African American Alumni Association

Who we are

The African American Alumni Association (AAAA) of Case Western Reserve University was officially established in October 2009. The Association elected its officers and board of directors, as well as began populating their committees during Alumni Weekend 2010.

Its purpose is to provide support and networking opportunities to African American alumni of Case Western Reserve University. The Association shall provide a forum for the University to recruit students and foster friendship among persons who have been connected with Case Western Reserve University.

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2024 African American Alumni Association Awards nominations are open

We encourage you to nominate yourself or other candidates for the 2024 awards. Nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. on August 31, 2024. 

Please see the awards in detail and our previous winners below prior to filling out the nomination form.

  • Stephanie Tubbs Jones Leadership Award
  • Ella Mae Johnson Service Award
  • Rising Star Award
  • Distinguished Academic Award 

Nominations must be received by 11:59 p.m. EDT on Saturday, August 31, 2024. Awardees will be notified and honored at this year’s African American Alumni Association Homecoming event on Saturday, November 16, 2024.

Stephanie Tubbs Jones Leadership Award

Recipients of the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Leadership Award are African American Case Western Reserve graduates who provide service to the broader community and demonstrate loyalty to the university through participation and/or financial support. They demonstrate strong effective leadership and resilience in the face of adversity.

Previous Winners

  • 2010 Robert Madison (ARC ’48)
  • 2012 May Wykle (NUR ’62, ’69, ’81)
  • 2014 Harold McCrae (ADL ’65)
  • 2016 Vincent Holland, PhD (GRS ’79)
  • 2018 Debra Lewis-Curlee (WRC ’74)
  • 2020 Teresa Dews (MED ’88)
  • 2022 Justin Bibb (LAW ’18, MGT ’18)

Ella Mae Johnson Service Award

Recipients of the Ella Mae Johnson Service Award are African American Case Western Reserve graduates who have made a difference in the lives of others. They have provided direct service to the university and the community through volunteerism and civic engagement.

Previous Winners

  • 2010 Fred Gray (LAW ’54)
  • 2012 Annette Butler (FSM ’66)
  • 2014 Joan Southgate (SAS ’54)
  • 2016 Donald Freeman (ADL ’61)
  • 2018 Dean Patterson (WRC ’75; GRS ’82)                                 
  • 2020 Francis Curd (DEN ’77)
  • 2022 Constance Hill-Johnson (WRC ’80)

Rising Star Award

Recipients of the Rising Star Award have graduated within the past 15 years and demonstrated the potential for long-term distinction.

Previous Winners

  • 2010 Alicia Graves (CWR ’05)
  • 2012 Paul Adams (GRS ’00)
  • 2014 Gayle Williams-Byers (CWR ’96, LAW ’00, MNO ’00)
  • 2016 Kari Cunningham (DEN ’10, ’12)
  • 2018 Alesha Washington (MNO ’07)
  • 2020 Brian Webster (CWR ’11)
  • 2022 Tobili Hatcher (CWR ’20) 

Distinguished Academic Award 

Recipients of the Distinguished Academic Award are current or former faculty or department heads who have made significant contributions to CWRU and their professional areas of expertise.

Previous Winners

  • 2018 John McCluskey                                               
  • 2020 Joy Bostic
  • 2022 Heather Burton

President’s Award

Recipients of the President’s Award are honored for long-term invaluable service and contributions to the African  American Alumni Association.  

Previous Winners

  • 2020 Sharon Jenise Brown (CWR ’97, MNO ’00)
  • 2022 Linda Berry Wheatt (FSM ’72, GRS ’77)

AAAA Newsletter Archives

Officers and Board of Directors

President: Tiarra Thomas (CWR ’12)

Vice President: Brian Webster (CWR ’11)

Secretary: Tiana Ellington (MGT ’21)

Treasurer: Vincent Holland (GRS ’79, sociology)

Communications: Linda Berry-Wheatt (FSM ’72; GRS ’77, Education)


Alan Mitchell (WRC ’76)

Arik Smith (CWR ’20)

Gabrielle Jones ( CWR ’21) 

Jeannette Lightfoot (FSM ’71)

JoAnna Rusely (CAS ’94, SAS ’95)

Marilyn Maultsby (WRC ’75)