By Whitney Thomas
The 17th Annual “Gala on the Bluff’, took place on Halloween night at the Belle of Baton Rouge casino. The event, hosted by Southern University’s College of Business, is intended to be an opportunity for business owners and alumni to donate money towards the university.
Chaketa Spears, a Southern alum, expresses her role at the event, and how exciting it is each year. “I’ve been attending this Gala for 4 years. I go around the event throughout the night and sell raffle tickets for the split the pot fundraiser. This is basically going towards the scholarships. We also have door prizes where you can get a two-night weekend stay or some lucky person will win half the money we actually raise. Just knowing that this event is all for a good cause brings so much happiness each year.”
Hosted by Co-Chairs Agnes Andrews and Dr. Pamela Ravarre-Jones, the event began by giving honors to all the people and businesses that donated money to the college of business throughout the year. Contributors this year gave over twenty thousand dollars, while companies such as Entergy and Boeing contributed around five thousand dollars respectively.
Over the last 17 years the event has raised millions of dollars, leaving a huge impact on student Business majors. A video presentation was shown of students expressing how the scholarship opened doors to better opportunities for them and allowed them to further their education, worry free of cost. Courtney Wright, a senior graduating in Business, explains how the scholarship has helped her and what the event means to her, “I’m actually a scholarship recipient and have received many over the years. It’s left me so worry free about different expenses. This event is so essential because it gives us a chance to network and show our sponsors where their money is going.”
“If we don’t contribute to the future and education of our kids who do you think will?” A contributor expressed as he shows appreciation for many people working hard and making the event possible. Alexis Anderson a current yearly contributor says she knows for a fact this is helping students in such an impactful way. “I give at least two thousand dollars a year. It aids them [students] in their fees, books, and other things they might need while being in college. I’ve seen how successful they are because of no money worries.”