Rochon and Tuskegee University alumni honored as “People of Influence”
TUSKEGEE, Ala. (Aug 10, 2012) — For their service and contributions to the community, the president of Tuskegee University and six of the institution’s alumni were honored at a breakfast ceremony Friday at the Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center at Tuskegee University.
|Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon
and Dianne Jenkins, editor of SouthEast Small
The People of Influence Breakfast was sponsored by SouthEast Small Business magazine, a publication that compiles an annual list of people of influence who have attained senior levels in business, government and politics. For the event, 10 male and 10 female honorees were chosen from around the area. Those chosen also had to have a commitment to community involvement and participation.
In his acceptance remarks, Rochon said Tuskegee was fortunate to have so many talented people in the community who are dedicated to improving the city. He also expressed his desire for the university to be involved in “improving the quality of life” in the community.
“We’re committed to having a partnership role,” Rochon said.
The alumni honored were: Retired Col. Herbert E. Carter, an original Tuskegee Airman; A.D. Drew, owner of Road Runner Enterprises; Elaine Harrington, assistant parliamentarian of the Tuskegee University Alumni Association; Jessica Holley, owner of Campus Slice; Omar Neal, City of Tuskegee mayor; and Amelia Boynton Robinson, civil rights pioneer and community leader. Carter and Holley were not present to receive their awards.
Major L. Holland, former Tuskegee professor; John Inman, general manager of Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center; and Sandy Taylor, superintendent of the Tuskegee Institute and Tuskegee Airman National Historic Sites were also recognized. Carter and Robinson were named as inductees to the publication’s 2012 Legends Hall of Fame and 2012 Women’s Hall of Fame, respectively.
In her remarks, Robinson reminisced about her early days as a student at Tuskegee and her reason for choosing the university over others. Rather than fall into her sister’s footsteps at another school, Robinson said she was committed to creating her own reputation and making her mark on the world. After graduation, Robinson went on to become one of the early leaders in the Civil Rights Movement. She is best known as the woman at the front of the march who was gassed and beaten by law enforcement agents and left for dead at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., during the “Bloody Sunday” incident on March 7, 1965. At 100 years old, Robinson is Tuskegee’s oldest living alumna.
“Thank God for Tuskegee. Thank God for a God who’s blessed me,” Robinson said.
Front row: Elaine Harrington, assistant parliamentarian of the Tuskegee University Alumni Association and Amelia Boynton Robinson, civil rights pioneer and community leader. Second row: Omar Neal, City of Tuskegee mayor; Major L. Holland, former Tuskegee University professor and A.D. Drew, owner of Road Runner Enterprises.
© 2012 Tuskegee University