BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Plans for an endowed lectureship fund in the
Department of African American Studies in the University at
Buffalo's College of Arts and Sciences have received a $1,000
endorsement from a Buffalo club named for famed civil-rights
activist Mary Burnett Talbert.
The contribution from the Mary Burnett Talbert Civic &
Cultural Club brings to nearly $10,000 the total raised to date
toward a goal of $100,000 set by Lillian Serece Williams, associate
professor and chair of the department, when she launched the
fund-raising initiative last fall.
Williams' goal is to obtain 100 contributions of $1,000 each
from UB alumni, friends and colleagues.
"The series will highlight the importance of African American
studies as a discipline and the department as a center for
scholarly excellence," said Williams, Ph.D. '79, who also earned
her bachelor's and master's degrees from UB and enjoys a national
reputation as an author, historian and consultant. "It will bring
renowned scholars to UB to share their perspectives on contemporary
and historical issues, to educate our students and to attract
potential students and faculty."
Williams said the series -- perhaps the only endowed lecture
series in African American studies in the State University of New
York system -- would serve as a valuable resource for students.
"The visiting scholars will serve as role models for our
students, perhaps influencing some to go into academia," she said.
"The lecture series also will help to forge closer ties between the
university and the community."
Sylvia Wright, president of the Talbert club, said she and other
women in the club are very excited to recognize the Department of
African American Studies and Williams for her determination and
"A lecture series with renowned scholars can highlight the UB
department and its unique work in bridging the gap between races, a
benefit to all of us in our increasingly global world," Wright
Though a small club established in 1974, Wright said the Talbert
club is part of the National Association of Colored Women's Clubs,
Inc., organized in 1896 to recognize historical efforts and
perpetuate current initiatives of black women involved in civil
rights and community service.
One of the nation's most prominent black leaders, Mary Burnett
Talbert came to Buffalo in 1891 and quickly became involved in the
city's church and community life. Talbert also was renowned in
international reform circles. Her civil rights efforts helped lead
to the establishment of the Buffalo Branch of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and she
later was NAACP national vice president. Talbert Hall on the UB
North (Amherst) Campus is named in her honor.
Those interested in donating to the endowed lecture series
should contact Deborah McKinzie, assistant dean and senior director
of development in the UB College of Arts and Sciences, at (716)
645-6000, ext. 1503, or firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit the endowed fund's Web site at http://wings.buffalo.edu/academic/department/AandL/aas/giving/giving.html.