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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Northwest students and employees gathered last year for the inaugural Association of Black Employees scholarship banquet. The organization is hosting its second annual banquet March 31. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

Northwest students and employees gathered last year for the inaugural Association of Black Employees scholarship banquet. The organization is hosting its second annual banquet March 31. (Northwest Missouri State University photo)

March 6, 2018

Black employee association selling tickets for scholarship banquet

The Northwest Missouri State University Association of Black Employees (ABE) will host its second annual scholarship banquet at 6 p.m., Saturday, March 31, at the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts.

Thomas Sanchez, founder and chief executive officer of Social Driver, will deliver the keynote address. Sanchez has been called one of the “most innovative people in Washington, D.C.,” and a top “minority business leader.” Social Driver helps clients connect with people through social media, websites, video and digital advertising. The company’s collaborative culture and cutting-edge strategies have been featured by CBS, the BBC and The Washington Post.

Sanchez is a first-generation college graduate, graduating from Northwest in 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in management information systems and serves on the Northwest Foundation Board. In 2015, Sanchez delivered Northwest’s spring commencement address and received the Northwest Alumni Association’s Young Alumni Award.

“Having someone of the caliber of Mr. Sanchez speak to our attendees will hopefully continue the great things we are doing on campus and in the local community as it relates to creating true inclusive environment and providing educational opportunities to those who need help paying for school,” Dr. Justin Mallett, Northwest’s director of diversity, equity and inclusion, said. 

Tickets are $50 per person or $350 per table. To purchase tickets, contact Gabrielle Hawkins in Northwest’s Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, at 660.562.1517 or ghawkins@nwmissouri.edu. Funds raised during the banquet will go to ABE’s scholarship fund in hopes of awarding scholarships this fall. Cocktail attire is encouraged.

ABE was founded at Northwest by nine black employees in the spring of 2015 and has grown to 28 members. Its mission is to empower black employees in a rural higher education environment such as Northwest’s to be successful in and outside the university, and to provide support and encouragement for our marginalized students.

Gina Smith, office manager in the School of Health Science and Wellness, serves as vice president. Alisha Greene, a dispatcher in University Police, is treasurer, and Dr. Augustus Hallmon, assistant professor of recreation, is secretary.


For more information, please contact:

Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468