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Students forge campus connections at family dinner

February 25, 2015
KOKOMO, Ind. — Alexius Babb’s children toured their future college recently — never mind that Joseph is only eight, and twin daughters Jayden and Jordan are five years old.

Babb, a senior graduating in May, knows from her experience that Indiana University Kokomo is her choice for her family.

She and her husband Leon, along with the children, were on campus for the African American Student and Family Dinner, part of Black History Month activities.

“They were excited to see where I go to school, and to get a look at what I do here,” she said. “It’s important for them to see and feel comfortable on a college campus, starting when they are young.”

Chancellor Susan Sciame-Giesecke welcomed students and their families, encouraging them to dream big and reach for their goals.

“You can be anything you want to be, here, and in the future,” she said. “You matter to us, and we want to be sure you are successful. Dream big, and let us be your partner in helping you achieve what you want to achieve.”

Guest speaker Zebulon Davenport presented his “Four Gs to success,” which included getting involved, setting goals, getting a good quality education, and graduating.

He praised students for bringing their families, especially their children, to be part of the evening. Senior Shanique Gilliam sat with her young daughter, who took notes. Babb’s daughters, in identical pink dresses and boots, sat on her lap for part of the night, listening attentively.

“I see generations of influence,” he said. “Each generation is supposed to move that family one step further. When we take children on a college campus, we move them forward by quantum leaps.”

Alisha Elam, a junior, was thrilled family was included, so she could bring her mother, Aggie Elam.

“Its nice that my mom gets to share in my success,” she said. “I appreciate that the faculty and administrators took the time to meet with us, and provided such an inspirational speaker.”

She hopes it gave further encouragement to her mother, who recently enrolled in community college, after seeing her daughter’s progress in college. Aggie hopes to enroll at IU Kokomo in the future, because of Alisha’s experiences.

“She’s my inspiration,” Aggie said. “I’m very proud of her, and she’s motivated me to want to get my education.”

The dinner was the third, sponsored by the Office of Campus Diversity. Previous dinners recognized Hispanic and Native American students and their families.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.

Last updated: 02/25/2015