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Our Mission


Enourage and support full participation in Ohio University alumni activities.


Generate financial support for the Ohio University EBN Urban Scholarship Endowment and involve alumni in EBN programmatic activities.

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Support the University’s Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives with the goal of increasing recruitment, enrollment, retention, and graduation of African American students.

Honor the heritage and contributions of preceding and present generations of persons of color who attended or are attending Ohio University.

Our Story   

In 2010, a group of Black alumni from the 1960s attended the Black Alumni Reunion (BAR) in Athens, Ohio. They were inspired and challenged by Dr. Roderick J. McDavis ‘70, the first African American president of Ohio University, to organize themselves and establish an endowment to support the Urban Scholars Program.

Initiated shortly after President McDavis assumed leadership of his undergraduate alma mater, the program provides scholarships and support to high achieving students from urban school districts with demonstrated financial need was established.


A few days after the 2010 BAR, a small group of attendees met to act upon the McDavis challenge.

​They convened at the home of Dr. Patricia A. Ackerman ‘66, the first African American woman appointed to serve on and ultimately chair the Ohio University Board of Trustees. The organizers who attended that first meeting were Huey Ball ‘67, LaWanna McKinley White ‘65, and Dr. Everett Louis Overstreet ‘67. A series of subsequent meetings was convened, and the participation of other OU Black alumni in the greater Cleveland area was welcomed.

As founding members, those who convened imagined forming an organization that would encourage Black alumni to become active participants in the activities, leadership and awards events sponsored by the Ohio University Alumni Association. That the achievements and contributions to society of Black alumni from all decades be recognized was deemed important.

Realizing the potential impact of organizing OU Black alumni across the country and the world, the founding members envisioned a national/international network comprised of affiliate groups in various cities. Dr. Ackerman proposed that such a group be called the “Ebony Bobcat Network (EBN).”

The Ebony Bobcat Network became an official alumni group of Ohio University in 2011.

EBN celebrates alumni achievement, student engagement and its commitment to Ohio University through various events sponsored by EBN affiliates. Collectively, Ebony Bobcat Network affiliates have earned recognition from the Ohio University Alumni Association for the following awards:

Outstanding Philanthropy       

Outstanding Alumni Society

Most Innovative Program Award

Alden Community Service Award

Alumni Networking Award

Alumni Student Networking Award 

EBN Founders


  • Patricia A. Ackerman, ‘66 

  • John Addison, ’63 

  • Huey Ball, ’67 

  • Johnny Benn, ’65 *  

  • Charles Bremer, ’65 

  • Constance Lawson Davis, ’67 

  • Ralph Hopper, ’64 

  • Jean (Hairston) Allen-Jenkins,’68​

  • Gary Nickerson, ’66 

  • Ann-Marie (Huckabee) Ogletree, ’66 

  • Everett Louis Overstreet, ’67 

  • R. Glenn Stringer, ’67 

  • Shirley Yarbrough Stringer, ’67 

  • Elizabeth Ouida Ward, ’69 

  • Thomas Washington, ’68 

  • LaWanna (McKinley) White, ’65 

  • Thelma Williams, ’69 *Deceased

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