The Class of '71 Celebrates Its 45th Reunion in Grand Style
O Livingstone, my Livingstone!
Thy dear old name we sing!
Some of us had not sung our school song in forty five years. But we sang it from our hearts on Friday, October 14, 2016, as the Class of '71 closed out a night to be remembered. The night began as classmates strolled into the Hilliard Room-Hood Building expectantly. There was an air of awkwardness as some members of the class perused the room for a familiar face and a place to sit. It has been forty five years since some of us have seen each other. Will I even recognize my hall mates? What if I cannot remember a name? Where were the name tags? These uncomfortable thoughts did not last for long. Within minutes, the room was buzzing with sounds of laughter and expressions of joy as classmates reconnected over fond memories.
It was a struggle to "call the class to order" as Dr. Arnette Coleman, our illustrious Master of Ceremonies, invited us to take our seats. He greeted us warmly, making us feel welcome and eager to experience the pleasures of the night.
Our program began with a tribute to members of the class who served in the United States Armed Services. Oliver E. McNair, a U.S. Navy retiree, offered words of praise to both men and women who served us with pride. After a delicious meal, prepared by the Perkins Management Staff, we were entertained by a famous group from the past: "The Apollos". Lucious Bristol, Maurice Bush and Johnny McIntyre brought back memories as they amused us with a rendition of "Just My Imagination". We could hardly sit still as we swayed to the tune of the Temptations' finest.
As life-long learners, we sat attentively as some of our classmates shared their expertise regarding issues relative to senior living. Dr. Marcono Hines reminded us of the importance of staying fit and eating healthy. Christine Johnson McNair challenged us to "give back" by serving as mentors to students at Livingstone College who need guidance and support. The world traveler of our group, Archie Dawson, announced plans for the Livingstone College Class of 1971 Caribbean Cruise.
Undoubtedly, the most contemplative event of the night was a slide presentation researched by our class president, Judith Harrington Williams, honoring our deceased classmates. A quiet, reflective mood penetrated the room as we read brief biographies of our dear departed. Afterward, we were eager to here from "The Apollos" again as they serenaded us with a tune from "the O Jays". Some of us sang along- hoping to relieve the lumps of sadness lodged in our throats.
A wonderful night had come to an end! We cannot thank our Planning Committee enough for the hard work invested in making this night special. Our Class Agent, Will Tabor, along with Cynthia Chapman Baez, Velma Faulcon French, Janette Southerland, Dr. Nathaniel Felder, and all program participants aforementioned worked tirelessly and their leadership is greatly appreciated.
The excitement of our Class Reunion continued on Saturday at the Homecoming Parade. The Class of 1971 featured a beautiful float which showcased classmates wearing black and blue polo shirts and hoodies. Our visual presence was known as we posed with Mr. Blue Bear for a class picture and sat together at the homecoming game. We were honored at half-time to see Archie Dawson and Larry Hicks among the Livingstone College Athletic Hall of Famers who welcomed the 2016 inductees.
The Homecoming Celebration ended with LCNAA Annual Homecoming Gala where the Class of '71 presented a financial gift of $45,006.00 to the college. With monies still being added, we expect to contribute more by October 31. We surpassed our goal and feel a sense of pride for our accomplishment. The Gala was another fun-filled evening of good food, great music and a really good time connecting with alumni from across the United States.
As many of us departed Livingstone College to return home, we took fond memories of unforgettable faces, exhilarating sounds and glorious sights with us. As phone numbers and email addresses were exchanged, there was no doubt that some members of the Class of '71 would stay connected, for NONE OF US IS AS STRONG AS ALL OF US. Now...on to the 50th!
Peggy S. Wilson, Ph.D.