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December 15, 2017
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IPC: Inman Page Black Alumni Council


How far are we from the days of 1877 when George Washington Milford and Inman Edward Page were the first two known African Americans to graduate from Brown University? How removed are we from the days of 1905 when Ethel Robinson bore the trials of a pioneering Black woman at Pembroke College? Do their motivations for life-long learning financial stability and dedicated service still ring in the hearts, minds and souls of current alumni? We think so..

The Inman Page Black Alumni Council was conceived as a proactive group of people that fosters education and development at Brown University 'through a partnership in a unified community.' In addition, this group aims to elevate the lives of all individuals in the African Diaspora 'through usefulness and reputation.'

Birth:

In 1877 Inman E. Page graced the commencement audience with as senior oration that was captured by the Providence Journal as act of 'rare ability.' Undoubtedly this rare ability assisted the future university president and was a factor in awarding his honorary degree in 1918.

The year 1999 marked more senior orations, honorary degrees and the 25th Reunion of the class of 1974. At Brown, this class was significant for many reasons. One being the dramatic 300% increase of Black graduates as a result of the 1968 walk-out. Having this group reunite on campus brought about conversations of camaraderie, networking, and concern.

A long-standing tradition for Onyx is to sponsor the Black Baccalaureate service at Manning Chapel. The 1999 keynote speech by Professor Elmo Terry-Morgan '74 evoked the memory of ancestors, family and well-wishers that made the journey through Brown a success. His message seeped into the foundation of the structure and those sitting within. Professor Terry-Morgan's speech was a charge. The class of 1999 was to go out become active alumni and create a Black Alumni group. The idea had been mentioned years before, in different settings, in different contexts. The chemistry was right, the charge was electric, the idea took root.

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