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Rookie Send Off

5th Annual 

Welcome to the 5th Annual HBCU Rookie College Send-Off! We are excited to celebrate, support and uplift metro area Kansas City students as they prepare for academic excellence, better yet Black Excellence at an Historically Black College and/or University!

We hope today’s event will provide you with an array of opportunities to connect, network and engage.  This event is more than just a back-to-school giveaway, but an opportunity to…


  • Introduce HBCU student and parent(s) to alumni and other current students of the prospective institution,

  • Build relationships and capacity with other HBCU students in their respective region,

  • Educate on relevant topics that impact student success and parent support, and

  • Create a network of resources at the campus level and within the Kansas City community.


On the following pages you will find additional details including the program agenda, resources and much more to help you navigate the day and your HBCU experience.


Wishing you all the best during the 2022-23 academic school year from your HBCU Walking Billboard Fam,

Shanelle Smith, Founder and President

Betti Givens, Board Member & Event Committee Chair

Tonya Lovelace, Board Member & Event Volunteer Coordinator

Kimberly Jones, Board & Event Committee Member 

Chantell Garrett, Board Member

Patricia Smith, Board Member

Sydney Smith, Board Member

Kelli Turner, Board Member 

Brandi Spates, Board Member 

Kendra Leftwich, Board Member 


“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.” ~Malcolm X


2:15-2:30 pm Registration and Check-in 

2:45 pm Welcome- GYM 

  • Shanelle Smith, Founder and President

3:00 pm- 3:25 pm  HBCU Connect 

                    WORKSHOP SESSION 1 

  •  Show me the money | Classroom 

  •  HBCU Connect Q &A | Classroom 

  • Greek Panel | Classroom

3:00 pm- 3:25 pm Parent Cafe​​

  • Panel: Help?! My kid is attending an HBCU, what now?! | Classroom

                Break/ Transition to next session 

3:00 pm- 3:55 pm  HBCU Connect 

                    WORKSHOP SESSION 2

  •  Show me the money  | Classroom 

  •  HBCU Connect Q &A | Classroom 

  • Greek Panel | Classroom

3:30 pm - 4:00 pm Parent Connect 

  •  Parent Mixer| Gym 

                        Break/ Transition to Gym 

 4:00 pm - 4:30 pm Village Connection 

"Students and parents will have an opportunity to network and connect with fellow peers and industry representatives to support a successful HBCU journey."

​              Special Guest: Shay Moore From the Shay Moore Morning Show on 107.3 FM Radio 

  • Collegiate Connect: Various industries will connect with students | Gym

  • Finding My Connection| Gym 

4:50 pm -5:15 pm Raffle Prizes and Closing Remarks | GYM

5:15 pm - 5:30 pm Basket Distribution | Main Entrance 

*Schedule of events are as follow, but can be subject to change*.

Tips For Navigating The Day

  • Attend workshops to receive ticket for basket and additional entries for raffle prizes.

  • Visit the vendors for community resources, internships and prizes!

  • Take a selfie or usie and tag @hbcuwalkingbillboard. #hbcurookiecollegesendoff #hbcuwalkingbillboard #hbcupride

  • Connect with HBCU Alumni & Peers

Here are few questions to help you start the conversation.

  1. What’s the best way to determine your major and the field you want to go into?

  2. What’s your top 3 Do’s and Don’ts as a freshman?

  3. Why did you choose your HBCU?

  4. Were there any surprise costs you did not know about before committing your HBCU?

  5. Is there anything you learned about the school only after you started classes that you wish you would have known before committing?

  6. Are you a first-generation college student? If so, how are you navigating the process?

“These bright young minds and students of HBCUs . . . are going to make all the difference in the world” ~Coach Ken Carter

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Giving Hope

& Help





The Hadley


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Garney Construction

“Homecoming at an HBCU is not just a homecoming. It's a family reunion, a block party, a cookout, a kick back, a fashion show, a festival, a black power rally, a revival, an oasis, a physical and spiritual baptism in blackness.” ~Author Unknown

Historically Black Colleges and Universities
The Blacker the College the Sweeter the Knowledge!

Our Clients

“Education is the key to unlocking the world, a passport to freedom” - Oprah Winfrey

HBCU Trivia


What HBCU did Oprah Winfrey attend?

  1. North Carolina A&T University 

  2. Tennessee State University 

  3. Tuskegee University 

  4. Fisk University 

HBCU stands for?

Which prominent leader attended an HBCU?

  1. Barack Obama 

  2. Malcolm X

  3. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

  4. Michael Jackson 

What HBCU did Martin Luther King Jr. attend?

Every HBCU was created by black people?

  1. True 

  2. False 

Which is not a historically black medical school?

The first HBCU, Cheyney University, was founded in?

  1. 1908

  2. 1837

  3. 1978

  4. 1877

What state has the most HBCUs?

  1. Alabama 

  2. North Carolina 

  3. Florida 

  4. Texas

What university had the first fraternity founded on their campus?

What is the first Fraternity on Howard’s campus?

Which HBCU is the #1 producer of black aerospace engineers in the U.S.?

The Bayou Classic in New Orleans, LA is played between which two schools?

Who got expelled from their HBCU?

Which HBCU used to have so many rattlesnakes on its campus, it became the official school mascot? 

  1. Dr. Heavenly 

  2. Jerry Rice 

  3. Samuel L. Jackson 

  4. 2 Chains

Which HBCU was founded for black people but is more than 90% white?

Which HBCU stopped accepting men and became an all-female institution?

  1. Spelman 

  2. Mississippi University for Women 

  3. Bennett College 

Notable HBCU Alumni


Spelman College

Former Georgia State Representative and Activist


Grambling State University

Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter, DJ and Activist


Southern University

Rapper, Record Producer and Activist


North Carolina Central University

Social Activist


Fisk University

African-American Scholar, Activist and NAACP Co-Founder


Hampton University

Award-winning DJ


Lincoln University (MO)

Entrepreneur and Philanthropist 


Morgan State University

Founder of Black Enterprise Magazine 


Howard University

49th Vice President of the United States

Lincoln University (PA)
Poet, Social Activist and Playwright 

North Carolina A&T State University
Civil Rights Activist
Tuskegee University
Radio Host

Shaw University 
Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter and Actress 

Morehouse College
Award-Winning Film Director, Producer, Writer, and Actor
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Award-Winning Gospel Singer

Bethune-Cookman University
Mixed Martial Artist, Boxer and Occasional Actor
Winston-Salem State University 
Award-Winning ESPN Sports Radio Host and Journalist 

Texas Southern University 
Award-Winning Rap Artist

Florida A&M University
Film Producer

Mississippi Valley State
Hall of Fame NFL Wide Receiver

Dillard University
President of Prairie View A&M University and 1st African-American president of an Ivy League

University of Maryland Eastern Shore 
1st African-American Head Coach in the modern NFL

Alabama State University
Stand-Up Comedian, Actor, and Radio Personality

Savannah State University
Former NFL Tight End
Bowie State University
Award-Winning Rapper
Tennessee State University
Media Executive, Actress, and Philanthropist 

Insert Your School 
Insert Your Legacy! 

8 Things You Should Know About HBCUs  

(Source: One Yard)


1. There are over 100 HBCUs

Historically black colleges and universities are located within 20 states and the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Alabama has 14, making it the state with the highest number of HBCUs.


2. Black churches helped create the first HBCUs

Throughout history, churches have been the backbone of the Black community. They have also played a large role in creating the first HBCUs, which were established with the assistance of the American Missionary Association and the Freedmen's Bureau.


3. The Cheyney University of Pennsylvania is the oldest HBCU

Founded in 1837, The Cheney University of Pennsylvania holds the title as the oldest HBCU in American history, thanks to Quaker philanthropist Richard Humphreys who set aside a tenth of his estate to build a school to educate people of African descent and prepare them to become teachers.


4. The Divine Nine are a significant part of HBCU Culture

Black fraternities and sororities are the heartbeat of HBCUs, bringing together young men and women together to honor Greek organizations' traditions and values. There are nine major Greek organizations at Black colleges and universities, affectionately called the Divine Nine. Fun fact: Omega Psi Phi was the first fraternity to be created at an HBCU. It was founded at Howard University in 1911 by educator Ernest Everett Just and students Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper, and Frank Coleman.


5. HBCUs are responsible for 25% of African-American STEM graduates

Check this: HBCUs are responsible for educating 25% African-Americans with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics degrees, according to the United Negro College Fund. Top universities like Florida A&M University, Howard University, Hampton University, Morgan State University, and North Carolina A&T State University have produced many of these graduates.


6. More than half of America's Black teachers and dentists went to an HBCU

Yep, that's right. Over 50% of Black public school teachers in America graduated from an HBCU. There's also a high chance your favorite Black dentist went to an HBCU as 70% of African American dentists have earned their degrees at these institutions.


7. HBCUs cultivate a sense of pride amongst its students

The education and teachings at HBCUs are rooted in Black pride, which creates a student body that feels confident, self-assured, and supported in their studies. Gallup's 2015 survey showed that Black graduates of HBCUs felt significantly more supported while in college and were more equipped to take on the working world after graduation than their peers at other institutions.


8. HBCUs champion diversity

HBCUs are incredibly diverse, with many talented minds from various backgrounds coming to these institutions to get a top-tier education. That includes Black and non-Black students from various socioeconomic groups nationwide and internationally.

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