05/29/05 — Dillard archive room opened

View Archive

Dillard archive room opened

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 29, 2005 2:01 AM

A special room at the Dillard Cultural Center now serves as a time capsule for alumni from Dillard and Goldsboro high schools.

The archives room opened Friday, coinciding with the 50th anniversary weekend celebration of Dillard/Goldsboro Alumni and Friends.

Photos of former queens adorned one wall, with an array of scrapbooks, yearbooks, caps and gowns and other memorabilia from years past filling the rest of the room. In one corner was an old traffic light from the corner of Elm and George streets, a familiar sight "on the way to school," according to a handwritten sign.

Thelma Smith, a member of the archives committee, pointed out a child's dress on a hanger, encased in a plastic.

"This is a dress worn in 1919 for a class day exercise," she said.

The committee spent most of the past year gathering information and collecting donations for the special room, which will be open to the public. The project will continue to grow, alumni said, with plans to add to the collection.

"This is just the beginning," said Velma Atkinson, the chairman of the archives committee. "We're only 49 years late, but at least we got started."

Raymond Smith, the national president of the alumni association, said Friday was a day he has looked forward to for a long time. He thanked the Class of 1954 for spearheading the project.

"This alumni association is a story that needs to be put in writing or in a movie," he said. "We're that powerful. It carries a large message over the years. I'm glad to see this finally being accomplished."

Manus Holmes, a member of the Class of 1954, said it was an honor and a joy to remember and preserve the history of Dillard High School.

"Only when we realize the full scope of this undertaking can we appreciate the level that this represents," he said.

Emma Fennell, who graduated from Dillard in 1946, called the collection impressive.

"We made a lot of progress here in such a short time," she said. "They have done an outstanding job."