Alumni and Student of Color Reception: Women of Color Athletes

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Alumni and Student of Color ReceptionWomen of Color Track Team

Women of Color Athletes:
Excelling on the fields, courts, and in the classrooms

Saturday, November 2nd, 2013
6 p.m.

Beckham Hall, Fayerweather
Wesleyan University
47 Wyllys Avenue
Middletown, CT

We all share a common thread as people who have experienced the unique environment that Wesleyan offers, and we have all had unique experiences here. The Alumni and Student of Color Celebration will be a wonderful opportunity for alumni and friends of Wesleyan to share lessons learned, the passions ignited and the unforgettable experiences they had at Wesleyan, and more importantly, where their experience at Wesleyan has taken them. Please join us in celebrating and recognizing student and alumni accomplishments.

This year's program complements a year-long programming initiative featuring women, their accomplishments, and their influence on the Wesleyan community and the world at large. We have four current and former women athletes responding to questions about their experiences as women of color athletes and as high achieving scholars on campus, and as an educator afterward. 

Image:  Olin Library Archives, Wesleyan University

Keynote Address
David Hill '86

David Hill '86
As a former alumni elected trustee serving from 2002-2005, and current Alumni of Color Council Chair, David has brought a wealth of knowledge, experience, and leadership to Wesleyan as a student and alum. As a student David was extremely active as an RA, a Men’s Football and Track Team member, and involved with Ujamaa, among other student groups.  

As a long time class agent and former Wesleyan Admission Alumni Volunteer (WAAV) member, David has remained consistently involved over the years in helping raise awareness of Wesleyan to potential students of color, setting an example for his contemporaries regarding volunteerism, philanthropy, and paying it forward. 

David recently concluded an almost 17 year career at Verizon where he played a pivotal role by helping to chart the strategic direction of many of its operating companies on the East Coast, working on significant strategic initiatives and advocating for Verizon's interests with the Obama Administration.  He is currently a partner at Wong Fleming, P.C., and President of DHill Professional Services.

As David has expressed it: "I like... to serve Wesleyan... because Wesleyan changed my life for the better. Beyond honing my intellectual skills, my Wesleyan experience taught me... valuable lessons that I have carried with me in my personal life and professional career, as well as in my civic and charitable activities." 
David resides in Silver Spring, MD with his lovely wife Lynn and their two children, David Gerald (12 ) and Gabrielle (6).

Image: Provided by David Hill '86


Renee Johnson-Thornton
Renee Johnson-Thornton is the Dean for Diversity and Student Engagement, Associate Coordinator of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program, and member of the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program Advisory Board at Wesleyan University.  Renee has been a member of the Wesleyan family for 15 years, and is a Wesleyan alumnae in her own right, earning her degree from the GLSP program in 2005.  

Renee has been a tremendous mentor and resource for the student of color community during her tenure, and is known far and wide for her ability to keep students on the right track when the going gets tough.  

Renee is married to Cliff Thornton, Associate Dean for Admission at Wesleyan. Renee, Cliff, and their 2 children reside in Middletown, CT.

Image: Wesleyan University


Nadine Forrester '98

Nadine Forrester (Mills)
’98 is a native of St. Catherine, Jamaica, who currently resides in Bristol, CT.  Mrs. Mills studied Earth and Environmental Science as an undergraduate, and was also a McNair Fellow.  A two-sport athlete, Mrs. Mills was Captain of the Women’s Track team who achieved All-American honors, in addition to being a member of the Women’s Soccer team.  Mrs. Mills is a math teacher and Girl's Track & Field Coach at A.I. Prince Technical High School in Hartford, CT.

Idara Foster '15

Idara Foster ’15
is from Norwalk, CT, pursuing a degree in African American Studies Major and a certificate in the Study of Education. Idara is a sprinter on the Women's Varsity Track and Field Team, a Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Program Fellow, and a Resident Advisor in Butterfield - C.

Cherkira Lashley '15

Cherkira Lashley ’15
is a Women’s Basketball Team member from Brooklyn, New York.  She is an African-American Studies major, a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Fellow, and an Resident Advisor for 200 Church.


Sierra Livious '14

Sierra Livious ’14
is a University Major in Kinesiology and Movement Studies, which is comprised of neuroscience, biology, and dance. Sierra is a multi eventer (sprints, jumps, hurdles, and throws) and this year’s women’s track and field captain. Additionally, she is the Head Resident for Butterfields and 156 High and was a Resident Advisor for Fauver/Bennet for the past two years.

Images: Wesleyan University Athletics

Related Links

Visit the Women of Wesleyan home page

See other HC/FW events

Check out photos from the 2013 Mellon Mays Banquet

Women's Basketball and Women's Track pages