Mosaic Weekend helps current students connect with alumni of color

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On Friday, October 19, alumni, students, and community members gathered to engage in critical dialogue and network as part of the annual Mosaic Weekend program.

Colgate students attend the Mosaic Weekend: Learning to Leverage the Colgate Network event for Mosaic Weekend, October 19, 2018 in Hamilton, N.Y.
Gerard Gaskin / Colgate University

“Mosaic Weekend was created for students of color to meet and talk with alumni of color who share wisdom and stories about their experiences while being a student at Colgate,” said Veronica McFall ’89, assistant director of alumni relations of affinity and identity programs.

Bola Sokunbi, Founder and CEO of Clever Girl Finances, kicked off the weekend with her millennial-focused talk on managing finances, beating debt, and capitalizing on investments. At the ‘Lunch and Learn’ presentation, Sokunbi gave students in-depth advice on the best ways to make seemingly lofty financial goals into realistic achievements. Attendees were also able to learn how aligning your core values with money management habits of today can impact future financial plans.

“That million-dollar goal that you dream about is attainable,” said Sokunbi.

These honest conversations continued throughout the weekend as students and alumni discussed topics ranging from the best ways to leverage the Colgate network to identities in the workplace and the importance of remaining fixed on goals throughout their undergraduate career.

When discussing strategies to overcome obstacles, Tinofara Majoni ’13 cited his ability to remain close to sources of motivation that have helped propel him throughout his life.

“When you’re on campus, [a source of motivation] would be being in student organizations and groups with people who sometimes might be going through the same types of things as you,” said Majoni.

Keynote speaker Michèle Alexandre ’96, Colgate’s first Black Valedictorian, highlighted how the struggles of people of color throughout the years paved the way for the diversity at Colgate today.

“Colgate has weathered many storms, many cultural shifts in 200 years,” said Alexandre. “It has redefined itself with the help of alumni of color in the room, constantly engaging with it and its mission. So will you, students. We will help you.”

Students like Mike Amkaya ’20 valued Mosaic Weekend for its ability to connect students to real world professionals.

“My experience in talking to alumni was encouraging,” said Amkaya. “One important insight that I took away was to always be willing to try out different opportunities. [The encouragement of alumni] enables me to work hard to achieve my goals.”

Mosaic Weekend 2018