The Black Alumni Group was officially organized in 1979 by Elwood and Diane Hill Becton. Later that year, with the assistance of Lawrence Clark and Bryce Younts, director of alumni relations, the Black Alumni Group became an affiliate unit of the Alumni Association. Elwood Becton was the organization’s first president.
The Black Alumni Group was an independently functioning organization that served in a partnership with the Alumni Association and leveraged the Alumni Association for its database of black graduates, printing and mailing newsletters. This partnership was designed to advance the university and to enhance the effectiveness of black alumni support and their participation in the affairs of NC State. The Black Alumni Group had its own board of directors, checking and savings accounts, and did its own fundraising for scholarships, programs, and yearly budgets. The Black Alumni Group successfully operated in this manner for fourteen years.
In July 1985 the Black Alumni Group established the Black Alumni Scholarship by sponsoring a fundraising campaign with a goal of $25,000 during the previous year. As of June 2004, the market value of this scholarship is now worth $55,000.00. Two or three yearly $1,000.00 scholarships have been awarded to African American undergraduate students since the 1986-87 school-year.
In July 1990 the Black Alumni Group launched another fundraising campaign with a goal of $25,000.00 and established the African American Cultural Center Endowment. As of June 2004 the market value is now worth $37,799.00. Each year the Cultural Center is awarded $2000.00.
In July 1990 the Gus Witherspoon Graduate Scholarship was established. The initial amount raised was $3,312.00, but has been growing every since. As of June 2004, this scholarship is worth $27,727.00. Each year, a $1000.00 scholarship is awarded to an African-American graduate student.
In 1993, NC State changed to the University Advancement model in which the Alumni Association and its partnership organizations no longer did their own fundraising. All fundraising, donor solicitation, etc. now had to be coordinated by University Advancement.
In 1996, the Alumni Association established the name “societies” for its affiliate groups. The Black Alumni Group changed its name to the Black Alumni Society and became a constituent organization of the Alumni Association. The executive board of the Black Alumni Society is the governing body for all NC State alumni of African descent, and all other Black Alumni Society chapters.