By Paula Anderson
A Beacon of Hope has been the slogan for students who pursued a college education at the only Historically Black College and University (HBCU) located in the heart of Soulsville, USA.
Today, Alumni locally, nationally and internationally can reflect on the legacy and history of the LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC) and the value it offers to first-generation students. As graduates of LOC, we can continue the legacy by joining the National Alumni Association.
Justin Key, vice-president of Membership said,” Alumni of any institution is like the life insurance policies we purchase as adults. We are the reassurance that if anything goes awry, it will be taken care of effectively. It is my duty as 2nd vice-president of the National Alumni Association to increase membership, awareness, and support for the college through alumni engagement. I am proud to say that these efforts have yielded impressive returns especially with the launch of our new national membership campaign.”
"Re-connecting, re-committing and re-engaging with alumni spanning multiple generations has been exhilarating. To know that I have the same level of love and pride for LOC that alumni from 1965 and 2010, respectively, have as well let me know that this institution's legacy is still going strong and continuing to produce world leaders, artistic creatives, influencers and more,” added Key.
Currently, there are two active chapters for Alumni to join and get connected.
Katrina Thompson, president of the Memphis chapter said,” I take great pride in being a member of the alumni association. Membership in your local and National Alumni Association helps to support the college. Being a graduate of LeMoyne-Owen College (LOC) has opened so many doors for me and other alumni. Your membership will allow us to continue supporting our beloved alma mater.”
Dr. Deidre Jones, president of the Southern California chapter said,” LeMoyne-Owen provided me with so many opportunities that I would not have been able to experience anywhere else. Thanks to my mentor and professor, Dr. Graham, who also was the advisor to the two honor societies I was a member of, Alpha Kappa Mu and W.E.B. DuBois, I was able to participate in a week long study abroad program in Fiji.”
“I also served as an campus ambassador whenever important people visited the campus. The small class sizes allowed the professors to get to know me so I wasn't just a number or face in a large lecture hall. When I participate in college fairs, I strongly encourage students to leave home and experience another culture and world outside of Los Angeles (they can always come back). As a recent high school graduate from Los Angeles, attending LeMoyne-Owen was a culture shock for me. Growing up in Los Angeles, there were many times where I was the only, or one of a few, Blacks in the room. For once, I was surrounded by people who looked like me and were doing something positive with their lives. If I could do it all over again, I would still choose LOC. Best 4 years of my life!,” added Jones.
A National Membership Campaign is underway for Alumni to continue the 156 year legacy of the College. Membership dues can be paid online via our website or submitted to the College’s address at 807 Walker Avenue Attn: National Alumni Association.
Jesse Chatman, president of the National Alumni Association said, ”As a 1971 graduate, I am working to rebuild the support that our Alma Maters needs. This is an opportunity for Alumni in Memphis, Atlanta, Birmingham and Detroit to re-connect, re-engage and re-commit.” Our great institution was founded in 1862 and we want to continue the legacy of producing graduates who excel in government, education, leadership and business.”
Many notable Alumni have graduated from the College, including Brian Clay, Marlon Foster, and County Commissioners Mickell Lowery and Reginald Milton.