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'HBCU SpringComing' Gives Alumni Another Chance to Connect Outside of Homecoming


Photo Credit: Chuck Marcus & Kolin Mendez

The 9th annual HBCU SpringComing festival, sponsored by Indeed, kicks off this weekend March 17-19 in Birmingham, Alabama and next month April 14-16 in New York, New York. This one-of-a-kind event celebrates the pride, legacy, and accomplishments of Historical Black College and University (HBCU) graduates from around the country. Paying tribute to the spirit of the southern Black collegiate homecomings while supporting students at Black colleges across the US.


George Peters II (Morehouse College) and Lauren Grant-Grove (Florida A&M), co-founders of the festival, recognized that a lot of alumni, like them, whose careers and lives have scattered them across the country longed for an event that would allow them to reconnect with their alma mater, outside of their annual fall returns. Introducing this spring event gave HBCU alumni an opportunity to return “home” to the special communities that mean so much to them.



“It's so funny, we put our heads down and we do the work. And you don't realize that it's been nine years since you came home from a pretty routine brunch after church services and decided, 'hey, we should probably get together some more,'” Peters said in an interview with The Quintessential Gentleman. “And that's kind of how we started.”


Beginning organically as a way to reconnect with other southern HBCU grads, Peters quickly recognized that this small gathering could turn into so much more.

George Peters II | Photo Credit: Matt Kallish

“So that first year, we thought let's go to the park. Let's get a couple of blankets. Somebody can bring a bucket of chicken. I know there are a couple of Bluetooth speakers out there. And let's celebrate being us. Let's just all be together,” Peters shares. “And that first year, we got over 1,000 RSVPs. We realized that people really wanted, like we did, to make it a thing.”


This festival isn’t merely a weekend to party, it’s a physical reminder of home for many HBCU graduates, solidifying a tradition that has a major impact on Black college graduates.


“We call it home because that's what it feels like to us,” Peters said. “Homecoming is really about returning home to sort of reinvigorate recharge and revive that spirit of the historically Black college and university that we take into our workplaces, that we recognize we're representing, that sort of fuels us for the challenges we face in our everyday work.”


Peters is reminded of his first homecoming as a third grader returning to Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, the nation’s oldest HBCU, with his father and remembers that this event has an important target guest at its center.


“When we see somebody bringing their children, you know, a child who hasn't had a chance to see this, and they see a familiar color, familiar letter, whether that be Greek or from the institution that their mother or their father has been wearing, they make a connection that stays with them,” Peters explains. Identifying these attendees as their "most important."



Profits from both weekends support the HBCU Puissance Scholarship Fund, created by Black college alumni to ensure students have the support they need to graduate, along with the Birmingham Promise Foundation, created to aid in offsetting the cost of college tuition for high school seniors bound for an HBCUs.


“Our main goal is to support Black colleges and students that attend and want to attend," Peters said. “It’s bigger than gathering, our main focus is to provide resources with the time we spend together. We want everyone to recognize that it is our opportunity to celebrate but it's our responsibility to maintain the spaces that helped us become who we are.”


To check out the event schedule and get tickets, visit www.hbcuspringcoming.com. Real-time video and interactions with festival events will be available by following @HBCUSpringComing on all social media platforms!

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