President’s Synopsis of 2014 Reunion
The Reunion of Classes for 2014 conveyed its’ theme “The Way We Were: Keep the Torch Burning!” in a wonderful alumni celebration of 104 years of the Scipio A. Jones High School’s Heritage, held at the only 4 star luxurious hotel located in Huntsville, Al, current hometown of Robert and Izora Harrison’61. The National Alumni Association’s Planning Committees pre-arranged activities and interests for everyone, thereby eliminating the necessity to search around town for things to do.
The Reception on Wednesday Night presented exciting offerings to test our memories about quotes and to recapture moments where we remember sayings, characters, and staff members from “back in the day”. In addition, lots of “Fabulous Food” tickled our taste buds.
Those who attended Our Scholarship Brunch on Thursday, described it as well planned, categorized it as informative, complimented the food as delectable, and spoke of the event as one that was implemented with a spirit of excellence.
Twenty-One classes participated in dancing to the music of a song reminiscent to the era of each class during Thursday Night’s Class Night. Serving a wide selection of tasty HOT HORS D’OEUVRES was a surprisingly delicious first. To add, the Westin Garden turned out to be the perfect photography backdrop for taking class pictures. Theodore Swanson, in person, with his wife, warmed our hearts as they danced and represented the class of 1948.
Attendees to Friday’s Luncheon/Fashion Show eagerly arrived all dressed in white. The program, food and fashions were assessed as awesome. Rev. Charles Anderson’59 performed a beautiful breathtaking Renewal of Wedding Vows for Rev. Don’68 and Linda Moses’70. Vertie Harris received The Most Creatively Dressed Award. Yet, everyone awaited the appearance of Friday Night’s big surprise – one worth waiting for – Tina Turner’s double. Several alumni joined her as she danced on the floor, imitating Tina’s moves. The availability of HOT HORS D’OEUVRES was a first.
Early Saturday morning, two busloads (Pat Brewer’66 and Bob Harrison’61 Senior Wellness Center busses) filled with alumni, departed to begin a tour of interesting sights generally sought out by tourists that are found in Huntsville. Upon nightfall, alumni and guests transitioned from traveling in an “off the chain” tour, including a picnic spread of “real” soul food to attending an eloquent Awards Banquet. Hail to Michael and Lena Gilliam’61, The 2014-2016 Alumni King and Queen. The Dorris Enoch Bailey Scholarship recipient was Destiny Lattimore. The Hall of Excellence Awards was presented to the following: National Community Service- Artis Boykin’57, Education Trail Blazer – Harold Moses’67, Maxine Lee Crane’69, and Joyce Smith Louden’62. In addition, Joyce Smith Louden’62 received The Hallmark Scroll of Honor along with Mickey Ross’72. The National Alumni Association’s President presented, for the first time, the following awards to those in attendance: The Farthest Travelled (Maltrus’61 and Dorothy Neely’68), Senior Alumni (Theodore Swanson’48), Former National Presidents in attendance (Mary Neely King’52, Alyce Bowers Sanders’ 53, and Robert Harrison’61). Vertie Harris was the recipient of the 50/50 drawing. The Class of 1961 exhibited the largest number of class alumni in attendance at the 2014 Reunion of Classes conducted in Huntsville, AL.
Rev. Al Romes’55 delivered a powerful sermon at The Memorial Service held on Sunday Morning. The Service presented very well the love and commitment our fellow alumni possessed for their families, friends and memories of Scipio A. Jones High School.
Quarterly Dragonette Publications are on hold until later due to its’ printing and mailing costs along with other expenditures and our ability to use social media to transmit news pertaining to the National Alumni Association.
The National Alumni Association has operated for decades with minimal income, due in part unfortunately, to our loss of many alumni and increased financial responsibilities…insurances, utilities, Real Estate Taxes, maintenance, repairs, janitorial service, exterminators, commitment to scholarships, monthly website, etc. without an increase in dues. We are making a strong assertive effort to “Keep the torch alive!” This was a critical concern during the last General Session, therefore, members of the National Alumni Association votes unanimously to increase National dues to $20.00 beginning January 2015 through December 2015. Please make $20.00 check or money order payable to S.A. Jones National Alumni Association and mail to William McCraw or Linda Moses @ P.O. Box 5445, North Little Rock, AR 72119. A life membership is $1,000.00.
If you would like photographs or DVDs of the 2014 Reunion of Classes, please contact Mike Gilliam’61 also known as Ugly Mike at 501.663.9052 or BossUglyMike@yahoo.com. The DVD’ sells for $20.00, which will go to the S.A. Jones National Alumni Association, Inc. Contact Rev. Don Moses if you would like a copy of a very well- documented DVD of The Memorial Service.
The Scipio A. Jones National Alumni Association met once in Alabama and once in Arkansas since the 2014 Reunion to plan and strategize for the 2016 Reunion of Classes, scheduled for July 20-24 at the Wyndham Hotel in North Little Rock, Arkansas. Please link and lock hearts and minds with your local and National Alumni with the planning process. Each voice, each member is equally important!
Cheers go out to all Executive Board Members who chaired or co-chaired events with class supporters and SAJAAS who helped to shape our entertaining and quite pleasurable 2014 Reunion of Classes.
We know all of the alumni, former students and advocates of Scipio A. Jones High School want to continue the Heritage that so many sacrificed in order to keep this hope alive and Keep the Torch Burning!