Celebration honors civic leaders

Past and present FAMU students and staff were honored at Tallahassee Community College’s fifth annual Black History Month celebration Monday at Turner Auditorium.

For the past five years, TCC has published a calendar sponsored by local businesses in Leon County. The calendar is composed of blacks who have made an impact on the community.

“The calendar goes out to kids in school so that they can have a sense of self,” TCC President William Law Jr. said. “They can see the accomplishments of those who have gone before them.”

Disc Jockey Joe Bullard from WHBX 96.1 FM JAMZ presided over the event. Miss Florida State University 2004-2005 opened the event by singing the national anthem. The Tallahassee Boys Choir sang a few selections as well.

A drum roll sounded as Law and TCC Board of Trustee member Col. Willie Jenkins unveiled the calendar cover, featuring the 2005 honorees.

The audience applauded the familiar faces on the 2005 calendar. The theme for the calendar is: The Niagara Movement Then and Now: The Struggle for Achievement.

Among those being honored was FAMU alumna Leon County School Board Chairwoman Georgia “Joy” Bowen and SGA Senate President Ramon Alexander.

Bowen graduated from FAMU with a B.S. in sociology and a M.S. in education. Aside from her school board duties, she serves as director of multicultural affairs at Florida State University.

Alumni Stephen Beasley majored in Business Administration. The Rev. Ernest Ferrell, pastor of Saint Mary Primitive Baptist Church, received his Bachelor of Science in Sociology.

Eva B. Mannings attended FAMU when the University was still called Famcee. Mannings earned her Bachelor of Science in business education and Master of Science in education.

Larry E. Rivers, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, is an author, inspirational speaker and historian.

Lee R. Colson graduated from FAMU with a degree in electronic engineering technology.

Other honorees included Dorothy Inman – Johnson, Linn Ann Jones Griffin, Eleanor Mitchell Hunter, Robert H. Bryant and Earl Lee Jr.

The honorees were very proud of their accomplishments.

Rivers said he was humbled by the calendar recognition. He added that he has one community project, in particular, that he is most proud of.

“My work on the Rosewood (1923) project…descendants received compensation for the lost of life and property, ” he said.

Alexander said his work with the Tallahassee Leadership Program, which provides the Tallahassee Democrat, USA Today and the New York Times free of charge to students on FAMU’s campus as one of his most exciting works. He also helped, along with the rest of this year’s Student Senate, to bring an electronic message board on the corner of Wahnish Way and Gamble St.

“I truly feel God has chosen me to serve and make a difference in people’s lives,” Alexander said.

Among those in attendance was Mayor John Marks’ wife, Jane, who said the event was wonderful and inspiring.

“I love the celebration of long-time Tallahasseeans,” Marks said.

“Plus, the music was all that!”

Contact Carla Jones at famuannews@hotmail.com.