Campus News

UK Black Alumni Reunion to be held April 13-15

Mark Cornelison | UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 3, 2023) — The University of Kentucky Black Alumni Reunion is an opportunity to cultivate community through a weekend of engaging educational experiences, social events and networking opportunities. The event is scheduled for April 13-15, 2023. 

In the spirit of Harambeè, defined as “a coming together,” the reunion serves as a chance for Black alumni to gather, reconnect, socialize and come together. 

“Interest has been shown as several African American groups gather together during Homecoming season,” said Lillian Bland, president-elect of the UK Lyman T. Johnson African American Constituency Group. “Instead of having separate celebratory groups, it was suggested we all become ‘one’ and have one large Black Alumni Reunion.” 

Ensuring that Black alumni feel more connected to the institution is important for planning committee member Johnathon Davis. He acknowledges it is sometimes difficult for that group to come back to campus if they weren’t socially connected while here and made few memories. 

“Though we cannot change history, with a concerted effort, we can be intentional about changing the future,” Davis said.  

The weekend celebration is in collaboration with the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS) in the College of Arts and sciences, the UK Alumni Association, and the UK Office of Philanthropy.  

“There is strong evidence of a long legacy of Black history, Black culture — and most importantly Black excellence at UK — that we all enjoy and that current students appreciate,” said Katrice Albert, UK vice president for institutional diversity. “Events like the Black Alumni Reunion allow us a special moment to ‘come home,’ reminisce on and recount special memories, reconnect with friends, faculty and staff, strengthen bonds with each other and be introduced to and interact with current UK students where Black UK traditions might be shared and taught to the next generation of our global leaders.  It’s a family reunion that we cannot wait for you to enjoy.”  

“The UK Alumni Association is proud to be one of the hosts of this event,” said 2022-23 UK Alumni Association President Antoine Huffman. “By connecting in person, Black alumni will learn how best to advocate for current students and how to offer our support to the university to advance initiatives to enhance diversity.”  

An updated list of events will appear on the UK Alumni Association website. Space is limited for some of the events. Please register to guarantee your spot.  

Thursday, April 13 

Welcome Reception

  • 5:30-7:30 p.m. 
  • The Campbell House | 1375 S. Broadway 
  • Mingle with other early arrivers in the recently renovated, historic Campbell House.  

College-Hosted Alumni Events 

  • Various locations across campus 

Friday, April 14 

College-Hosted Alumni Events 

  • 9-11 a.m. 
  • Various locations across campus 

UK Alumni Share Career Journey Stories 

  • 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  
  • Innovation Lab at the Cornerstone 
  • Alumni will share stories, memories and experiences. Lunch will be served followed by a networking opportunity for students and alumni.  

A Conversation on the Power and Influence of Black Women 

  • Featuring UK Commonwealth Institute for Black Studies (CIBS) faculty authors 
  • 2-4 p.m.  
  • Esports Theatre at the Cornerstone 
  • Confirmed speakers include Anastasia Curwood, director of CIBS and interim chair and professor of history, and Crystal Wilkinson, professor of English in the MFA Creative Writing program and Poet Laureate 2021-2022 for the Commonwealth of Kentucky. A meet and greet event and a book signing follows the conversation. 

Alumni and Student Mixer in Collaboration with UK National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) 

  • 6-10 p.m. 
  • The Campbell House | 1375 S. Broadway 
  • Enjoy fellowship, food, and musical sounds from a local DJ.   

Saturday, April 15  

Campus Tours 

  • 10-11 a.m. 
  • Meet at King Alumni House 
  • Take a bus ride down memory lane to visit some of your favorite buildings and witness first-hand how campus has changed. 


  • 11 a.m.  
  • Historic Keeneland Race Course 
  • Grab your favorite hat and join us for an exciting day at the races. Reserve Grandstand tickets available.  

UK Softball vs. Tennessee 

  • Noon 
  • John Cropp Stadium | 570 Wildcat Court 
  • Fun for the entire family as you watch the No. 1 ranked catcher in the nation lead the Wildcats in an SEC battle against the Volunteers.  

Recognition Dinner Honoring Emmett “Buzz” Burnam 

  • 6:30-9 p.m.  
  • The Campbell House | 1375 S. Broadway 
  • Join the Alumni Association for the weekend finale as they recognize an individual who has left his mark on campus and on the lives of many students. Buzz Burnam, who recently retired from UK as the director for diversity undergraduate student recruitment, was a campus presence for more than 50 years and still serves on the UK Alumni Association Board of Directors in order to encourage more involvement among diverse alumni. Enjoy dinner and musical performances. 

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.