POSTED: Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 1:00pm
UPDATED: Saturday, April 28, 2012 - 1:04pm
Baton Rouge, La — The Southern University Marching Band and the SU National Alumni Federation each received a 2012 HBCU Award from the Center for HBCU Media Advocacy at a national awards ceremony held on the campus of Bowie State University in the Wiseman Student Center on April 21, 2012.
The center’s annual award ceremony crowns winners in the fields of leadership, arts, athletics, research, and community engagement. According to Jarrett L. Carter Sr., founder and executive director of the center, the HBCU Awards is the first and only event to recognize the influence and impact of HBCUs on American culture.
The SU Marching Band was named 2012’s Best HBCU Marching Band and the Southern University Alumni Federation (SUAF) was named National Alumni Association of the Year.
“Winning the awards is a huge achievement for the band and the Alumni Federation, said SU System President Ronald Mason Jr.
The Southern University Marching Band, often called the “Human Jukebox,” enjoys a long list of awards and achievements and has a resume of appearances in local, national, and international venues.
“The ‘Human Jukebox’ has consistently been at the forefront of college bands in terms of music, innovation, and style. A world-wide audience enjoys the SU Band’s unique and creative flare,” said Mason.
The band has performed around the world and has appeared on several national television shows such as ABC’s “Nightline,” in two of film director Spike Lee’s productions, and in an award-winning documentary by NFL Films.
In 2009, the band was profiled in a New York Times article on successful college marching bands. In 2010, the band’s drum line traveled to the North African countries of Morocco and Algeria where they performed in theaters, children’s centers, a morning television show, sporting events, and conducted workshops. Last year, the SU Band was selected as the top marching band among the nation’s historically black colleges, according to HBCU Digest.
Most recently, the band’s dance squad, the SU Dancing Dolls, performed with pop music icon Madonna during the nationally televised halftime show for Super Bowl XLVI.
Southern University Alumni Federation president Dennis S. Brown and some area alumni, who attended the awards ceremony in Bowie, Maryland, were excited when the organization received the HBCU Award.
“I was honored to receive this award on behalf of the Southern University National Alumni Federation. This award is due to the many alums around the country who love and support our University and we will continue to increase our efforts to support and advance our “Dear O’ Southern,” said Brown.
The Federation now works closely with the SU System Office of Institutional Advancement to develop and sponsor activities that garner greater attention and support from alumni.
Southern University alumni serve in a very substantial way advocating for the University in the legislative arena. In the spring of 2011, using their collective voice, alumni from all of the System’s campuses came together forming a grassroots effort to defeat legislation aimed at potentially dismantling the SU System.
Since 2010, the Federation has awarded more than 215 scholarships to SU students totaling more than $124,000.
“This recognition exemplifies the meaningful partnership the Federation has developed with the University and the generous ways their assistance help support our mission to make a difference in students’ lives.” Mason added.
The SU System had nominees in eight of the 27 categories among the finalists for the second installment of the national award ceremony recognizing Historically Black College and University achievement.