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Familiar Face, New Role

Velma Buckner named interim coordinator of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center

Published July 21, 2016
Story by Sarah Sabatke

Velma Buckner

Velma Buckner has been named interim coordinator of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center.

The newly appointed interim coordinator of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center is no stranger to the University of Missouri. Velma Buckner has worked for the center since March 2012. She previously worked at the MU Research Reactor. The Columbia native received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Columbia College.

“Mizzou has always been a part of me,” says Buckner.

Buckner was named to the interim role after the departure of Jonathan McElderry, PhD, who will be the assistant dean of students and director of the Intercultural Center at Wake Forest University. 

“I am excited about Velma’s transition into this role,” says McElderry. “Her commitment to the students and the mission of the center assures me that the legacy of the GOBCC will continue at Mizzou and the students will continue to receive the support they need.”

Buckner says she is glad to have been able to observe and learn from McElderry, and is ready to get started.

“I’m excited and honored to continue to be a part of this center in my new role and work in the family environment the GOBCC offers,” she says. “The GOBCC is truly a home away from home for a lot of students and that is just one reason why I take so much care into getting things right [for them].”

Buckner is passionate about students, and it is clear that students respect and value her with an equal passion. During her time at the GOBCC, Buckner has received many accolades, most recently being tapped into LSV during MU’s 89th Tap Day this past April.

“Life is often about collecting great experiences and I am doing just that,” Buckner says. “Students are growing, I’m growing. I’m excited about that opportunity every day.”

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Last updated: Aug. 7, 2017