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About BMEN

Our Mission

The Black Male Excellence Network (BMEN) aims to create a community at Virginia Tech where Black male students can explore their authentic selves and develop personally, academically, and professionally.

Our Vision

A community where all Virginia Tech Black male students are empowered to fulfill their academic, personal, and professional potential.

Work Study Opportunity

As part of BMEN's vision to expose you to ongoing undergraduate research opportunities and build your confidence in securing internships, co-ops, and study abroad opportunities, BMEN is seeking to hire student ambassadors who provide peer mentoring and coaching, guiding them through the BMEN Scholars program journey. Student ambassadors will be recruited by BMEN's coordinator and graduate assistant and later receive professional development training. We also prefer students familiar with various campus resources. Thus we are hiring only sophomore, junior, and senior students. Submit your application if you are an enthusiastic student leader, work-study eligible, and love peer mentorship.


In support of Virginia Tech’s commitment to academic success and achievement for all of its students, a group of students, faculty and administrators came together in the spring of 2011 to develop a coordinated, structured program that focused on the academic success of Black male undergraduates. 

But why?

In the 2010-2011 academic year, there were 561 Black male undergraduates at Virginia Tech. Given the young men’s academic entry characteristics (SAT & high school GPA), the students were not performing as well as might be expected. While one-third of the Black male undergraduates maintained a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, about 10%-percent were on academic probation, and an additional 15% were considered at-risk academically, with GPAs in the 2.00-2.30 range.

This was the beginning of Virginia Tech’s Black Male Achievement Initiative; a campus-wide effort that was born and nurtured in the Student Success Center.

Over the years, the name of this outreach and support effort has evolved from the Black Male Achievement Initiative to Students Working to Achieve Goals and Graduation (VT SWAGG) to The Black Male Excellence Network (BMEN).

Over the years, support, enrichment and engagement for Black male undergraduates has expanded to include:

  • Collaborations with historically Black (NPHC) fraternities to target their members;
  • The Black Male Summit: fall welcome in collaboration with Black fraternities and Student African American Brotherhood (SAAB)
  • Designated study hours and space;
  • Coaching, informal mentoring and social networking; 
  • Referrals to academic support in the Student Success Center;
  • An annual conference, The Uplifting Black Men Conference
  • A day-long college access program for Black male high school students and
  • Engagement opportunities with alumni to increase social capital and facilitate resource sharing

BMEN will continue to implement strategies outlined in Virginia Tech’s Diversity Strategic Plan that aim to increase the academic success of diverse and underrepresented students. In cooperation with InclusiveVT efforts, BMEN will help to identify and reduce barriers to the academic progress and achievement Black males; and will, in collaboration with student and academic affairs colleagues around campus, proactively respond to the academic, social, and cultural needs of Black males throughout their undergraduate careers.