Volunteer Spotlight: Nilda Gumbs

Meet the former Miss Black Penn State who is learning the ropes for a leadership role with the Black Alumni Reunion.

yellow circle around black and white head shot of Nilda Gumbs, courtesy


In 2004, Nilda (Cid) Gumbs ’92 Com joined some friends for a casual reunion at University Park. Gumbs, who was voted Miss Black Penn State in 1989 and had her own radio show as a student, enjoyed strengthening her network of fellow alumni that weekend, and when organizers partnered with the Alumni Association a few years later to create the biennial Penn State Black Alumni Reunion, she kept attending.

Connections made at the BAR have led Gumbs to get involved in the African American Alumni Organization of Washington, D.C., where she lives, and this year she volunteered on the BAR’s events committee. She is also the “chair-in-waiting,” learning the ropes for a leadership role in 2026.

“I believe in the importance of the BAR,” says Gumbs, chief of staff at NCTA, a trade organization for the cable and broadband industry. “It’s not to separate as much as it is to celebrate that we are a part of something bigger.”