The AHANA Alumni Advisory Council (AAAC) of Boston College promotes the meaningful engagement of African, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian and Native American alumni in all aspects of the University. The AAAC offers educational and leadership programs, professional development activities and networking opportunities to further the mission of Boston College through the involvement and support of all alumni.
For the AAAC, AHANA is much more than an acronym. It is the embodiment of the rich tradition of the Black Talent Program, which played a critical role in the development of a diverse student body at Boston College. Today, AHANA reflects how Boston College students, administrators, staff, faculty and alumni are inextricably linked by their myriad cultural histories and traditions. Most notably, it is their values and shared experience that unites them at Boston College.
Engagement: Solidify the connection between AHANA alumni and Boston College and encourage greater participation in alumni chapters, classes and volunteer activities.
Financial Investment: Encourage greater AHANA alumni giving to Boston College.
Student Mentorship: Assist Boston College in the recruitment of the best and brightest students of color to the University and provide them with supportive mentoring and career networking opportunities.
Professional Development: Promote a stronger network of AHANA professionals and develop AHANA alumni leaders that will enhance the mission of Boston College and who will strengthen and improve the quality of life in communities within and beyond the University.
Cultural Advocacy: Assist Boston College in its strategic plan for institutional diversity by advocating for meaningful representation of people of color at all levels of the University. Collaborate with Boston College to address important issues and plan events that impact on matters of social justice, and cultural diversity and inclusion at the University and globally.
Council News and Updates
Black Talent Program
In 1968, Fr. Michael P. Walsh, S.J., then President of BC, initiated the Negro Talent Search (NTS) in an effort to help diversify the University. The University allocated generous funding to the program, with a four-year commitment to scholarships and recruiting. The program was renamed the “Black Talent Program” and was characterized by short-term staffing and increased student responsibility. In 1975, the new President, Fr. Donald Monan, S.J., launched a study of Minority Education at BC, resulting in the replacement of the student-run Black Talent Program with the appointment of a full-time minority counselor and the program name was changed to “Minority Student Programs.” In 1979, with encouragement from a student group led by Alfred Feliciano and Valerie Lewis, the Board of Trustees approved the name change to “Office of AHANA (African American, Hispanic, Asian American, and Native American) Student Programs.” See Boston College Magazine, Spring 2009 edition.
African, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American (AHANA)
In 1979, two BC students, Alfred Feliciano, ’81 and Valerie Lewis, ’79 coined the term AHANA. These students, acting as ambassadors for fellow students, objected to the name “Office of Minority Programs” then used by the University, citing the definition of the word minority as “less than.” They proposed instead to use the term “AHANA,” which they felt celebrated the cultural differences present in our society. AHANA is an acronym used to describe individuals of African-American, Hispanic, Asian, and Native American descent. After receiving overwhelming approval from the University’s Board of Trustees, the Office of Minority Student Programs became the Office of AHANA Student Programs (OASP). See Thea Bowman AHANA and Intercultural Center website.
AHANA Alumni Advisory Council
There had long existed need for a vehicle around which the AHANA alumni of Boston College could coalesce and strengthen their involvement with the University. In 2009, in response to this unmet need, the late Boston College Trustee, Keith A. Francis, ’76 spearheaded RECONNECT, the largest gathering of AHANA alumni at BC. To further the impact of RECONNECT and to sustain targeted alumni engagement, University Trustees Darcel Clark '83, Juan Alexander Concepción, Esq., '96, MEd'97, JD/MBA'03 and the former Assistant Director of BC Affinity Programs, Eva Maynard ’97, organized the inaugural AHANA Leadership Summit in 2013. The work of this Summit helped to formally establish the AHANA Alumni Advisory Council (AAAC) in 2014. Today, the Council continues to faithfully serve the University by strategically advancing and promoting related institutional priorities. See AAAC Site.
For inquiries regarding the AHANA Alumni Advisory Council, please contact AHANAalumni@bc.edu