The 44th annual National Association of Veterans Upward Bound (NAVUB) conference concluded to a thunderous applause by a lively and grateful group, back enjoying the company of colleagues in-person, following a two-year absence post-COVID. The 80 acres of beautiful Sonoran Desert grounds of the Westward Look Resort and Spa hosted 100+ representatives from over half of the sixty institutions spread across the continental United States and Puerto Rico.
Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield helped kick off the conference with a Mayoral Proclamation declaring Tuesday, April 26 National Association of Veterans Upward Bound Day. NAVUB president Tommie Campbell of Henderson State University, Arkansas welcomed the large contingent of conference newcomers and echoed the theme for the event of “resilience, recalibration and realignment” as the annual conference transitioned back from virtual to in-person.
Among the newcomers to the event was Ashley Booker from the VUB group of Suffolk University –— the winner of the Council for Opportunity in Education competition to highlight success stories in celebration of VUB’s 50th Anniversary (1972-2022). TRIO programs are funded through Department of Education (DoE) grants and every five years, the grant competition begins anew.
This year VUB programs will be writing and submitting grant proposals and the distinguished Mr. Kenneth Foushee from the DoE announced to NAVUB attendees a June deadline for submissions and entertained questions.
Colonel Richard Tolliver, former Tuskegee Airman, inspired with stories from his time in service and beyond. Attendees were then given the opportunity to reset with off-site group excursions to local Tucson attractions. This year’s group off-site locations included Kartchner’s Caverns, Tohono Chul botanical gardens and the Pima Air and Space Museum. Tucson, Ariz. exceeded expectations as hosting location for the 44th annual NAVUB conference and plans have already begun in preparation for next year’s conference in Baton Rouge, La.