2018 UW-Madison Multicultural
Bringing Back Talent
|Tracy Williams-Maclin, Interim Senior Director for External Relations,
Partnerships, and Development, is one of the planners for the UW
do it all. Our alums represent so much. Even in our past evaluations and data, we hear that all the time. Students want to meet alums and alums want to encourage
our students and give them what they had or what they didn’t have when they were here in terms of the support. We can only become better with that alumni
engagement and that representation from all over.”
In order to bring alumni of color back to campus, you have to network with alumni of color. And Maclin teamed up with Joe Maldonado to bring some dynamic and
talented alumni back.
“Two of the alums that he mentioned were Frank Gatson Jr., who is his frat brother and Rebecca Arends who was a friend and fellow student on campus. Both of
them are coming back. I reached out to Gabriel Stulman, co-founder of Happy Cooking Hospitality, and he’s all over it because since he has been on campus, he has
more restaurants and a new hotel. He’s an awesome entrepreneur. His restaurant was the only New York restaurant in the New York Times review of top national
hotels. He was in the top three in the nation. And Matt Kebbekus is his co-founder, so they are both coming back to talk about entrepreneurship.”
It’s all beginning on Wednesday, October 17th when Rebecca Arends, a former member of Alvin Ailey who now has her own dance company engages with students.
She will be giving a closed master dance class for dance students. Frank Gaston, Jr. will be posing for an art class.
“Professor Faisal Abdu’ Allah is going to do a special print session with his students and Frank Gaston Jr., which is also something not open to the public,”
Williams Maclin said. “They’ll be doing artistic prints of Frank Gatson. That’s going to be a really neat experience for the students.”
Wednesday will also feature a RED Talk.
“We partnered with the WAA homecoming committee, the former WASB student group,” Williams-Maclin said. “They do RED Talk every year, which is a play off of
TED Talk. They are going to do that on Wednesday night at the WID. They are going to invite about 300 people for that event. Frank Gatson Jr. and Rebecca Arends
will be speaking. It’s a moderated discussion.”
On Thursday, the mentoring continues.
“We’ll have a networking reception, which is invitation only, but it is, in a way, public because we’re going to do a 50-50 split of alumni and students,” Williams-
Maclin said. “Students get to network with alumni from all over the nation who have committed to come. And then we’re going to have a panel discussion with
Rebecca, Frank, Gabriel and Matt. That’s going to be held in Heritage Hall at Camp Randall Stadium.”
Friday is the big day for the UW Multicultural Homecoming. After the parade, there will be a reception in the Main Lounge of the Memorial Union before the Reunite the
Reunion Concert in Shannon Hall featuring Frank Gaston Jr.
“Frank Gatson is Beyonce’s choreographer and creative director. He’s also been that for Michael Jackson, Usher and others. He is a major contributor to show
business. He has a new group, June’s Diary, that was formed with Kelly Rowland who is a former member of Destiny’s Child. There is a BET show that Kelly and he
forged together. That particular group is coming back to campus through Frank. We’re centering the concert around musicians he has inspired. We have a UW-
Madison student performing. Angela Puerta, a local talent and UW alum, is going to sing. Band Bazaar, the production company putting on the concert, has a band
that will perform. We’re also going to have fraternities and sororities do a step show. The Lambda Theta Alpha Sorority, a Latina sorority, will be performing as well
because Rebecca actually founded the chapter here. They are going to do a dance. And the last I heard, there are two more fraternities and sororities joining them.
We’re also going to have T Murph from Chicago. He was referred to us by All Jokes Aside Foundation. Its founder recommended T Murph. He will be doing the
hosting. That should be very, very nice. He’s a funny man.”
And of course on Saturday, there is the actual homecoming game featuring the Wisconsin Badgers playing the Illinois Fighting Illini at Camp Randall Stadium. For
those who were not lucky securing tickets for the game, the UW Multicultural Homecoming has the next best thing planned.
“The actual homecoming game will be happening on Saturday,” Williams-Maclin said. “We have a Watch Party in the Pyle Center. That will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
There will be a DJ, food and drinks. We’ll have the game on a wide-screen TV. Weather permitting, we’ll have an outdoors space as well.”
All of the UW Multicultural Homecoming events are free and are being underwritten by Ho-Chunk Gaming, CUNA Mutual, Rough Sportswear, The Studio and
Williams-Maclin hopes alumni of color will turn out in support of the Wisconsin Badgers and the UW-Madison students of color.
“Homecoming is relationship building, networking and fun,” Williams-Maclin emphasized. “When you say homecoming, it means different things to different people.
The sentiment that I always hear is that our students don’t really attend homecoming or don’t feel that it is for them. Our goal is to make sure that everyone feels that
there is something for them. Come, you’ll miss out if you don’t come.”
UW Multicultural Homecoming won’t be a success without you.
By Jonathan Gramling
The traditional conception of a college homecoming weekend is of alumni coming back to
campus, reliving past escapades when they were students, looking to see how the
institution has changes and of course do a lot of partying. And of course, there is the
The UW-Madison Multicultural Homecoming is all that, to some degree, but it is so much
more. Due to the struggles that many students of color face on a predominantly Euro-
American campus — and continue to face — the UW Multicultural Homecoming is about
connecting and giving back.
“The university needs its alumni of color engaged,” said Tracy Williams Maclin, Interim
Senior Director for External Relations, Partnerships, and Development in the Division of
Diversity, Equity and Educational Achievement. “Usually, the Wisconsin Alumni
Association puts on homecoming every year. And they are our key partners in terms of
multicultural homecoming. But we have evolved to understand that it’s not just on the
alumni association to engage alumni. Different colleges, schools and programs in the
DDEEA have tons of alumni that we are engaged with, alumni of color specifically. There
are so many different ways to engage. We can’t just rely on one unit or one institution to