This May, Desmond King, Class of 2014, will become the first student to graduate from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania having already paid his $1,000.00 Life Membership dues to the Cheyney University National Alumni Association (CUNAA).

It is not every day that an undergraduate student wants to become a Life Member, especially when the student has yet to officially complete their undergraduate journey! While graduating seniors traditionally enjoy one year of free Regular Membership in the Cheyney University National Alumni Association (CUNAA), Desmond King felt that becoming a Life Member would give him the opportunity to “carry the legacy that Cheyney has to offer” with him immediately after commencement on May 10, 2014.

“I am very proud of Desmond,” says Cheyney University Director of Alumni Relations Greg Benjamin ’81. “I remember when Desmond came in as a freshman. To see this young man thrive to reach his accomplishment of graduating does my heart good to see what hard work and dedication can do.”

The Philadelphia-native chose Cheyney because he wanted to go to one of the nation’s HBCUs and Cheyney had a Call Me MISTER education program for young males. But, when he got here, he discovered the world of marketing and set his sights on business. He also rolled up his sleeves, dove in head first and got very involved with the Cheyney experience.

King says that he was motivated to become a Life Member by several disgusted Life Members of The Cheyney University National Alumni Association, including Ms. Barbara Daniel-Cox ’66, Sheree Monroe ’04 and Mr. Gregory Benjamin ’81, with whom he regularly interacted during his tenure as the Student Government Cooperative Association, Inc.‘s Governor for Social Affairs.

“It is truly an honor to not only be an alumnus of Cheyney University, but to also be a Life Member of CUNNA,” said the former Mister Blue and White.

As he prepares to graduate with the Class of 2014, Desmond King hopes that his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing will aid him in reaching his postgraduate goals.

Desmond’s long-term goal is to become a Vice President of Student Affairs at a Historically Black College/University in order to “pay it forward” since the first HBCU in America has given so much to him. Desmond said that his first goal after graduating will be to obtain a full-time position that will lead to earning his MBA, and ultimately, a terminal degree in Education Leadership.

Having served as an undergraduate intern with the Philadelphia Housing Authority, the nation’s fourth largest public housing authority, Desmond hopes to earn a position in the Community Operations & Resident Development Department and continue to live in the Philadelphia area as an active, local alumnus.