BBQ at Bailey Celebrates UA Little Rock Alumni Support and Fellowship

UA Little Rock students and staff participate in the annual BBQ at Baileys back-to-school picnic. Photo by BENJAMIN KRAIN —10/12//21

BBQ at Bailey returned to UA Little Rock for their 14th annual gathering inviting faculty, students, and graduates to the Bailey Alumni and Friends Center on Oct. 12. Participants ate a delicious lunch catered by Whole Hog Café, followed by dessert from Community Bakery.

“We didn’t get the chance to do it last year, so the goal is to welcome back people to the campus, get students to come out, get to know everyone in the alumni center, and get to know other graduates,” said Derrick Newby, associate director for alumni membership and engagement. “Typically, we do this at the beginning of the year but we had to push it back to make sure everyone was safe.”

The enjoyment for the UA Little Rock fellowship was a constant trend in conversations at the BBQ.

“It is so great to see everyone back together for BBQ at Bailey to see all the students, teachers and alumni all coming together to rally around this amazing school,” said Heide Harrell (‘10), executive committee member of UA Little Rock Board of Directors. “Who doesn’t love some free BBQ on a beautiful October day?”

Harrell has a deep passion for the work that the faculty provides and the caliber of students who work hard to get their degrees.

“I am a proud graduate and advocate for this university,” said Harrell.

Kristi Smith, director of alumni and development, indicated the importance of joining the Alumni Association because a portion of proceeds from memberships go towards student scholarships.

Kristi Smith and student-athlete volunteers for the BBQ at Bailey picnic.
Kristi Smith and student-athlete volunteers for the BBQ at Bailey picnic. Photo by Benjamin Krain.

The BBQ highlights support for the Alumni Association, which annually offers around $100,000 in student scholarships, in addition to helping people create connections. During the BBQ, the Alumni Association recruited numerous new members.

“This event is important to UA Little Rock because it’s a great time for everyone to come together,” said Smith. “We work in different areas and rarely get to see people due to the pandemic. Now that everyone is back on campus, this is a great unifying event.”

The favored fall event gathered around 1,200 people.

“We get student athletes to help; we get faculty and staff involved, and it’s great,” said Smith.

Career Services and other campus organizations attended the event to participate and raise awareness.

“We are promoting the Trojan Career Closet available for all students at the university,” said Shannon Gwinn (98’), director of career services for the College of Business, Health, and Human Services. “We want to make them aware of the fabulous items that they can come shop for. Whether you are going to a job interview and need a suit or need an outfit for an internship, we can help.”

The career closet has suits, sport coats, dresses, accessories, and plenty of ties. Students can select five items per year. It can be found on the first floor of the Reynolds Building.

UA Little Rock students and staff enjoying the music at Baileys back-to-school picnic. Photo by BENJAMIN KRAIN 10/12//21—
UA Little Rock students and staff enjoying the music at Baileys back-to-school picnic. Photo by Benjamin Krain.

After including it in their annual National Pan-Hellenic Council week of activities, several Greek groups participated in the luncheon.

“This event went well since it was my first time attending,” said Kenyon Clay, sophomore criminal justice and music major and Kappa Psi Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. president. “This gave me motivation to finish college so I can come back and experience being an alumni. We added BBQ at Bailey to the event list because we believe NPHC should be more involved in campus events. We are here to show our support for them and hopefully gain support back.”

NPHC not only enjoyed the food but also the music as they simultaneously strolled to many songs played.

“The event today had a great turn out, good food, and great laughs,” said Kevin Davidson, senior mechanical engineering technology major and member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. “It was a good time to connect with friends and alumni. I know this will be an event that I will come back to as a future alumni.”

People can help UA Little Rock by joining the Alumni Association, contributing to annual fundraisers, making a donation, or putting the university in their estate plans, in addition to investing for their own financial goals. The Office of Alumni and Development is happy to accept donations.

The Office of the Chancellor, the Division of Student Affairs, and the Office of Alumni and Development all sponsored the BBQ at Bailey.

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