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VCU Black Alumni Trailblazers: Alumni Panel

12 p.m. - 1 p.m. Feb. 21, 2022

Join VCU Alumni as we hear from Black leaders who blazed a trail at VCU, as students and alumni, helping define Black experiences and culture on campus. The panelists will provide stories of triumph and struggle through the decades of VCU.

Register for the Zoom link.


Nina Sims (B.S.’93/MC) is a past president of the VCU African American Alumni Council and a past member of the VCU Alumni board of governors.


Jim Elam (B.S.’73/H&S) was elected in 1970, by a vote of 726 to 465, as the first Black president of VCU’s Student Government Association. The VCU SGA is an elected governing body of students presiding over both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses. The organization promotes student involvement and actively represents student opinions by not only working with students but also by ensuring student presence on significant, universitywide committees and councils at VCU.

Zarron Moses (B.S.’18/HP) is the founder of Black Men in Medicine. BMIM, serving VCU, is committed to the academic success and advancement of underrepresented minority students interested in health care professions. In 2013, the Association of American Medical Colleges released an alarming report that the number of Black men applying to medical school was decreasing. This absence of an increase threatens efforts to effectively address health disparities and excellence in clinical care, which prompted the organization’s creation.

Gail Robinson (M.P.A.’82/GPA) was elected in 1990 as the second president of the VCU Black Alumni Council, now the African American Alumni Council. Founded in 1989, the AAAC instills pride among alumni in both the university and the council and promotes the growth and contributes to the recruitment and retention of the Black student body.

Charles N. Smith, Ed.D. (B.S.’76/H&S; M.S.’80/HP) was the former director of VCU’s Black Awakening Choir. Originally founded in 1970, Smith reestablished the choir in 1972 and helped build the foundation for the nationally recognized collegiate choir we recognize today. The gospel choir is one of the longest standing organizations at VCU and serves as a spiritual outlet for students of all backgrounds.




Larry Powell

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