HBCU Students Graduate Bingo Party Style

By Ben Hamill - July 09 2020

HBCU Students Graduate Bingo Party Style

Bingo, perhaps more so than any other game or activity, is proving a lifeline in challenging times. While many students have not been able to enjoy celebrating graduating from college in the way they would have been able to do in the past, students at many historically black colleges did manage to come up with superbly creative alternatives involving, most notably, online Bingo games.

There’s nothing that says successful graduate quite like seeing your name on a personalised graduation Bingo tile. With messages like “this is the first day of the rest of your life” and “the future is yours to shape”, it would be difficult not to feel excited about the future, even in the face of enormous challenges.

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Not Your Grandmamma’s Bingo

But what made 2020’s Graduation Bingo even more special was that the entire thing had been expertly orchestrated by veteran Hollywood television producer TeeJ Mercer, who just so happens to be an HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) graduate herself. Mercer made sure to rally up some pretty incredible prizes as part of the live-and-loud online Bingo game event.

Prizes won by graduate participants included professional services and products to the value of at least $1.3 million. Hosted over a total of 4 days (every Saturday in June), over $14,000 in cash prize money got doled out to the winners of the TBNHGE tournament games.

The $1.3 million in donated prizes received proved a significant haul to the new graduates. Prizes included everything from professional resume services on LinkedIn to enrollments in masterclasses applicable to a host of majors. The masterclasses proved a particular hit among the new graduates as these are all presented and taught by business leaders typically working with Fortune 500 companies. 

Organising host TeeJ was quick to remind interested participants and viewers not to expect Bingo in the way “your grandmama used to play it”.

How It All Got Started

As for how it all came to pass for TeeJ Mercer and a very special type of Bingo, the popular producer tells of how she had earlier this year (in March) moved from southern California to Atlanta in order to work on the development of an all-new television program about and aimed specifically at HBCU students and graduates.

Mercer had however, unsuspecting of what was to come, embarked on the project only days before the global health crisis hit Georgia full force. No longer able to work on the program, and suddenly alone in a city completely strange to her, the only thing left doing seemed joining a virtual family Bingo game organised by her cousin.

Mercer recalls immediately having felt the penny drop. She suddenly knew exactly what she wanted to do, and that Bingo would offer the perfect remedy to what would otherwise have been a pretty sad 2020 graduation affair.

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