Black Alumni Council Mission
The mission of the Lindenwood University Black Alumni Council (BAC) is to stimulate an interest in and advance the causes of Lindenwood University’s Black alumni and student communities, provide social and intellectual experiences for members, provide scholarships for Lindenwood University students, and assist the university in recruitment and retention of Black students.
Black Alumni Council History
Mr. Eric Rhone (’99) and Dr. Jenice Prather-Kinsey (’75) both independently approached Lindenwood University about starting an association for Black alumni. Their requests, coupled with the Black Student Union’s 10-Year Anniversary in 2017, generated numerous discussions about establishing this organization. Dr. Pernell Witherspoon, Dr. Shane Williamson (’14), and Ms. Cathy Hart ('03), all advisors to the Black Student Union, met with the appropriate university administrators to seek approval and support for the organization. The administration fully supported the creation of the BAC. The BAC was established in July 2017 as an Affinity Group under the Lindenwood University Alumni Association. The BAC was Lindenwood University's first Affinity group. Homecoming 2017 served as the Inaugural Black Alumni Council meeting.
- The Inaugural Meeting was held in October 2017 at the Lindenwood University President's House in St. Charles, MO. We had over 50 alums attend and we raised over $10,000.
- Happy Hours (2)
- Dirty Muggs - free concert on campus
- Participation in STLGivingDay
- Annual business meetings at homecoming
2017 - 2019 Charter Officers
- President - Mr. Eric Rhone ('99)
- Vice President - Dr. Jenice Prather-Kinsey ('75)
- Secretary - Dr. Shane Y. Williamson ('14)
- Treasurer - Cathy Hart ('03)
2020 - 2022 Executive Board
President - Mr. Eric Rhone (’99)
Mr. Eric Rhone (’99) is President and Chief Executive Officer of both Visions Management Group, Inc. and A Bird and A Bear Entertainment, LLC; Mr. Eric C. Rhone is directly responsible for managing the careers of many nationally known artists, including the successful comedian and actor, Cedric The Entertainer. Currently, Rhone is serving as the Executive Producer for the much anticipated “Comedy Get Down Tour” television show. Mr. Rhone has also served as the Executive Producer of the independent film “Chicago Pulaski Jones” starring Kel Mitchell (2008); and “Cedric The Entertainer: Taking You Higher” (2007). He has also served as a producer of the New Line Studio’s film “Code Name: The Cleaner” (2007); the Paramount film “Honeymooners” (2006); and the Fox-Searchlight film “Johnson Family Vacation” (2004). Mr. Rhone made his debut as a television show producer on Fox Television’s hit show “Cedric The Entertainer Presents” (2002). As a gubernatorial appointee for the Missouri Tourism Commission, Mr. Eric Rhone has offered ground breaking concepts and leadership to the state of Missouri since 2009. He is vigilant in the fight for proportionate distribution of tourism funding to populations represented in the state of Missouri. In 2015, Mr. Eric C. Rhone partnered with the St. Louis Business Journal to create “Journals For Juniors.” This innovative program provided underprivileged youth the opportunity to learn firsthand about the local business world. High school juniors analyzed business owners by reviewing financial statements, business profiles, and personally meeting the CEO’s featured in the St. Louis Business Journal. Mr. Rhone holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management (’99) from Lindenwood University. He is married and has three sons.
Vice President - Dr. Pernell Witherspoon
Dr. Pernell Witherspoon was born and raised in St. Louis, MO and is a product of the St. Louis Public School System. Receiving a football scholarship, he attended Southeast Missouri State University, where he became a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.. He subsequently joined the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department, where he patrolled and worked undercover narcotics. Dr. Witherspoon completed his 16 year police career as a sergeant for the City of Hazelwood. During the end of his career, he returned to school where he completed a Master’s degree and PhD in Criminology and Criminal Justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Dr. Witherspoon joined Lindenwood University’s Criminology and Criminal Justice Department in 2005. His teaching and research interests are racial issues within the criminal justice system, policing, juvenile justice, criminal justice ethics, and he has found a new interest in criminal justice ethnography. Dr. Witherspoon a former advisor to the Black Student Union. While Dr. Witherspoon continues to make teaching college students a priority, it does not keep him from his hobbies of praising God, boating, running, and enjoying the pleasures of life.
Secretary – Dr. Shane Y. Williamson (‘14)
Dr. Shane Y. Williamson (‘14) is the Associate Vice President of Student Life & Diversity/Dean of Students at Lindenwood University. She started working at Lindenwood University in 2007 as the Dean of First Year Programs. Dr. Williamson is also an Associate Professor in the School of Education. She earned her BSBA in Marketing from Shippensburg University (1995), Masters in Counseling/Higher Education from Shippensburg University (1997), doctorate of education in Social and Philosophical Foundations in Education from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey (2007), and MBA from Lindenwood University (2014). Dr. Williamson was a former advisor to the Black Student Union. She was appointed to the O’Fallon YMCA’s Board of Directors in 2015.
Treasurer – Ms. Cathy Hart (‘03)
Ms. Cathy Hart (‘03) is the Coordinator of Student Academic Success at the Lindenwood University main campus in St. Charles MO. She earned a BS Family Development from the University of Missouri-Columbia (1974), and Masters of Science in Human Resources Management from Lindenwood University (2003). Prior to joining Lindenwood in 2003, she held human resources and general management roles with HASCO International/ Growing Family, Edward Jones, The Reader’s Digest/QSP, American Hospital Supply, and General Motors. She has thirty years of membership and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Father Dickson Cemetery (historic Black cemetery). At Lindenwood, Cathy is a former advisor of the Black Student Union, and a member of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Task Force. She is active as an Associate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, and founder of Veronican Ministries (a ministry of compassion in grief), and Pages Reading Circle. Cathy is a native St. Louisan, where most of her family resides.
Social Media Chair - Ms. Naa'na Wilson ('17 and '19)
Ms. Naana Wilson (’17 and ’19) is the Program Coordinator for the Missouri Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation at Harris-Stowe State University (MOLSAMP). MOLSAMP is a collaborative effort sustained by a coalition of seven public universities, one private university, and one community college to significantly increase the number of underrepresented minority students statewide to complete undergraduate and advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, (STEM) fields. Ms. Wilson earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2017 and a master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration in 2019, both from Lindenwood University. While obtaining her master’s in 2019 at Lindenwood, Ms. Wilson also served as a graduate assistant for the Dean of Students and worked closely with the Black Student Union and Black Student Excellence and Enrichment program on campus. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.