The special event was sponsored by the SAU Foundation, with proceeds benefiting the foundation and the Kathleen Mallory Lectureship Endowment. A private reception with Babineaux was held in the Magnolia Room of the Donald W. Reynolds Campus and Community Center. The reception allowed special ticket holders to meet Babineaux and have their picture made with him before the dinner that followed in the Grand Hall of the Reynolds Center.
At the dinner, Babineaux told the crowd about the influence SAU had on his life, including the grueling football practices that helped shape him into a player ready for the challenges of the National Football League. But the road certainly wasn’t always easy, according to Babineaux.
To further emphasize his point, Babineaux read the poem “Mother to Son,” by Langston Hughes, which contains the famous line, “Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.”
The mission of the Kathleen Mallory Lecture Series is to honor the contributions of Dr. Mallory, an English professor who has made extraordinary contributions to SAU and to issues of English curriculum improvement in Arkansas and the United States. Mallory is credited with brining scholars working in the fields of African Diasporic and African American Studies to Southern Arkansas University to share their scholarship with students, faculty, staff and members of the community.