National Speaker, Walsh Alumna Headline Annual Celebration of Black History Month


School News

Walsh University hosted its second Black Alumni Appreciation Dinner on Wednesday, February 22, as a part of the Celebration of Black History by Walsh University. The event was organized by Dr. Terry Echols, Director of Multicultural Affairs. More than 110 students, faculty, alumni and community members attended this special dinner, one of several Walsh events held in honor of Black History Month. The event included national author and motivational speaker Marcus Rosier and a Keynote Address by Walsh Alumna Alesha Walker.

In addition, nine alumni ambassadors who were instrumental in organizing the annual celebration were also recognized. They include:

  • Devon Gates ’15
  • Jordan Harkless ’08
  • Jalen Resewood ’14
  • Clishawn Robinson ’14
  • Marsean Ross ’15
  • Shondor Thomas ’12
  • Kenny Thomas ’08
  • Jon Thompson ’13
  • Alesha Walker ’12

The evening included performances by the Walsh University Choir, L.I.F.E. Ministries in Canton, a reflection and video by student Serena Draper and a poem recited by student Lauren Payton.  Alumni Director Sarah Trescott also announced the creation of a new scholarship named in honor of Walsh alumni Michael and Brian Gilchrist, who were two founding members of the Ebony Eyes Club, now known as the Black Student Union. Alum Nate Cooks ’88, who helped to start the scholarship in their honor, shared his personal memories of Mike and Brian and highlighted their impact in founding Ebony Eyes at Walsh.

Special guest Marcus Y. Rosier is an author, transformational speaker, coach and communication coach. At just 31 years old Marcus has a lifetime of experiences that he uses to communicate life practices and success principles. After mastering the life practice of "Win the Day," he knew that he needed to share this tried and true practice with the world. Marcus has since published a book entitled, "Win the Day- 10 Strategies for a Winning Life" and is creating a virtual global community known as "The Winner’s Circle." Committed to seeing each person develop their potential and live their best life, products and training resources are being developed to help everyone identify and acquire the success they desire.

Alesha Walker presented the Alumni Keynote Address and is a 2012 graduate of Walsh University. She formerly worked in the Communications Department for the Summit County Probate Court. While entertaining the idea of running for Akron City Council, Alesha was presented with what she calls "the opportunity of a lifetime," to become Legislative Aide for Rep. Emilia Sykes, District 34, Ohio House of Representatives. She is also a member of the Young Democrats of Akron, while juggling the role of being the Praise and Worship Leader at Powerhouse Ministries. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Walsh in Communications, with a minor in Government and Foreign Affairs.

"This year, the collective efforts of the Black Student Union (BSU) and Multicultural Affairs have teamed up with Alumni Relations to host the Celebration of Black History," said Dr. Echols. "This collaboration was an excellent way of not only celebrating the outstanding works of African Americans and their contributions to society but also recognizing black alumni of the University that have paved the way for so many students of color and beyond."

More than 18 Walsh alumni were recognized and in attendance during the event.

By reconnecting with Walsh, these trailblazers are creating a new pool of mentors for our current students in a variety of disciplines," said Dr. Echols. "I hope that this tradition will continue to provide hope and inspiration for future students at the University, proving that there is no obstacle to success."