On the 8th floor of John M. Huntsman Hall on a sunny Saturday afternoon in September, 45 students gathered for the first Black Wharton Undergraduate Association event of the 2013-2014 academic year, the Freshman Luncheon. This event, organized by Black Wharton Freshmen Liaison, Lena Hairadin, allowed the upperclassmen BWUA members to interact with the newest members of the Penn community in the class of 2017.
This event also featured two key speakers. The first being Ms. Georgette Phillips, former Vice Dean of the Wharton School, who reminded students to be thankful of where they are and to consistently give back to the community. She also told students to take advantage presented to all students not only at Wharton but Penn itself, and to shape these 4 years to be as great as they can imagine. The second speaker was Mr. J. Hyatt Mondesire, NAACP Philadelphia branch and state president, NAACP national board member, and owner of the Philadelphia Sun. Hyatt continued on the theme of giving back to the community, informing us that we are the brightest minds in the African community, a community which is often faced with much adversity. He commented on the racial structure of Philadelphia as well as the United States, referencing multiple events including Martin Luther King's speech and even this history of the University of Pennsylvania. He concluded his presentation in saying, "You have an outstanding chance to make a difference in this country. Don't waste it."
The Luncheon event then concluded with the kind of words of Lena Hairadin. She advised these our newest class to use these 4 years as a time for self-discovery and failure as even the most successful people have failed. They were also encouraged to come to Penn with an open mind and to leave as an even stronger person. After wishing everyone a successful year, those in attendance stayed around to socialize and enjoyed remaining food.