Friday, April 15, 2011

Two events to honor Betty Chavis, benefit new scholarship fund Apr. 16

HOUGHTON -- Two events will be held tomorrow, Saturday, April 16, to honor Betty Chavis, former director of Michigan Tech's multi-ethnic programs. Proceeds will benefit Michigan Tech's new Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund.

Betty Chavis, former director of Michigan Tech's multi-ethnic programs. (Photo courtesy Michigan Tech University)

Chavis is known for her commitment to diversity and young people, and the scholarship fund in her name will assist undergraduate and graduate students.

The first event on behalf of her scholarship fund is "So You Think You Can't Dance: We'll Show You How," which will be from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, April 16, in the Memorial Union Commons. All are welcome to pass the word, come and support the effort.

The event, hosted by the students and alumnae of the Society of Intellectual Sisters, is in conjunction with their 20-Year Reunion festivities during Spring Fling Weekend. Admission is by donation, and all proceeds will go toward the scholarship fund.

For more information, contact Lydia Brame at , or Darnishia Slade at

Chavis came to Michigan Tech as an admissions officer in the 1980s and then moved to Educational Opportunity, where she directed Michigan Tech’s multi-ethnic programs. Most recently, she recruited students on behalf of the Graduate School. Whatever her post, she was a mom away from home for dozens of African American and African students, as well as for students of every other race and creed.

"I have always been impressed by her ability to attract and support young people and give them the direction they need," said colleague Chris Anderson, special assistant to the president for diversity. "When it comes to diversity at Michigan Tech and in the community, she paved the way. When she first came here, Betty introduced local people who had only seen African Americans on TV to real people of color."

The community knows Chavis, who is now "retired," in part through her leadership in spearheading the annual Parade of Nations. She has also been active in other community organizations, such as the Barbara Kettle Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women, for whom she recently hosted a fundraising music event and silent auction.

Betty Chavis is pictured here with Michael Shupe in Hancock's Orpheum Theatre on April 10, 2011, when she volunteered (the second year in a row) to MC the Annual Music Event and Silent Auction fundraiser for the Barbara Gundlach Shelter Home for Abused Women. Shupe, owner of Studio Pizza and the Orpheum, donated a portion of pizza sales that day for the Shelter. (Photo by Keweenaw Now

"Betty always uses the word 'icon,' but for us, she is an icon," said Anderson. "There will never be another Betty."

The second event will be a banquet held at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, April 16, at the Magnuson Franklin Square Inn. Proceeds from the banquet will benefit the new Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund.

The banquet includes a gourmet buffet of medallions of beef tenderloin, Italian broiled chicken breast, cheese ravioli, a variety of side dishes, desserts and a champagne toast.

Tickets are $50 and are available at, by calling 906-487-2073, or at the Michigan Tech Box Office, located in the Student Development Complex on MacInnes Drive. Seating is limited, so interested persons are encouraged to purchase their tickets immediately.

To give directly to the Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund, visit, call the Michigan Tech Fund at 906-487-2310, or mail a check made out to the Michigan Tech Fund to Betty Chavis Scholarship Fund, c/o Michigan Tech Fund, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI 49931-1295.

For more information, contact Chris Anderson at or Carol Argentati at 487-2474 or

No comments: