05/25/07 — Dillard alumni choose new queen to start reunion

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Dillard alumni choose new queen to start reunion

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on May 25, 2007 1:45 PM

More than 900 alumni from Dillard and Goldsboro high schools crowded into Goldsboro High's auditorium Thursday night to reminisce and award more than $80,000 in scholarships to graduating seniors from across the county.

Individual classes contributed to the scholarship fund, as well as a building fund and efforts to beautify the building and parking lot at alumni headquarters.

The H.V. Brown Center on Poplar Street, now occupied by the alumni association, was once home to Dillard High School. Prior to that, Dillard, named after one of the school's principals, was located on W. Elm Street.

Quincey Royal, one of two men seeking the role of association president for the coming year, recalled attending the school at both locations.

"Hopefully, it's not an omen, but every school I attended they closed it down," he said.

Royal's opponent for the post is Raymond Smith, Jr., a 1979 Goldsboro High School graduate. Smith called Royal one of his high school heroes, having been a football player in 1969.

Alumni will select their new president during a vote at the alumni headquarters on Saturday afternoon.

Thursday night was the kick-off for other homecoming events this weekend and also offered alumni an opportunity to honor their heroes, the teachers.

Master of Ceremonies Fred Shadding of the class of 1957, summoned several former teachers to the stage. Seven were in attendance.

The educators were there during the days of segregation, he said. Calling them "living legacies," he commended them for their nurturing commitment to the students and their example.

"You instilled in us integrity, positive values, consistent character and first class academics," he said. "Without them, we would not be standing here."

There were a variety of ages represented in the audience, but Shadding could not resist commenting on the aging alumni members.

At the outset when the crowd finished singing the alumni's school song, "The Blue and Gold," Shadding quipped, "You did well, believe it or not, considering half of us have Alzheimer's."

In a more somber moment, Jean Jordan of the Class of 1953 read the names of 44 alumni who passed over the past year.

The association has a rich history and living history among its ranks, Smith said. But since a legacy means passing things on, he said he is interested in recruiting younger alumni to become involved.

"We have a Web site. You can purchase your membership and update your information on the Web site," he said.

The Internet address is www.dillard-goldsboroalumni.org.

The alumni crowned Ann McNair Rowe of the Class of 1974 as their queen for 2007. Mrs. Rowe, who attends St. Mark Disciples of Christ Church, helped raise more than $8,000 on behalf of the Goldsboro chapter of the association.