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History of the

BTW Alumni Association

History of the

BTW Alumni Association

History of the BTW Alumni Association

Written by Pastor Willie Smith Washington

Three graduates, David Ellis, Franklin Green and Wille Smith Washington of the class of 1950, tried to have a class reunion in the year 1972; but it didn't materialize. At a later date at a social event, Willie Smith Washington was telling some friends about the class reunion, and how it didn't materialize, but that they were going to try it again later.  One of the friends said," Oh, I like that but I am not from your class." Willie spoke up and said, “we can make it a school reunion”.  All that were present agreed.


Washington didn’t think it would be right to proceed without consulting with her classmates, Ellis and Green, since they were the ones who asked her to get the class reunion together. They both agreed and asked Washington if she would get some of their other class mates to help with the school Reunion. Green and Ellis would come in from Philadelphia and meet with Hattie Morman Kelly and Dorothy Washington Becks.


The group then formed a committee which included Betty Johnson Pendleton, Charlene Cooke Johnson, Juanita Cooke Kearney, Jeanetta Thomas Bryant, Christine Miller Crawford, Patsy Brent Robinson, Virginia Smith Perry, Rosalie Cook Vickers, Barbara Smith Washington, Walter E Brown.  Later we decided we wanted more man power, so Richard Huggard and Roscoe Williams were invited to join the committee.


The first Booker T. Washington High School Reunion convened at Ingleside on September 1, 1973. It was well attended with approximately five hundred local and out of state Alumni.


The Committee was asked not to disband so they stayed together and the Booker T. Washington Alumni Association was created.


We had a little money left over from the reunion so we used it to give a scholarship. The first scholarship recipient was Ms. Iris Ann Wells.  The scholarship award became an annual project.  The next project the Association worked on was to contact the City of Staunton to see what we could do to help save Montgomery Hall Park. We also donated money for the new pool at Gypsy Hill Park, the auditorium at the new Lee High School, the City of Staunton tree planting project, and worked to have a  school named for Mr. Arthur R. Ware Jr.


From Pastor Willie Smith Washington


The Booker T. Washington Alumni Association continues today with the same dedication and determination.

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