2015 Group of the Year:
Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association (BADA)
Over the more than 40 years since its founding, the Black Alumni of Dartmouth Association (BADA) continues to exemplify what community can be. Never content to rest on success, BADA leadership and its engaged members continue to strive for excellence. Upon election in 2015, the current BADA board members hit the ground running, asking insightful questions and seeking input from membership. Several retreats and strategic planning sessions explored BADA's core values, needs, and priorities. Communication emerged as a central need, and the leadership promptly strengthened messaging and implemented new fruitful efforts.
BADA successfully leverages social media to re-engage alumni across regional boundaries. Via several very active Facebook groups, members discuss programs and interests and propose new ideas, while also celebrating individual and organizational successes. More frequent communications across a variety of platforms have increased connection points and transparency between the BADA executive board and the broader BADA member community. Through such efforts, BADA continues to strengthen bonds between its members.
BADA remains grounded in community needs. In fact, the organization was established in 1972 at the request of current students seeking alumni support. Since that time, BADA has consistently built lasting connections amongst alumni members and between alumni and the College. BADA's leadership, especially current and past presidents, recognizes the value of partnering with the College, while also maintaining an authentic and relevant voice.
BADA continues to model meaningful alumni engagement and support for current students. In the fall of 2014, alumni in Atlanta organized final exam care packages for students from their region. An alumna who is not part of the board leadership spearheaded this kind gesture, knowing that the BADA board would welcome and support the effort. During Commencement, BADA again partnered with campus staff and students to celebrate graduating students and welcome them to the BADA community. Such efforts demonstrate Dartmouth's lifelong and intergenerational connections.
Engaging a more diverse spectrum of alumni remains a priority for BADA. As previous leaders recognized the need for BADA to continually evolve and diversify its leadership, the new board includes leaders representing classes from the past four decades. The intergenerational BADA board is comprised of committed and passionate leaders from many walks of life who are working to foster greater engagement of alumni from across the African diaspora and in a variety of locations. BADA organizes varied and balanced programming on campus and outside of Hanover, with gatherings in various cities such as Boston, Houston, Atlanta and even Shanghai. Such programming helps to accomplish the mission of engaging alumni in meaningful ways. We look forward to BADA's continued excellence in 2016.
For all of these reasons and many more, we are proud to acknowledge BADA as the 2015 Group of the Year.