Black alumni will have an opportunity to get reacquainted with classmates, professors, and students during Black Alumni Weekend at West Virginia University on Friday, Oct. 9-11.

“This is a wonderful event for black alumni not only to get together, but also to meet new students, form alliances with them, and reconnect with the campus as a whole,” said Marjorie Fuller, director of the WVU Center for Black Culture and Research.

A meet-and-greet event will kick off the weekend at the Erickson Alumni Center on Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. Faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

“We seek to re-engage black alumni with the University in the hopes of helping minority students navigate the complexity of college and professional life,” said J.T. Thomas, WVU Alumni Association board member. “Once they complete college, we want students to become active members of the WVU Alumni Association, and share the benefit of our networking and career building opportunities.

“It’s gratifying to come back to WVU, see the growth and more minority students here,” Thomas said.

Throughout the weekend, the WVU Black Alumni Association hopes to raise funds for the new Horace and Geraldine Belmear Endowment Scholarship. The goal is to reach $25,000. As students, Belmear and his wife were members of Omega Psi Phi and Alpha Kappa Alpha, respectively.

A WVU graduate, Geraldine Belmear joined the University in 1971 as an advisor to black students after a successful career with the State Cooperative Extension Service, where she was the first black woman in the country to head a county homemaker program. She went to serve as assistant dean for minority affairs and assistant coordinator of minority affairs until her retirement in 1987. She died in 2005.

Horace Belmear retired from WVU in 1993 after stints as assistant dean of Admissions and Records and undergraduate minority recruiter. He also holds a graduate degree from the University. Belmear dedicated his career at WVU to helping minority students succeed.

Plans for whom the scholarship will benefit and how it will be used at WVU are still in the works, Thomas said.

A game-watch event of the WVU-Syracuse football game is planned at the Erickson Alumni Center on Oct. 10; a breakfast/brunch is scheduled for Sunday.

Black Alumni Weekend is sponsored by the WVU Alumni Association. The Horace and Geraldine Belmear Endowment Scholarship is maintained by the WVU Foundation.

For more information, go to


CONTACT: Marjorie Fuller, Center for Black Culture and Research