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McMaster graduate, Aaron Parry.

Soc Sci Grad Designs the Black Student Success Centre Logo

Aaron Parry, a graduate of the Faculty of Social Sciences' Anthropology and Indigenous Studies programs, is also behind the Black Student Success Centre logo.

Mar 15, 2022


McMaster’s Black Student Success Centre (BSSC) officially welcomed students in February. The Centre’s goal is to support and champion McMaster’s Black students in every aspect of their lives. Their aims are reflected in the space, thoughtfully decorated with art and poetry donated by Black students, and in its logo, which is a distinctive design symbolizing excellence, strength and unity.

Aaron Parry, a graduate of the Anthropology and Indigenous Studies programs, designed the logo with these concepts in mind.

“We chose black and gold as the main colours, which are part of the Pan-African movement and also represent the richness of Blackness and the lushness and wealth of Africa,” said Parry. “The symbol “Nsaa” at the heart of the design is the Adinkra symbol for excellence, authenticity and genuineness. We wanted to show that we support student excellence as well as them being true to themselves and to their future.”

The ferns framing the logo represent resourcefulness and support, as that species of plant grows in almost any environment.

Parry notes that during the design process, he thought a lot about how the design would resonate with Black students. “When they look at this logo, I want them to feel like it represents them and is accessible to them,” he said. “As soon as they see it, they’ll know that it represents Black McMaster students and they’ll be proud to rep it.”

Faith Ogunkoya, Manager of Black Student Success, also stressed the importance of representation.  

“Students must see themselves in the branding and the story that we are trying to tell, they must see that we are saying that identity matters and affirming it has a place in overall student wellness and success,” she said. 

Parry was heavily involved in the Black student community while at McMaster. For him, contributing his time and talents to the Centre holds a special meaning.

“Working with Aaron on the design was important to me. As a student, Aaron was a member of the Black Student Association and we are committed to students as our partners in this work,” added Ogunkoya. “Our collaboration feels like a continuation of our work as members of the task force on the review of the Black Student Athlete experience.”

“It is a blessing to be here and see this space become a reality. It’s an honour to see this and to be a part of this history,” said Parry.