Collegiate 100 Student Organization Formed at Lamar University

The recent inauguration of leadership for the Collegiate 100 student organization at Lamar University came together under a simple, central goal: inspire the next generation by mentorship, by education and economic development and overall wellness. The introduction of the C100 organization to the LU community is thanks in part to its parent organization, the 100 Black men of America, Inc., which is recognized as the nation’s top African-American led mentoring organization.

The establishment of a C100 chapter at Lamar University was birthed after a virtual town hall meeting in June 2020, attended by a panel of college and high school students and community representatives, held in response to the death of George Floyd. John Eugene, president of the 100 Black men of Greater Beaumont, expressed interest in connecting with students at Lamar University.

Karlton Johnson II — a senior at LU and Kinesiology-Teacher Education major — was also in attendance and wanted to become more involved with the College of Education and Human Developme nt. He began working towards this initiative to establish a C100 chapter with Dr. Kathryn Washington and Johnny O’Connor, campus co-advisors for the C100 and assistant and associate professors at Lamar University, respectively. 

“At one time, I was the first and only student working with Dr. Washington and Dr. O’Connor in establishing this organization,” said Johnson. “It was a lot of paperwork and leg work to get it off the ground. Dr. Washington noticed how dedicated I was in wanting this to happen and asked me if I wanted to be the first president of this organization and get the foundation laid before I graduate. I agreed and I became the president, and when I graduate, president emeritus.” 

In order for a Collegiate 100 chapter at LU to be established, a number of requirements had to be met:

  • Sponsorship from a 100 Black men chapter within 25 miles of the university
  • Application to the National Collegiate 100 board
  • Letter of support from Lamar University Administration
  • Recruitment of the initial class via LU website and social media and then interview applicants
Once all requirements were met, an induction/pinning ceremony was hosted via zoom, and the organization met to finalize by-laws and officers. 

“Lamar University has been a light in the community that has educated several successful alumni in the 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont,” said Washington on the reason Lamar University was considered a key location for a C100 chapter. “Like me, a lot of these people are alumni and want to see the next generation succeed.”

Among the many resources made available to students considering to join the Collegiate 100, some of the most important are mentorship and the opportunity to network locally and across the nation. According to Dan Williams, vice president of the 100 Black Men of Greater Beaumont, his local chapter is primarily composed of men in banking, petrochemical and law enforcement industries. Other resources include scholarships made available exclusively to C100 students, and internship/job opportunities for career development. 

“Having been a part of this organization, I am well aware of the impact it has had throughout the community,” said O’Connor. “With this type of support, positive outlook and track record, I am excited about the Collegiate 100 here at Lamar University.”