President: Michael Newsome ’83


Michael Newsome is a member of the 1983 graduating class and received his BS in Business Administration from the Sydney Lewis School of Business. He became a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity at VUU and has been active with the VUU Alumni Association and the JW Barco Alumni Chapter for the past few years. Michael has over 30 years of experience in accounting, administration and management at a major research university. His previous service to the VUUNAA is as Chair of the Finance Committee and as a member of the Homecoming Planning committee.

As VUUNAA President his goals are to:

  • Promote intergenerational relationships and networking
  • Increase endowment/ Alumni Giving
  • Member recruitment/ Student recruitment

Treasurer: AńJou C. White ’87


AńJou C. White has served and worked hard to meet the goals and visions of the VUUNAA for over twelve years and she currently serves as Treasurer of this organization. She has served in various capacities in other organizations, including but not limited to the following: Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. – Life Member and Silver Star, International Membership, Chapter Membership Chairman; Greater Richmond Urban League – Controller; NAACP – Member; Indiana Black Expo – Membership Chairman; PROC Foundation, Inc. – Board Member & Treasurer; Educational Advancement Foundation – Board Member and Regional Coordinator; National Association of Black Accountants; and National Black MBA Association.

AńJou is a member of the Tom Harris Alumni Chapter, and continues to work toward the advancement of growth within the community as well as giving back to our alma mater. She has a son, Tyler R. Johnson who is also very actively involved in the community.

Corresponding Secretary: Stephanie Cason ’67

Stephanie Crittenden Cason is a native of Richmond, VA where she received her early education graduating from Maggie L. Walker School in 1962. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education at Virginia Union University in 1967 and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at Virginia Commonwealth. Stephanie retired in 2000 after teaching in the Henrico County and Richmond Public School Systems for 34 years.

Stephanie has been an active member of the Virginia Union University National Alumni Association for the past four years. She is also a member of the John Barco Alumni Chapter. Her community and professional organizations include: American Association of Retired Persons, Richmond –Henrico Retired Teachers Association, Henrico Chapter of the NAACP, Hechler Village Association and The Riverview Baptist Church.

This leadership experiences inspires her to serve on a national level and considers it an honor to be corresponding secretary where she can give back just a small portion of what Virginia Union University has given her.

Financial Secretary: Melody Wise ’87


Melody Smithers Wise is currently employed as VP, Fair Lending and Compliance Analytics at Citizens Bank where she is charged with overseeing the analysis of all of the company’s lines of business data and ensuring that any potential lending disparities are reviewed in compliance with all fair lending laws and regulations. Prior to her current role, she has held a variety of positons in the management of data and projects within several Fortune 500 financial companies throughout the Richmond area. Melody received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics degree, graduating with honors, magna cum laude, from the university in 1987.

Melody is a proud member of the alumni who enjoys serving and giving back where possible. She joined the inaugural group of alumni mentors last year and is currently serving in her second term as a class agent.

Melody is a member of the John W. Barco alumni chapter, where she currently serves in the position of assistant financial secretary. Melody has also held a prior financial officer role on the board of a non-profit organization, serving for two terms in the role of treasurer.

Recording Secretary: Nichole McBeth


Nichole McBeth is a financial management specialist for Department of Defense responsible for the development, formulation, and execution of the command’s multi-year budget exhibits. Prior to the federal government, Nichole worked for the Commonwealth of Virginia Community College System, private sector and USAF in the fields of accounting/finance and biology/medical field dating back to her graduation from VUU. Nichole earned her MBA from Strayer University, which pushed her to briefly offer consulting services. Her consulting services focused on time management and organization skills for assisted living facilities, which she hopes to reestablish one day soon.

Nichole has lived in DMV area since 1995. She has been very active in her community over the years. She has been volunteered with Charles County Commission for Woman, Habitat for Humanity, and SHARE Food Network. Currently, Nichole serves as the Maryland Alumni Chapter President 2017-2019 working to showcase to Maryland what VUU has to offer students. She is a member of Psi Epsilon Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and the co-coordinator for the Target II: Health Promotions – Alzheimer’s disease and Caregiver Support committee. Nichole attends Lighthouse Baptist Church in Waldorf, Maryland. She is the mother of adult twins, Dana and Dion and the owner of Pepper, a miniature schnauzer.

Parliamentarian: Marian Martin, RP ’61


Marian Johnathan Martin is a native of Henrico County (Varina), VA where she received her early education graduating from Virginia Randolph High School in Glen Allen, VA. Receiving her BS degree in Business Education from VUU in 1961, she continued graduate study at the University of VA and VA State University. With a love of children, she began her teaching career in the public schools of Madison, VA, Henrico County, and Charlottesville, VA. After 37 years, she retired from the Richmond City Public School System. She believes that it takes a village to raise a child and with the right nourishment, all children have endless possibilities.

Some community affiliations include life member of VUUNAA, NAACP, VEA, NEA, St. James Baptist Church (Varina), Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., OES/PHA, and United Order of Tents. She is recipient of the Henrico County NAACP award for top recruiter for the year. Marian is a Registered Parliamentarian and a member of the National Association of Parliamentarians (NAP). She has served as Northeast Region Parliamentarian for Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. She now serves as parliamentarian for the VA Dental Hygienist Association at their Annual Conference held in Richmond, VA. She also serves as Chairman of Education and Training for the M. Stanley Ryan Unit of Parliamentarians—VSAP, NAP. She loves parliamentary procedure and wishes that everyone (members and officers) affiliated with any type of society would become familiar with the rules of a meeting in their conduct of business, so that time, efficiency, and practice of Democracy can better be served for all. As parliamentarian of the VUUNAA, she is focused on serving to the best of her ability the officers and members in the proper conduct of business according to Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised.

Chaplain: Dr. Michelle McQueen-Williams ’87

During her career as a professional educator, Reverend Dr. Michelle Kelly McQueen-Williams has shown a deep concern for the educational, social, and emotional well-being of the children she has encountered as a teacher at Highland Springs High, assistant principal at Henrico High, and an elementary principal at Glen Lea Elementary. In 2008, she was named principal of Harvie Elementary, the 45th and most recent elementary school to be opened in eastern Henrico County. Currently, she serves as the Director of Elementary Education in Henrico County Public Schools and is an adjunct instructor at Virginia Union University where she is also serves on their teacher advisory council.

She is a product of the Richmond Public School System and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Virginia Union University, and was crowned Miss Virginia University. Additionally, she holds a Master’s and Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from Virginia Commonwealth University and recently completed the Aspiring Superintendents Program at Virginia Tech. Dr. McQueen –Williams also graduated with honors from the Samuel Dewitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University, with her Master’s of Divinity. Recently ordained, she serves as an Associate Minister at the First Baptist Church of South Richmond where the Reverend Dr.s Dwight C. and Derik E. Jones are the pastors. Reverend Dr. McQueen-Williams is the mother of one son Byron, a junior at L.C. Bird High School. Additionally, Dr. Michelle K. McQueen Williams has served as Chaplain for Chesterfield Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta and the John W. Barco Chapter of Virginia Union University where she has also served on the scholarship committee and it’s guest speaker for the scholarship awards banquet. Civic minded, she seeks to motivates, empower, and inspire all with whom she comes in contact.

Necrologist: Kimberly Braxton ’95

Kimberly Braxton is French Education Teacher at Huguenot High School in Richmond, VA. She is a member of the 1995 graduating class of Virginia Union University (VUU) and received her B.A. in French Education. She became a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. at VUU and has been active with the VUU Alumni Association for the past 2 years. She has over 15 years of experience in education, entrepreneurship, and leadership. Kimberly has professional memberships with the following organizations: Foreign Language Association of Virginia, Begin Again Ministries, Inc. (Board Member, Secretary), Virginia Union University Alumni Association; Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., Iota Sigma Chapter (Basileus).

Member-At-Large – Sponsorship Officer: Wendi Cook ’87


Wendi Cook is a native of Alexandria VA, graduating from TC Williams High School and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Virginia Union University. She has over 25 years of progressive Information Technology (IT) experience, project leadership, customer relationship management, financial and contract management with various government contractors. Wendi is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. (Beta Epsilon) and has received numerous awards and certificates in leadership, training and performance and brings forth a great deal of experience.

Member-At-Large- Special Events Officer: Howard Cook ’86

Howard Cook born and still resides in Arlington, Virginia. Has a passion for leading and making things happen. He has a strong background in local and state government development and events and meetings management. For over 30 years. Howard has worked for various national, state and local associations and government municipalities. Just to name a few, the US Department of Transportation; Arlington and the Washington DC governments. He currently works as the Assistant manager of Meetings and Events for WIA, a public and private supplemental government association.

He holds an undergraduate degree in Business Administration 86’ from our beloved alma mater and a master’s degree, in Public Administration, from University of Phoenix. In addition, he currently owns and operates his own two grassroots companies, the first an events and promotions company, entitled “Panther Productions”. This company specializes in development, implementation and management of social events and activities for “professional and mature audiences” throughout the DC, MD and VA (DMV) area. The second, a Basketball Officials company, entitled “All-In-One Officials”, which supplies training for those interested in becoming officials and services to organizations in need of basketball officials for tournaments, leagues or special events.

Member-At-Large – Professional Development Officer: LaVerne Hatch ’86


​LaVerne Hatch is a native of Richmond, Virginia. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at Virginia Union University and a Masters in Administration at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant, Michigan. LaVerne worked as an Assistant Analyst in accounting for twenty-one years at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. At present, she is a Securities Operations Service Specialist at Wells Fargo, Richmond, Virginia.

LaVerne’s focus on community involvement has afforded her a number of volunteer opportunities and leadership roles. At the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond she created and led “A Future Connection” a mentoring program at Huguenot High School in Richmond. For the 2015-2016 school term, LaVerne will focus on one of the strategic goals of VUUNAA which is to create and implement programs that will develop students into leaders.

Member-At-Large – Communications Officer: Ricky Parker ’08


Ricky Parker is a social entrepreneur that believes in using art as a means to effect social change. Currently, he serves as the Creative Director of Dream For Purpose, a creative agency that focuses on providing marketing solutions and brand management services to clients within the entertainment, sports, fashion, tech and non-profit industries. He is also currently an Adjunct Professor of Marketing at Virginia Union University (VUU), a Visiting Entrepreneur at the University of Maryland, and newly appointed Scholar-In-Residence for the Ruth Coles Harris Leadership Institute at VUU.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, Ricky served as the VUU Center for Undergraduate Research Inaugural Fellow performing research concerning Hip Hop’s place on the university’s campus. Ricky is passionate about creativity and entrepreneurship; and believes that anything is possible with God.

He is a 2008 graduate of the Sydney Lewis School of Business at VUU; where he earned a B.S. in Marketing. Ricky is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., and currently resides in Prince George’s County, Maryland with his wife, Whitney, and two daughters, Kendall and Kali.