November News & Updates from Living Legends of Alexandria
November 2018
In this edition:

Multiple 2019 Living Legends Nominations
The Living Legends board of directors is in the process of selecting 2019's Living Legends from among the eighteen nominations that were submitted by the September 30th closing date. The Qualifications Committee, chaired by 2016 Living Legend Janet Barnett, reviewed the almost 300 pages of nominations documents to ensure that only those nomination forms which were complete would be considered. Following the board of directors' deliberations this month, which will be facilitated by nonprofit consultant and 2018 Living Legend (with his wife Ann Dorman) Rick Dorman, a public announcement of the selected Living Legends will be made by January. Plans already are underway for the Meet The Legends reception, Chaired by 2018 Living Legend Marion Moon. It will take place on March 14, 2019 at the Patent and Trademark Office, at which time the Legends will be formally inducted.

By Linda Hafer
Founder Nina Tisara's Exhibition: November 2-December 28

L iving Legends' Founder and 2015 Living Legend Nina Tisara's mosaic art will be displayed at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church from November 2 through December 28.  A review of Nina's artistry can be found in the September edition of   élan magazine. A double treat is that attendees also can celebrate Nina's 80th birthday!                               
élan magazine
Tisara began her art career as a freelance photographer for the Alexandria Packet, (now the Gazette Packet) incorporating her own studio in 1985.. She founded the nonprofit Living Legends of Alexandria in 2007. Now retired from the photography studio and Living Legends, Tisara has focused on creating intricate mosaics. [Tisara Photography is now owned by her son, artist-photographer Steven Halperson.]
Nina Tisara Art
Independent art critic Trudi Van Dyke, formerly director of the
Torpedo Factory Art Center, wrote in the September edition of  élan magazine,  " Nina's individualistic painterly style is founded in the incredibly tiny chips she meticulously crafts. Each small tile is cut numerous times by hand to just the perfect shape...'Serenity' tackles a different challenge. One of several works with an ethnic inspiration she transforms a figurative study into a mosaic portrait. Her interpretation of the personality of the woman is captured with nuances of her facial features as well as the drapes and folds of the fabric enhancing her pose. As in all her work the background successfully plays the difficult role of receding and yet enhancing the subject."
The public is invited to the opening reception, November 2, 7-8:30 p.m. Mount Vernon Unitarian Church is at 1909 Windmill Lane in the Hollin Hills section of Alexandria. RSVP: [email protected].

By Linda Hafer


2007 Living Legend Ferdinand Day Commemorated

In a private ceremony on, August 30th, the recently configured Alexandria's West End elementary school was officially christened the Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School in honor of one of the original Living Legends in 2007 (see story below). The official public dedication took place on October 18th.

Original Story Below By Zebra, October 3, 2018

Ferdinand T. Day's family and members of the City and community gathered at the new Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School on the West End to celebrate its opening in time to welcome students at the start of the new school year.

Ferdinand Day School Naming
Ferdinand T. Day's daughter
Gwen Day-Fuller, grandson,
granddaughter and three great granddaughters joined Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr. and City Manager Mark Jinks in cutting a ribbon to mark the completion of the conversion of the vacant office building into a school.
Ferdinand T. Day Elementary School is the first new school to open in Alexandria since 2000. It is also the first school to be created by retrofitting office space. The school, which will accommodate 650 students, is an example of creative collaboration between the City and ACPS to find space to meet the needs of growing enrollment, particularly on the West End. Retrofitting the building took less than eleven months from the time the City Council agreed to the change in use and it proved to be a far less costly option.
Who Was Ferdinand T. Day?

In February 2018, the Alexandria City School Board voted to name the school after Ferdinand T. Day, a civil rights icon and education pioneer. Ferdinand T. Day was appointed to the Alexandria City School Board just ten years after the Brown versus Board of Education decision. He became the first
African American to be elected chair of a public school board in the Commonwealth of Virginia and was highly active in working towards the desegregation of Alexandria.

"Driving up and seeing his name on this building and walking in and seeing the dedication wall with everything about his life is humbling," said Gwen Day-Fuller.
Mr. Day was born in 1918 in Alexandria and went to Parker-Gray School through eighth grade. He continued his secondary education in D.C. Public Schools. At that time, Alexandria offered no formal high school education for African Americans. Mr. Day earned a Bachelor of Science in geography and history.
Unable to teach in Alexandria because he was black, he joined the federal government and retired from the Department of State as a Foreign Service Reserve Officer.
"I am a part of his legacy. I know I would not be here if it were not for people like Ferdinand T. Day. Today, we are naming our school after this great man, who we hope will inspire our students to be as great as him," said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Gregory C. Hutchings, Jr.
As a STEM school, Ferdinand T. Day will offer an integrated curriculum emphasizing literacy, science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The school will grow students who are empowered learners, global collaborators, digital citizens, creative communicators, experiential inquirers and more. The school, located at 1701 N. Beauregard Street, will have outdoor play space, including a basketball court, on the roof of the adjacent parking garage with a raised walkway to allow for easy student and staff access.

Article and Photography By Zebra (October 3, 2018)

Alexandria School Board Names T.C. College and Career Wing for Jack Taylor

October 15th 2018

Staff Report,

The Alexandria City School Board voted unanimously last week to  name the college and career center at T.C. Williams the Jack Taylor College and Career Center Wing. Jack Taylor has donated more than a million dollars to the  Scholarship Fund of Alexandria  and to the school.
At the June 22, 2017 School Board Meeting, community members and students representing the T.C. Williams Theogony student newspaper and the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria spoke in support of naming the T.C. Williams wing housing the College and Career Center after Jack Taylor. The CCC provides information about colleges and universities, NOVA's Pathway to the Baccalaureate program, standardized testing and test preparation, financial aid and scholarships, careers, summer opportunities and more.

Jack Taylor's Alexandria Toyota has been dedicated to improving the educational outcomes of Alexandria City Public Schools students for more than 15 years through support of the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria, all PTAs, school playground improvements, school sports teams and more. Particularly, Jack Taylor's Alexandria Toyota has supported college scholarships and college advising for Alexandria City Public Schools since at least 1992, donating more than $650,000 in actual dollars and generating an additional $950,000 in contributions to the Scholarship Fund through the annual car raffle and matching gifts initiatives. This $1.6 million benefit has supported college scholarships for the equivalent of an entire senior class at T.C.

The Board formally reviewed this requested name change at its Sept. 27, 2018 Board meeting and gave final approval last Thursday.

Jack Taylor was named a Living Legend of Alexandria in 2011.

Article and Photography By (October 15, 2018)

Legends' News

Former Mayor and 2017 Living Legend Bill Euille Hospitalized
2017 Living Legend, the former Mayor of the City of Alexandria  Bill Euille, suffered a stroke that resulted in a car accident on October 2nd. He was admitted to Fairfax Inova Hospital for successful treatment and has since returned to his activities while in recovery phase, Please join the entire Living Legends family in wishing Bill our support and best wishes during this time. Bill can be reached at 703-307-0851.
Austin College Award to 2013 Living Legend Richard Merrit
During its November 9th-11th Homecoming Weekend, Austin College will be recognizing a select few distinguished alumni, including 2013 Living Richard Merritt, (one of three alumni) who has been selected to receive its 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award. The award will be presented during the Distinguished Alumni and Volunteer Awards Reception & Dinner on November 9th, beginning at 6:00 pm. This award represents Richard's "sustained, distinguished accomplishment and contribution to any field of human endeavor that brings the highest honor to the award recipient and to Austin College ."

Open Thoughts

Service to Others: Age is not a requirement, only compassion
Tavares Floyd, Esq., Living Legends Board Member. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author who is writing in his capacity as a private citizen.
When we start searching for a meaning, purpose in our lives and find an authentic method that helps us in that search, we learn and fully understand that only through serving others, through building "selfless", mutual complementing relationships with others can we solve problems and rise to a qualitatively higher level of existence. I discovered this simple philosophy many years ago as a child. I knew there was only one thing that I ever wanted to do, help people. It's my calling.
Growing up in a family of givers, we never saw helping others as "community service'', it was just something we did. We didn't have it all, but we recognized that there would always be individuals in need and accepted the call to contribute to the common good. This is a way of life for me. There's nothing that satisfies me more than helping others. I get to be a part of something that is much bigger than myself. I also hold as a core fundamental value that no one, from the poorest to the richest, is successful without the help and support of others. There are just different ways that happens. And growing into our full potential is our ultimate goal as individuals. Being a part of helping others helps me to do that.
Anyone can do good- from small children to older adults. Unfortunately, more often than not, the questioning of whether or not the younger generation understands "hard-work", "service", and many other things, for that matter, is asinine and frustrating. I've accomplished things in life that someone 100 may only dream of. I've always understood that time waits on no man or woman and life is about hard-work and dedication. I'm a living example that you don't have to be seasoned in age to leave a footprint on the sands of time. The only requirement is compassion and the willingness to accept the challenge.
I am from a generation of people that are confident, self-expressive, upbeat, and are change agents; a generation described by veteran pollster John Zogby as "the best equipped of all to thrive and solve the problems of our shared world today and tomorrow." My generation is on track to becoming the most highly educated generation in our history. I'm saying this to say that legends come from all ages, backgrounds, sexual orientations, creeds, religions, and races.
Living Legends of Alexandria must be vigilant in our understanding of who legends and humanitarians are. We must make sure that individuals are qualified in love, compassion, and empathy. Connections between people are what make us human. Service brings us together. It bridges ideological differences, theological differences, and economic differences. It focuses on our common humanity. We are all in this together.
My everyday hope is to make a difference in the life of someone, whether small or large, and to make my late parents proud that their legacy of giving back still lives.
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." - Gandhi

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The mission of Living Legends of Alexandria is to identify, honor and chronicle the lives of individuals who have contributed to the community in an exemplary and lasting way that has significantly impacted the quality of life in Alexandria and serves as an inspiration to others. For information, to volunteer, become a sponsor or nominate a future Legend, visit or contact [email protected]