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Office of Multicultural Affairs records, 1989 - 2021


Scope and Contents

The records document the founding of the Leona Lusk Officer Black Cultural Center in 1989 and efforts by the university to support the personal, cultural, social, and academic growth and development of students from underrepresented ethnic populations. Materials include administrative files, event planning files, posters, flyers, photographs, and scrapbooks.


  • 1989 - 2021


Historical Note

The Office of Multicultural Affairs began as the Black Cultural Center in 1989. In 1988, the Black Student Organization surveyed Black students at Tech on their interest in a center for Black students. The Black Student Organization and the student chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers presented a proposal advocating for the creation of a space and programming to support the academic, personal, and cultural development of Black students to the Commission on the Status of Blacks and President Volpe in January 1989. University administration approved the creation of the Black Cultural Center. Work began on converting space in the University Center in the fall of 1989. The Black Cultural Center formally opened in August 1990.

In the 1994 bulletin, the Center advertised its functions as: “offer[ing] students an opportunity to learn more about the African American culture through books, photographs, and works of art. It is a place for gathering with friends and a place to unwind after a full day of classes. The Black Cultural Center also schedules events such as the Annual African Market Fair and a variety of educational programs and social events.”

By 1995, Tonia Duncan-Rivers wrote a proposal to establish the position of Coordinator of Minority Affairs, which became the Director of Minority Affairs. The new Office of Minority Affairs represented the needs of underrepresented students to the university administration and managed the Black Cultural Center. The Office of Minority Affairs was housed in the Black Cultural Center. In 1996, the Center adopted its new name, the Leona Lusk Officer Black Cultural Center, to honor the first African American graduate of Tennessee Tech.

By the Fall 2014 semester, the Office of Minority Affairs changed its name to the Office of Multicultural Affairs. As of 2020, the mission of the Multicultural Affairs Office is to provide support for the personal, cultural, social, and academic growth and development of students from underrepresented ethnic populations.

Administrators and staff in the Office of Multicultural Affairs have included:

Mayme D. Martin, Director, 1990-1992

Rosa Stokes, Interim Coordinator, at least Fall 1993-Spring 1994

Tonia Duncan-Rivers, Director, April 1995-June 1997

Mitzi Hill, Secretary, Fall 1996-?

Tammy Reynolds, Director, 1997-2000

Jennifer Smith, Assistant, at least 2000

Jamie E. Mells, Director, July 2001-September 2005

Elizabeth D. Ojo, Assistant Director, 2006-April 2017

Corinne Johnson, Administrative Associate, circa 2000s-

Robert Owens, Director, 2006-2014; Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs, 2014-

Charria Campbell, Director, 2019-


6.44 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The records are arranged into three subseries: Administrative Files, Scrapbooks, and Photographs. Within each subseries, materials are arranged in alphabetical order by folder title and then chronological order by creation date.


The materials were transferred from the Office of Multicultural Affairs to the Archives on June 16, 2020 and July 30, 2020.

Processing Information

Original folder titles maintained when available. Prefixes were added to event files and photographs folder titles to clarify the purpose of the contents. Four plastic binders of scrapbook pages were deconstructed because of preservation concerns. The contents were foldered by topic or date, and original order maintained.

Repository Details

Part of the Tennessee Tech University Archives Repository

1100 North Peachtree Avenue
PO Box 5066
Cookeville Tennessee 38505 United States