BSA celebrates 40 years of leadership on campus


The Appalachian Online

Nicole Caporaso

Appalachian State University’s Black Student Association will be celebrating 40 years on campus with a ceremonial dinner on Oct. 10, known as the Ruby Red Celebration.

The dinner will be from 7-9 p.m. in the Parkway Ballroom of Plemmons Student Union, one of the many events associated with the African American Alumni Association’s homecoming events. While celebrating 40 years of the BSA being at Appalachian, the event will also commemorate 50 years of integration at the university.

The event is sponsored by the BSA, but also by the Cultural Awareness and Student Engagement Council and Multicultural Student Development.

Aisha Cotton, chair of the BSA, said she is expecting between 150 and 200 people to attend the celebration.

“The purpose of the celebration is to honor 40 years of actively making a change for unity by encouraging the principles of leadership, scholarship and cultural uplift,” Cotton said. “This is 40 years of our specific organization being on campus, that was started by students 40 years ago.”

The celebration will include multiple dance performances from various students, student poem presentations, a performance by the a capella group Ear Candy and various speakers.

“The significance is to show that this organization is a strong power on [Appalachian’s] campus,” said Kylil Martin, the co-chair of the BSA. “It will continue to provide a place for advocacy, compassion and bond amongst the [Appalachian] community.”

The keynote speaker for the evening is Willie Fleming, a former faculty member in both the

Hayes School of Music and the Reich College of Education.

Fleming helped hundreds of students navigate their academic careers as the first advisor for minority students, the founder of the gospel choir and the advisor of BSA, according to

There is no cost for attendees, however, they must RSVP online at

Story: Nicole Caporaso, News Reporter