EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — The voices of the Michigan State University Gospel Choir filled the University Club ballroom Sunday to celebrate the MSU Black Alumni Inc’s 42nd Anniversary at the Distinguished Alumni and Shirley M. Rodgers Scholarship Brunch.

“It allows Black alums an opportunity to come back to the university and party with a purpose,” said Veda Dove-Washington, co-founder of MSUBA.

The purpose is to give back to current MSU students like Jessica Clemons.

“I’m happy to be here not only as a president but as a scholarship recipient,” Jessica Clemons, MSU senior and President of the student-run organization of MSUBA. “I learned that only 4% of the clinical psychologists in this world are African Americans. Reading that one sentence pushes me to work harder every single day. In the world of psychology, representation absolutely matters.”

Members are grateful for alumni and their donations, as the scholarship fund has increased over the years.

“MSUBA started with $1,000. Now, you know, to have grown to over 3.2 million dollars is incredible,” said Carleen Gardner, the National President of MSUBA.

But not everything has changed, as the celebration took place in the same ballroom where it all began in 1980.

“I feel like I’m back home and I live here, but it’s like I feel good to see this again and reminisce on what we started with,” said Betty Barry, the co-founder of MSUBA.