The master and mistress of ceremonies for this year’s Chancellor’s Benefit for The Arts are two individuals who are well-known, not only to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, but the Pine Bluff community as well.
The Steering Committee is pleased to announce that this year’s master and mistress of ceremonies will be Calvin Booker, president of the AM&N/UAPB National Alumni Association, and Mary Benjamin, vice chancellor of academic affairs at UAPB.
The 26th annual benefit will be held at the Pine Bluff Convention Center, beginning at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, with a reception and silent art auction featuring original art works by UAPB faculty, students, alumni and other Arkansas artists. Also available will be an assortment of framed art prints by regionally and nationally renowned artists. Dinner is scheduled for 7:15 p.m., with live entertainment, followed by the recognition of this year’s honorees.
No stranger to the Chancellor’s Benefit For the Arts, Benjamin, a 2010 honoree and mistress of ceremony of 2009, has dedicated her professional career to the education of people of all ages and walks of life. She received a bachelor of science degree from Tuskegee Institute, a master of arts in sociology from Atlanta University, and a doctorate in sociology from Mississippi State University. She also served as a fellow with the American Council on Education at City University of New York.
She currently serves as a principal investigator for the National Science Foundation funded HBCU-Undergraduate Program for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Academy. Benjamin is the founder/chair for the annual Conference on Educational Access and serves as the university liaison to the Higher Learning Commission: North Central Associations. She continues to serve as a lay member of the Accreditation Board of the National Association of Industrial Technology; provides service to the community through the Pine Bluff Branch of the National Association of University Women, the United Way of Southeast Arkansas, Pine Bluff Community Foundation, and the Southeast Arkansas Chapter of the American Red Cross. She also received a gubernatorial appointment to serve on the Arkansas Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Advisory Committee.
Booker currently serves as corporate vice president of public affairs for the Southern Group of Waste Management Inc., at Atlanta. He joined Waste Management in July 1991 at Dallas, and has become an invaluable asset to the company by utilizing his knowledge and relationships with local, state and federal legislators. He is responsible for the organizational development of governmental affairs, community relations and communications programs across 12 southern states and Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
His is also the chairman emeritus of the Corporate Round Table (the financial entity) of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, after serving four years as the chairman of the board. A native of Hamburg, Booker is 1979 graduate of UAPB, where he received his degree in education and obtained his master’s degree in secondary education from Prairie View A&M University at Prairie View, Texas.
In keeping with his commitment to give back to his community, Booker became a member of the UAPB staff for 11 years as assistant to the dean of education and coordinator of student recruitment. While at UAPB, he also served as a member of the athletic coaching staff for the football team. In the late 1980’s, Booker became the youngest person to be elected to the Pine Bluff City Council. Since moving to Atlanta, Booker has also served as president and vice president for the UAPB Atlanta Alumni Chapter.
Individual tickets are $100 and sponsorships from each level are as follows:
• Platinum — $3,000; reserved seating for 16 (two tables); listing as platinum sponsor and full-page full color ad in the souvenir program; listing as a contributing sponsor in promotional materials; and eight reserved parking passes.
• Gold — $1,750; reserved seating for eight (one table); listing as a gold sponsor and full-page black and white ad in the souvenir program; listing as a contributing sponsor in promotional materials; and four reserved parking passes.
• Silver — $1,200; reserved seating for six; listing as a silver sponsor and half-page black and white ad in the souvenir program; listing as a contributing sponsor in promotional materials; and three reserved parking passes.
• Bronze — $600; reserved seating for two; listing as a bronze sponsor and quarter-page black and white ad in the souvenir program; and one reserved parking pass.
Advertisements congratulating the honorees may be purchased. For additional information regarding tickets, sponsorships, advertisements and reservations, contact the Office of University Relations and Development at 870- 575-8701 or the University Museum and Cultural Center 870-575-8234.