BWUA kicked off the year with its annual Freshman Luncheon with a smashing success. Freshman Liaison Alex Wiggins arrived well before any of the guests to put the finishing touches on the room and greet the incoming freshman. As the freshman trickled in, the board divided itself among the many tables and invited the newcomers to sit down and get acquainted. Everyone mingled happily for the next twenty minutes until the first guest Vice Dean Georgette Phillips took the stage. In a concise and poignant speech, Mrs. Phillips encouraged students to be proud of themselves for making it to The University of Pennsylvania and reminded them that there was a far larger number of individuals who are unable to say that, especially those of color. The Vice Dean added to her comments that it was important that the students incorporate a priority for helping others into their schedules.  “We talk so much about mentoring and finding a mentor,” said Mrs. Phillips “but at every point in your life you should also have someone below you who you are mentoring and who you are helping.” The membership gave a hearty applause following the speech and then waited eagerly to be released for the food. Freshman Liaison Wiggins had wisely hired Baby Blues Barbeque to do the catering and the freshman praised her accordingly. With everyone’s plates replete with corn bread, chicken, sweet potatoes the upperclassmen and freshmen bonded over a delicious meal as they awaited keynote speaker Ron Phillips.  Mr. Phillips, the Senior Vice President of Comcast captivated the crowd with not only his strong public speaking skills but also the details of his personal story.  As the son of lower-middle income parents, Mr. Phillips had to fully support himself through college by holding down between two and three jobs. Mr. Phillips encouraged the students to thoroughly enjoy their undergraduate years as well as to discover and nurture personal talents that could parlay into profitable career opportunities. Mr. Phillips shared a story from his own undergraduate years in which he discovered his own talents. Though he had always wanted to be a finance major, he realized soon that the numbers were not his strong suit. As such, he changed paths and found success in focusing his efforts on law. In addition to his academic experiences, he shared the personal experiences that made his college experience worthwhile namely meeting his wife and joining Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. Following his speech, he opened the floor to questions. Students inquired about his personal life and his experience as an African American in the corporate world. In addition to inquiries were requests for general advice. Following Phillips speech, Alex Wiggins closed the event to hearty applause upon which she called the board forward for a picture.

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