Maliah Graves, a senior marketing analytics major and biology minor, serves as president of the Black Student Union. She recently received the Who’s Who Among Students at UNC Charlotte recognition. Grave is also a legacy student as her grandfather, Leroy Waters, received a master’s degree in education from the University in 1981 and her sister, Adrianna Graves, received a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 2018. Learn more about her in this Q&A.
Why did you choose UNC Charlotte?
I chose UNC Charlotte because when I toured this beautiful campus, I felt right at home and knew that I would be comfortable here. I met so many friendly people just from being on campus for a couple of hours. I also knew I wanted to pursue a career in business and I felt that the Belk College of Business would best prepare me for my future.
What does it mean to you to be president of the Black Student Union and what is the most rewarding part of the position?
Being president of the Black Student Union holds a great deal of weight to me. It means being the face of the longest-standing and most impactful Black student-led organization on campus. I hold the responsibility of acting as the voice of the organization and must effectively communicate the needs, wants and concerns of the Black student population to those who hold stake in our well-being on this campus. My actions, good or bad, reflect on this organization and I take that very seriously.
What would you like fellow Niners to know about the Black Student Union?
I joined the Black Student Union as a freshman representative. This organization gave me my start as a student leader and has fostered my growth ever since. I have accomplished so many things and met so many wonderful people through my experiences with the Black Student Union. This is more than just a student organization, it is a movement representing 54 years of resilience, strength, determination, leadership and empowerment. The Black Student Union has demonstrated the power of coming together with a greater purpose, uplifting one another and leading with intention. When you join the Black Student Union, you are joining a legacy of student leaders that have worked to accomplish and uphold the original mission of the organization.
What are three words to describe UNC Charlotte?
Three words to describe UNC Charlotte are progressive, nurturing and captivating.
What do you like to do when you aren't studying?
When I’m not studying, working or doing things for my extracurricular involvement, I like to try new food around Charlotte. I also like to spend time with my friends and sisters and listen to music on long drives.
What's a fun fact about you many people may not know?
A fun fact about me that many people may not know is that my dream career is acting, and I love to sing.