BLSA celebrates 40th year at Wake Forest law school with annual scholarship banquet on Friday, Feb. 15

The Wake Forest Black Law Students Association will host its 28th annual Scholarship Banquet on Friday, Feb. 15, at the Wake Forest University Benson University Center.

The evening begins with a cocktail reception at 6, followed by dinner and a full program at 7. The banquet is the annual fundraising effort for the BLSA Scholarship Fund.

“This banquet commemorates a truly historic year,” says Ashley Morgan Seawright (’13),  BLSA vice-president and Scholarship Banquet Committee Chair.

This year is historic because it marks BLSA’s 40th year at Wake Forest and its parent organization, the National Black Law Students Association (NBLSA), marks its 45th anniversary.  Also, as a nation, we celebrate the 150th Anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington. In light of these momentous events, this year’s banquet is entitled “Honoring Our Past as We March into the Future.”

In addition to a keynote address by distinguished alumnus Lisa Jeffries Caldwell (’86), the evening will feature the awarding of the BLSA Scholarship and the inaugural presentation of the BLSA Legacy Award.

“Our keynote speaker, Lisa Jeffries Caldwell (’86), Executive Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer at Reynolds American and R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., is the first African- American to rise to this level in the companies’ histories,” Seawright explains. “In her current role, Ms. Caldwell is responsible for leading a transformation of the tobacco industry by driving innovation throughout RAI’s businesses, redefining enjoyment for adult tobacco consumers, reducing the harm caused by smoking and accelerating the decline in youth tobacco use.”

lisa caldwell067corp-5x7 (2)Black Enterprise Magazine recently recognized Caldwell as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America. She was also named in the Top Influential Women in Corporate America by Savoy Magazine.

Prior to joining Reynolds Tobacco,  Caldwell worked as an attorney for two Winston-Salem firms – Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, and West and Banks. A native of Burlington, North Carolina, Ms. Caldwell is an alumnus of University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill and Wake Forest University School of Law.

“During her time at Wake Forest, Ms. Caldwell was not only a Wake Forest Scholar but an exemplary member of Wake Forest BLSA,” Seawright says. “It was under her vision and leadership the idea of the BLSA Scholarship emerged. Thanks to Ms. Caldwell’s efforts the BLSA Scholarship was started in 1984 and now, 28 years later, it remains a hallmark of BLSA and our legacy.”

Banquet tickets are $50 per person. A table for eight is available for $400. Tickets can be purchased  at Tickets will be available for purchase until Tuesday, Feb. 12. Please purchase tickets in advance, as they will not be available at the door. You may also show your support by making a donation to the BLSA Scholarship Fund.