Bettering the community

Strong, Moorman named Outstanding African-American Alumni

By Mark Permenter

As UT Arlington students in the late 1980s, Zeb Strong and Blake Moorman were eager to make a difference in the world. In the two decades since they graduated, they’ve done just that.

For their professional achievements and contributions to society, Strong and Moorman are UT Arlington’s 2009 Outstanding African-American Alumni. Each received his award at the 20th annual African-American Alumni Banquet last spring.

Blake Moorman and Zeb Strong

Blake Moorman (’90), left, and Zeb Strong (’88) were honored for their professional achievements and contributions to society.

Strong earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 1988 and attended the Harvard University Management Development Program. He was an active student leader and a member of numerous campus groups.

“My involvement in student government and student organizations provided invaluable opportunities to hone my leadership and communication skills,” he said.

Now UT Arlington’s director of recruitment initiatives, he manages the Human Resources Employment Office, helps recruit underrepresented faculty and staff, and works to enhance the University’s relationship with diverse community organizations.

Strong is a former director of Multicultural Services at UT Arlington and has worked for Marathon Oil Co. and Tarrant County College South Campus as student activities director. He serves on the board of directors for the Arlington Life Shelter, NAACP Arlington chapter, Arlington African-American Chamber of Commerce, Tarrant County Housing Partnerships, Park South YMCA and UT Arlington African-American Alumni Chapter.

“I truly believe that no matter what your economic status is or how much education you have attained, you can still serve your community and make a difference,” he says.

In August 2001, Inroads/Dallas-Fort Worth gave its MVP Award to Strong for his dedication to the organization, which selects minority students for Fortune 500 company internships. At the awards ceremony, Inroads renamed the honor the Zeb Strong MVP Award.

“I can’t ignore the need to help when I see it.”

Moorman earned a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies (music theatre) in 1990. As a student he was involved in Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity, Order of Omega honor society, the Black Student Association and Phi Theta Kappa honor society. He sang in an a cappella choir that performed at Carnegie Hall on Easter Sunday 1989.

Now the national sales manager for the Fort Worth Convention Center, he is responsible for securing events for the 395,000-square-foot facility. Previously he was the center’s operations manager and public events coordinator.

“Convincing meeting planners who are from another part of the country and not familiar with Fort Worth that their event will be successful in Fort Worth and that their attendees will have a wonderful time is very rewarding,” Moorman says.

He has served on the Jubilee Theatre Board of Directors since 2004 and on several committees. Starting as a volunteer in 1985, he performed in more than 30 Jubilee productions and, in 1990, became the theater’s first managing director.

His commitment to bettering the lives of those around him is evident in his work with the annual Alpha Phi Alpha Beautillion, which helps young men in the Arlington-Fort Worth area get college scholarships. He mentors the youth and offers advice on setting career goals, grooming, etiquette and culture.

“I can’t ignore the need to help when I see it,” Moorman says. “I’ve often tried to analyze it and have come to the conclusion that it is a learned behavior that my parents taught me.”

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