Michigan State University's Black Alumni Oakland County chapter is geared toward increasing the graduation retention rate of African American students at MSU. Each year, Michigan State welcomes numerous students, but less than twenty percent of African Americans leave with a degree in hand. As we begin to cultivate and support the incoming freshmen, we strive to change those statistics by addressing determinants of African-American dropout rates.On Saturday, July 8th the alumni chapters of Detroit and Oakland County partnered to host the second "Welcome to Sparta" freshmen reception. The reception featured voices of MSU alum and current students, sharing challenges and benefits of being a Spartan. Hosted in Detroit's midtown at the MSU-Extension Center, and had more than eighty registrants.Representatives from the Office of Supportive Services and TRIO provided insight on how to achieve academic success by utilizing services offered at MSU. Additionally, a representative from the MSU housing office provided guidance on navigating the campus and becoming "dorm ready." Our friends from MSU Alumni Association were present, to give students the opportunity to network and gain additional support from their organization. The information provided to the incoming students was invaluable.