I was a junior in high school, I was selected to be a cast member for a Disney show aimed to get children interested in instrumental music. My orchestra at the Cleveland Music School Settlement was to be filmed as we went on tour for a month, stopping in Chicago, New York and Pittsburgh, and playing with such artists as Christina Aguilera and Wynton Marsalis. Unfortunately, the show was cancelled a week before we were to start shooting.

What is a funny story about yourself?
In August 2011, I tore the ACL in my right knee dancing to “Poison” by Bell Biv Devoe at a friend’s wedding. The “pop” was so loud that the DJ heard it over his speakers!

If you hadn’t become an educator, what might you have done instead?
If I hadn’t become an educator, I would have gone to school for broadcast journalism, with a focus on sports journalism. I love all sports and can definitely see myself as a “SportsCenter” anchor!

What is your favorite CWRU memory?
Being chosen by the university’s marketing department to introduce Dennis Miller at Severance Hall during Homecoming Weekend junior year is a favorite memory. I wrote my own intro, got to meet Dennis before the show, and was seated in the CWRU president’s box during the program!

What is your favorite quote and why?
"Under all speech that is good for anything there lies a silence that is better. Silence is deep as eternity, speech is shallow as time."(Thomas Carlyle)

I have always believed that people should be more inclined to listen, comprehend, and appreciate what others say – rather than to be caught up with the sound of their own voices.

Reunion Weekend 2012

September 27-30 was Homecoming 2012 and the biennial reunion of the African American Alumni Association (AAAA) of Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). More than 75 people registered for the Friday night welcome reception at the Alumni House, which kicked off the festivities. Acting President Alicia Graves welcomed those who returned to campus to celebrate their connection with the university, each other and current students. Michael E. Fisher Scholarship recipient Jason Rucker humbly thanked the Association for the financial support which helped make his attendance at CWRU possible. A mild evening made the second annual candlelight vigil a pleasant walk to the statue of Stephanie Tubbs Jones, where alumni shared memories and rededicated themselves to the service and inclusivity that were Stephanie’s trademark. Back at the Alumni House, the night continued with delicious food and beverage, soulful music and games, including, of course, Bid Whist.

At the Saturday morning business meeting, committees reported on the progress of the last two years. The Governance Committee announced that 90-plus people voted electronically for proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-laws in the areas of membership, Board of Directors, committees and finance. The committee also directed the election of the 2013-2014 officers and Board of Directors. The results follow:

President: Alicia Graves (CWR ’05)
Vice President: Brian Anthony (CWR ’06)
Secretary: Aqueelah Jordan (CWR ’04)
Treasurer: Jeanne Madison (WRC, MGT ’97)

Board of Directors
Sandra Allen (FSM ’71, GRS ’72)
Iverson Banks-Bey (WRC ’74)
LarKesha Burns (CWR '09)
Sharon Jordan-Davis (CWR ’97, MNO ’00)
Debra Lewis-Curlee (WRC '74)
Linda Wheatt (FSM ’72, GRS ’77)

ReunionAfter-five was the attire and the historic Alcazar Hotel was the site for the Saturday night dinner dance, emceed by John Barber (WRC ’75). Christopher Vlahos, associate vice president, University Alumni Relations, and alumni board president Eric Keene (MGT ’94), brought words of greeting from the university. The Association proudly recognized three of its outstanding alumni (see Awards article below). Later, the Joshua Trio turned up the music and the dancing began. The evening concluded with alumni showing off their best moves in a Soul Train Line.

Vera Perkins Hughes (WRC ’76), led worship at the Sunday morning prayer breakfast. Michelle Owens-Patterson, (FSM ’71), poured libations, and the names of dear departed ones were called to mind. After breakfast, Dr. Marilyn Mobley (GRS ’87), offered words of inspiration through her keynote address. The morning ended with a unity circle and the parting song, I Need You to Survive.

The 7th Annual Stephanie Tubbs Jones Gospel Fest, held Sunday afternoon in the auditorium of John Hay High School, was the culminating event for Reunion 2012. This celebration showcased the talents of local choirs, musicians, and youth organizations, including Case Western Reserve’s own Voices of Glory. 

The African American Alumni Association thanks everyone who attended this biennial reunion. Please join us again in two years, when new Association policies promise the celebration will be better than ever. You can enjoy the reunion weekend pictures here.

African American Alumni Association Awards Presented

On September 29, 2012, the African American Alumni Association recognized the achievements of three of its own with the presentation of awards. The Rising Star Award is presented to an alumnus who has graduated within the last fifteen years and has demonstrated potential long-term leadership and distinction. The Ella Mae Johnson Service Award is presented to an alumnus who provides extensive service to the University and to the community.  The Stephanie Tubbs Jones Leadership Award is presented to an alumnus who has shown resilience in the face of adversity and demonstrated strong, effective leadership.

Rising Star Award recipient Paul D. Adams, Ph.D. (GRS ’00) is Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. He is a powerful role model for his students. His impressive list of research, teaching and service achievements includes receiving funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Science Foundation for research in the biochemistry of cancer. His recent appointment to a NIH grant review panel is testimony to the high esteem in which his accomplishments are held by the scientific community.

Ella Mae Johnson Service Award recipient Annette G. Butler, J.D. (FSM ’66) has done much to shape the legal community. Whether working as an attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office, a guest lecturer in the CWRU School of Law, a mentor in the Ohio Supreme Court’s Lawyer to Lawyer program, or in many other capacities, Judge Butler has maintained a reputation for honesty, fairness and integrity. Judge Butler has served the greater community in many positions, including President of the Cleveland Heights-University Heights and Shaker Heights Library Boards, and the first female president of the Cleveland City Club.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones Leadership Award recipient May L. Wykle, Ph.D. (NUR ’62, NUR ’69, NUR ’81) is a trailblazer. She was one of the nation’s first African American nurses to work at an all-white hospital, the first African American dean of CWRU’s Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, and the first African American professor at CWRU to have an endowed chair named for her. Dr. Wykle is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of geriatric and mental health nursing. Her career at CWRU spans 40 years and one of her proudest accomplishments is that she has succeeded in her personal mission to bring more minorities into the nursing profession.

Members Corner - Winter 2013

Written by Sandee Allen (FSM '71, GRS '72)
Interim Chair, Membership Committee

Welcome to the first “Members Corner” of the African American Alumni Association (AAAA) Newsletter. I am delighted to have seen so many of you in attendance at the biennial reunion weekend. While we had a few logistical challenges, as usual the fellowship was PERFECT. You are such a special group.   

The message this quarter is to encourage you to stay involved between reunion years. How can I best do that? I thought you would never ask (smile).
Consider volunteering with a standing or ad hoc committee. The committees do the heavy lifting that keeps our organization vibrant. Participation on a committee is a great way to continue cherished friendships and to develop new ones. It allows the AAAA to tap into the vast treasure of its members’ personal and professional competencies. We need you! We are grateful to those who signed up during reunion weekend to participate in committees. It is never too late to volunteer. Most committee meetings occur by telephone, so proximity to CWRU is not an issue.

The following is a brief description of each AAAA standing committee and contact information for current committee chairs:

Membership Committee – seeks to enroll members and promote their participation in the business and activities of the Association.
Interim Chair:  Sandee Allen -

Program Committee – generates diverse program ideas and plans all Association events.
Chair: TBD, contact

Governance/Nominating Committee – supports the Board by enriching the capacity of Board members to govern and lead the Association toward achieving its goals.
Co-Chair:  Debra Lewis Curlee – 
Co-Chair:  Erma Leaphart-Gouch –

Communication Committee – prepares a periodic newsletter for distribution to Association Members; maintains the Association’s web page/site; sends media notices about Association events.
Chair:  Linda Berry Wheatt -

Student Affairs Committee –attends and promotes recruitment functions and sponsors events for applicants and current students.
Chair:  LarKesha Burns –

Budget and Finance Committee – oversees preparation of the annual budget and monitors the financial performance of the Association in meeting its budget; oversees capital campaigns and fundraising.
Chair:  TBA, contact

In addition to the standing committees, ad hoc committees such as the Reunion Committee, Pledge Drive Committee, and Young Alumni Committee are called in to action as needed. As you can see, there is a committee that can use your talents.

For those who have already signed up to volunteer, please accept our deepest appreciation and expect to hear from your committee chair in the coming weeks. For those who would like to participate, please contact the appropriate committee chair.

Want to become a member? Please go to and register your contact information. 

On behalf of the Membership Committee, have a very happy holiday season and best wishes for a healthy, joyous, productive, and peaceful 2013!

Student News

The African American Society of Case Western Reserve University is an undergraduate group devoted to functioning as a hub for minority students, promoting awareness and acceptance of African American culture on campus, and serving the greater Cleveland area. On Saturday December 8, 2012, the African American Society held its 39th annual Ebony Ball at the Civic Center in Cleveland Heights. African American Alumni Association President Alicia Graves extended congratulations on behalf of the Association and assured attendees of mentorship and other support for students from the organization. Alumni Aqueelah Jordan, Dr. Marilyn Mobley and Linda Wheatt also enjoyed this elegant evening of delicious food, soulful jazz, lively dance music and thought-provoking words. Keynote speaker Basheer Jones, the country’s youngest news talk radio show host, challenged the audience to be the change that they want to see. A portion of the evening’s proceeds were donated to the fight against breast cancer.

Save the Date

Friday, January 25, 2013
Martin Luther King, Jr. Convocation
Amasa Stone Chapel
Keynote Speaker, Lani Guinier

Monday, February 11, 2013
Power of Diversity Lecture Series
Dr. Johnetta B. Cole

Friday, April 12, 2013
OMA 23rd Annual Unity Banquet
at Landerhaven, Mayfield Hts, Ohio
Keynote Speaker: Wes Moore

In Memoriam: Love leaves a memory no one can steal

Rose‌Rev. Eleanor Harris (FSM ’73)
Thomas Lippford

Notices may be sent to

What would you like to see highlighted in future newsletters? Do you have wedding, graduation, baby news, etc. to share? Your ideas are appreciated. Contact us at

Please forward this newsletter to those who you think may not have received it.

Visit us our webpage, and our Facebook page.