Last October, the UGA Alumni Association launched the UGA Black Alumni Affinity Group, which is led by the Black Alumni Leadership Council. Dominique Holloman (BS ’01, AB ’01, MED ’04, JD ’04) is president of the Black Alumni Leadership Council. In this role, Holloman leads strategy and determines how best to engage graduates and connect them back to the university and its mission. We recently interviewed Holloman to learn more about her UGA experience and what drives her to stay connected to the University of Georgia.
When did you graduate from UGA and what did you do after college?
I graduated from UGA in 2001 with degrees in Psychology and Sociology. I then attended Georgia Law where I completed a dual degree program earning a JD and a Master of Education in Sport Management in 2004. I have previously worked in collegiate athletic administration and Nonprofit. I am currently in a career transition.
How did you get involved with the Alumni Association?
My road to my involvement with the Black Alumni Leadership Council and the Alumni Association is almost a decade long. I volunteered to be on the planning committee for a Black Alumni Weekend that was held in February 2008. Following that experience, I joined the Multicultural Alumni Steering Committee. I was a member of that committee until it was folded into the Black Alumni Leadership Council this past Spring.
What Black Alumni event are you most proud of?
The event I am most proud of is the Minority Admitted Student Reception we co-host with the Office of Undergraduate Admissions in April where we meet with incoming freshmen and share all things Georgia. It is wonderful to reconnect with fellow alumni who come to share their experiences with these incoming students. It is fun to reminisce about the great times I had at Georgia and share my amazing memories with the students and their parents. I always leave in awe of the current students who are doing remarkable things on campus and inspired by the unlimited possibilities of the newest members of our Bulldog Nation.
How has serving on the Black Alumni Leadership Council benefitted you?
Being a part of the Black Alumni Leadership Council has benefitted me in ways I do not think I have even begun to see or will feel the impact of for some time to come. It has been an unbelievable experience to be president of the council. I have learned in great detail about how our university continues to grow and expand to meet the needs of the students it serves while continuing to be a standard of educational excellence. I have reconnected with old friends and classmates in ways that have assisted me professionally. I have been able to develop relationships with professors, staff and administrators, which has allowed us to make very tangible progress in our first year as it relates to our goals to recruit, retain, engage, donate and serve. On a more personal level, leading the BALC has made me a better leader as it relates to implementing vision by laying the foundation for something so much bigger than me or the council as a whole. Very few people have the opportunity to be a part of something from the ground up and I am grateful for the experience.
What is the most important experience you learned as a student?
What does it mean to you to be a black graduate of the University of Georgia?
I am proud to be a UGA alumna. Everyone who knows me knows I bleed red and black. To be a black graduate enhances that feeling of pride because I am representing a legacy of academic excellence established by Charlayne Hunter-Gault and Hamilton Holmes. It means that I am making wider the path walked by Mary Frances Early and Chester Davenport. It means that I am an example to future UGA grads of how Georgia allows you to fulfill the dreams you have for your future and those you did not even know you had. Georgia allowed me to shape my life in a way that I do not think would have been possible many other places. I dreamed it and I was able to do it.
What is one piece of advice you would give to UGA students?
Be curious about everything all the time. Doors do not open to those who do not knock. I am so jealous of the opportunities available to students now. There are so many programs I am interested in and definitely would have taken advantage of if they had existed during my time in Athens.
The university of Georgia is committed to its students and mission as a land-and sea-grant university. What is your commitment?
My commitment is to give my treasure to UGA and to get others to do the same. I have given much of my time and my talent since I have left Athens. I am now in a place personally and professionally where my dollars can make the impact I want to see. I was blessed during my time as a student to only have to worry about my next assignment or exam. There are students who are hungry, who are unable to purchase needed books and supplies, who cannot support themselves in addition to completing final requirements like an unpaid internship or student-teaching, or are unable to participate in life-changing experiences like study abroad. That is disappointing and unacceptable to me and I hope it is to other graduates as well. My commitment is scholarships.