TSU Maroon & Gray Affair Raises More than $1 Million in Scholarships for Deserving Students in Second Year

ABOVE: (l to r) First Lady Loren Lane; TSU student honoree Aaron Dallas; the Honorable Senfronia Thompson, State Representative D-141; the Honorable Rodney Ellis, Harris County Commissioner for Precinct One; TSU student honoree Camille Mills; and TSU President Austin Lane at the Maroon & Gray Affair.

After an extremely successful inaugural event last year, Texas Southern University (TSU) significantly raised the bar this year, as more than 1,500 patrons were in attendance at their Maroon & Gray Affair. The event was held this past Saturday, April 28 at the Marriott Marquis Houston.

The black-tie event, which was conceived by TSU President Dr. Austin A. Lane and TSU First Lady Loren Lane as a means to present an evening of elegance in support of student scholarships and programs, raised in excess of $1 million in scholarship money for deserving TSU students.

“What a lovely evening as we gathered to support higher education,” said Mrs. Lane. “We know that the generosity of our guests will help TSU support these deserving students on their path to a better life.”

In its second year, the Maroon & Gray Affair also recognized two top students and two outstanding alumni from the University. TSU students Aaron Dallas and Camille Mills were honored for their academic excellence and leadership. The Honorable Senfronia Thompson, State Representative D-141, and the Honorable Rodney Ellis, Harris County Commissioner for Precinct One, were recognized as this year’s alumni honorees.

“The Texas Southern family joined together to salute our fantastic students and accomplished alumni,” said TSU President Dr. Austin A. Lane. “Our stakeholders and friends have partnered with TSU to meet our mission of standing as a comprehensive academic institution to guide our students in obtaining their degree of choice.”

Texas Southern’s award-winning Ocean of Soul marching band opened the evening with a thunderous performance, before turning it over to comedian Billy Sorrells, a TSU alumnus, who served as the master of ceremonies and KHOU-TV’s Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan, who served as the mistress of ceremonies.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner welcomed gala guests at the top of the evening. Tamron Hall, an Emmy-nominated journalist, former national news anchor for NBC News and current host of Deadline: Crime on the Investigation Discovery Channel, delivered keynote remarks.

Entertainment was provided by R&B group En Vogue, featuring Houston native Terry Ellis, who performed a set of their R&B hits, including “Hold On,” “Free Your Mind,” “My Lovin’,” “Giving Him Something He Can Feel” and their new Top 10 hit, “Rocket.”

“Our alumni, donors and major stakeholders delivered excellent support to the mission of our gala. All showed their complete dedication to assisting Texas Southern in closing the financial gap for our students,” said Melinda Spaulding, vice president for University Advancement.

The Maroon & Gray Affair exceeded last year’s attendance and fundraising goals, having increased the number of attendees by over 400 and the amount of scholarship money raised by more than $200k. Congratulations Dr. Lane, First Lady Lane and the entire TSU family on a job well done!

Mayor Sylvester Turner addresses the audience as comedian and TSU alumnus Billy Sorrells and KHOU-TV’s Great Day Houston host Deborah Duncan look on.

En Vogue, featuring Houston native Terry Ellis, performing a set of their R&B hits.

         TSU President Dr. Austin A. Lane and TSU First Lady Loren Lane

Hazel Ramsey interacting with Billy Sorrells and Deborah Duncan, discussing her excitement at being a Patron Sponsor of the event.

                    Keynote speaker Tamron Hall and Deborah Duncan