About

The Chronicle of The West Charlotte High School National Alumni Association, Inc.

One summer day in 1981, two alumni of the 1946-47 classes were attending a meeting on the scenic banks of Lake Norman. One alumnus arrived at the meeting on time and the other one was late, missing the opening of the meeting. The one arriving on time had a magnetic idea and was burning with anxiety to share it with the group.

The other arriving late had an electrifying idea and likewise was eager to share it with the group, and did so during the social part of the meeting. Unexpectedly, the ideas were the same, without any communication transpiring between them.

The ideas were “Let’s bring together all organized classes under one umbrella and become the West Charlotte High School National Alumni.” The two alumnae were Mae C. Orr and Rudy Torrence. It was two great minds working unconsciously on the same psychological wave pattern. Their devotion, love, respect, appreciation, and the nucleus for the shaping of their lives drove them to a desire of supporting and continuing to illuminate the excellence of “West Charlotte High School.”

In the fall of 1981, under the leadership and administration of Rudy Torrence, the West Charlotte High School National Alumni Association, a non-profit organization, was established.

During the year of 1982, the old cliché “A house without rules will not stand” pierced the mind of Mae C. Orr, and she developed for the Association the Constitution and By-Laws.

Milestones

  • The C. L. Blake Scholarship was established.
  • To enhance the financial growth of the Association, the Maroon and Gold Ball became an annual fundraiser.
  • Planned and implemented the First Triennial Reunion – June 30-July 3. At this reunion, it was voted to meet every three years.
  • The Alumni motto, “ Reviewing the Past, Living the Present, Reflecting the Future ” was presented by Ms. Mae C. Orr, Class of 1946 and was adopted by the Alumni Association.
  • The First Triennial Reunion keynote speaker was Dr. George Butler, Class of 1949.
    • Souvenir Journal was dedicated to Mr. C. L. Blake in 1983.
  • May 27, 1984, ceremony to name the school auditorium for Mr. C. L. Blake, the first principal
    • A portrait of Mr. C. L. Blake was unveiled and placed on the wall in the lobby of the auditorium, May 27, 1984 . Artist, Mr. John Kennedy, Class of 1949.
  • First C. L. Blake Scholarship was awarded in 1984, and a plaque exhibiting each recipient’s name in gold was placed on the wall at West Charlotte High School annually.
    • Patricia R. Dixon – 1984
    • Naythlene Shannon Walker-Archie – 1985
    • Gina Pettis Dean – 1986
  • The Second Triennial Reunion was held July 3 – July, 1986.
    • Keynote speaker for the Second Triennial was Mr. James Hart, Class of 1951.
      Souvenir Journal was dedicated to Mrs. Elizabeth S. Randolph in 1986.
      Rudy Torrence served as Chairperson and President from 1981-1986.
  • For the next three (3) years the Alumni Association moved forward under the leadership of Mrs. Mae C. Orr, Class of 1946, as president.
  • To further enhance the endeavor for fundraising for the Association, the first “Sweethearts’ Ball” was integrated into the annual Maroon and Gold Ball, thus the name changed to Maroon and Gold Sweethearts’ Coronation Ball”.
    • First Queen of the Ball was Sallie Gill Calhoun, Class of 1946-47. This was the first opportunity for the Alumni Association to participate in the school’s Homecoming festivities including the parade.
  • President Orr presented a monetary contribution of $1000 to the school during the half-time activities.
  • Clinton L. Blake Scholarship Recipients:
    • Candace R. Hamlin – 1987
    • Camilla A. Polk – 1988
    • Tonnetta Brown Taylor – 1989
  • The Third Triennial Reunion was held June 29 – July 2, 1989.
    • The Third Triennial Reunion was held June 29 – July 2, 1989.
    • The Souvenir Journal was dedicated to Mr. Thomas Marion “Jack” Martin.
  • First Regional Directors’ Meeting was organized in July 1988.

Once again, three years have passed and it is time for the association to choose a new leader, the third president, Mrs. Mable H. Latimer, Class of 1952.

  • The C. L. Blake Scholarship award was increased to $1500.
  • A $1000 scholarship was presented to a former graduate enrolled at UNC Greensboro (Greensboro, NC).
  • Special Project –Scholarship for WCHS Graduates, Derek Kelly and Antonio Suswell Donated $5000 to WCHS for its various programs/clubs.
  • Purchased T-shirts for the students of the Anita Stroud program who went to camp
  • Sponsored a WCHS African-American male to attend a “motivational workshop for minority Black males”
  • Recognized Earl Adams who was the first African-American to retire from the Charlotte Fire Department.
  • Presented a fruit basket to Rosa Parks at WCHS.
  • Contribution to David Butler Family (WCHS teacher who perished in house fire).
  • Contribution to Bingo Smith Fund (former WCHS student who was left paralyzed from an automobile accident).
  • Contribution to Legal Defense Fund of North Carolina
  • Monitored halls, helping in the WCHS office with clerical work and assisting counselors
  • Served as mentors for “At Risk” students enrolled in the Project Success Program.
  • Served on the Senior Student Exit Essay Project 1996 and 1997.
  • Mable H. Latimer served as a “Motivational Speaker for WCHS Seniors
  • Alumni members served on the following committees:
    • Comer Program
    • PTA
    • Booster Club
    • 2000 Task Force
    • Leadership Training
  • Numerous projects were implemented and successful: beautification of the West Charlotte campus, contributions to the Anita Stroud Foundation, Sickle Cell Camp, Parks and Recreation Field and Track projects, United Negro College Fund, financial assistance to West Charlotte girls’ basketball team, and the 50th Anniversary Commencement programs.
  • Clinton L. Blake Scholarship recipients:
    • Derek A. Brown – 1990
    • Cherie Craine Gonzales – 1991
    • Jeredith Shearin Gooden – 1992
  • The Fourth Triennial Reunion was held July 2 – July 5, 1992
    • Keynote speaker was Glenda H. Manning, Class of 1963.
    • The Souvenir Journal was dedicated to Mr. Charles McCullough, Class of 1951.

July 1992, found the Alumni Association in need of a new president. Mr. William P. Hamlin, Class of 1963, accepted the leadership role for the next three (3) years.

  • The Association began the procedure to become incorporated and applied for a 501C-3 non-profit status.
  • Clinton L. Blake Scholarship recipients:
    • Zanita McCaskill – 1993
    • Jacqueline C. McAdoo – 1994
    • Jamurian Campbell – 1995
  • The Fifth Triennial Reunion was held June 29 – July 2, 1995.
    • The West Charlotte historical documentary “The Mighty Lions” (associate producers Kathryn Frye and Tim Gibbs (class of 1978)) aired during the reunion in lieu of a guest speaker.
    • Souvenir Journal was dedicated to Mr. Rudy Torrence.

The torch of leadership for the Association was passed to Ms. Geraldine T. Powe, Class of 1944, affectionately called “Gerri” and sometimes “Sarge.”

  • Successfully completed the Incorporation, December 5, 1995; therefore, changing the name of the Association to West Charlotte High School National Alumni Association, Incorporated.
  • In the spring of 1996, the first Newsletter was published and distributed. The Newsletter is scheduled to be published on a quarterly basis.
    • The 501C-3, non-profit status was completed
  • A mission statement was written for the Association by Mrs. Mae C. Orr and approved.
  • To enhance the C. L. Blake Scholarship finances, the Clinton L. Blake Society Membership was established. Pledge cards were available to the membership and a goal of $50,000 was set to be reached by June, 200l; thus, establishing the Clinton L. Blake Scholarship Endowment.
  • Clinton L. Blake Scholarship recipients:
    • Kimberly Garrett – 1996
    • Shirma Danielle Stover – 1997
    • Torrance Gaither – 1998
  • The Sixth Triennial Reunion was held July 2 – July 5, 1998
    • Guest speaker for the Sixth Triennial Reunion was Dr. Delores Burke, Class of 1957.
    • The Sixth Triennial Reunion Souvenir Journal was dedicated to Mr. Leroy “Pop” Miller.
  • The Wall of Fame was installed at WCHS in the Omni. Names inscribed:
    • C. L. Blake
    • Elizabeth S. Randolph
    • Thomas “Jack” Martin
    • Charles A. McCullough
    • Mae C. Orr
    • Rudy Torrence
    • Leroy “Pop” Miller
    • All Alumni Association Presidents
    • Name of Annually Recognized West Charlotte Student
    • Unveiled on May 6, 2001
  • Participated with Museum of the New South to sponsor, “West Charlotte Homecoming”, a program in conjunction with a West Charlotte exhibit – “Carry the Spirit”, voices of desegregation.
  • Organized a Prospective Youth Alumni composed of juniors and seniors enrolled at West Charlotte High School. Installation was March 25, 2001 at WCHS.
  • A historical brochure of the National Alumni Association was established for prospective contributors.
  • Clinton L. Blake Scholarship recipients:
    • Amina C. Harris – 1999
    • Marcus B. Moses – 2000
    • Tiffany Welborn – 2001
  • The Seventh Triennial Reunion was held June 28 – July 1, 2001
    • The Seventh Triennial Souvenir Journal was dedicated to Ms. Mable Haynes Latimer.

In July 2001 Earl L. Adams was installed as the seventh president.

  • Real Estate Committee Appointed to seek a Lion’s Den
  • Membership increased to over 400
  • Published an Alumni Handbook
  • Clinton L. Blake Scholarship recipients:
    • LaKenya Alexander – 2002
    • Brittany Johnson – 2003
    • Nicole Blackmon – 2004
  • Total of $1050.00 awarded to American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life
  • $250.00 given to “Geraldine Powe 80th Birthday” celebration/fundraiser.
  • $500.00 given to WC Girls’ Basketball team for a tournament trip to New York
  • $500.00 donated to Anita Stroud Foundation Summer Camp
  • Money donated for the publication and revival of The Mirror at WC
  • The Eighth Triennial Reunion was held July 2 – July 5, 2004
    • Using a daring and innovative approach The Eighth Triennial Souvenir Journal was dedicated to two (2) phenomenal West Charlotte High School National Alumni Association “Queens of Hearts”- Ms. Thereasea C. Elder and Ms. Mae C. Orr.

In July 2004, Rufus W. Erwin accepted the mantle of leadership of the National Alumni
Association.

  • Reach the $50,000 goal of the C. L. Blake Endowment Scholarship Fund
  • Increased the Scholarship amount to $4000 for C. L. Blake Scholarship recipient in 2006
  • Donated $2000 to WC marching band to participate in Sugar Bowl
  • Silver Anniversary Fundraiser held to recognize 25th anniversary in 2006
  • Reception held to thank and recognize Dr. Delores Lee’s service as principal at WC
  • Donated $500 to WC football team to attend state championship
  • Formally established the Ambassadors committee to assist in recruiting volunteers for WC
  • Donated monies to feed 100 families for the Charlotte Rescue Mission for three consecutive years- 2004, 2005, 2006
  • Reception to welcome Mr. John Modest as new principal of WC
  • WC football stadium officially renamed Jack Martin Stadium
  • Inaugural golf tournament held June 2007 to benefit C. L. Blake Scholarship Fund
  • Participated in Legacy of Historical Black High Schools Commemoration
  • West Charlotte High School National Alumni Association seal secured
  • Clinton L. Blake Scholarship recipients
    • Jaywon Armstrong – 2005
    • Thelma McCreary — 2006
    • Isaiah Scott –2007
  • 9th Triennial Reunion held June 28 – July 1, 2007
    • Souvenir Journal dedicated to Travis Alexander
    • Contribution for beautification of the WC campus
    • $250 contributed to WC yearbook
    • Adopted the motto of “Catch the Spirit” for the execution of programs and ideas for the Executive Board of the National Alumni Association

In July 2007, Veronica Davis, Class of 1967, accepted the mantle of leadership of the National Alumni Association.

  • Continued the Maroon & Gold Ball Fundraiser each year
  • Donated money for meals for the boys and girls athletic teams.
  • Eleven student names were added to the West Charlotte Wall of Fame.
  • Alumni served as volunteer ambassadors to WC as greeters, mentors, exam proctors, panel members for the Senior Exit Project, and office or hall monitors.
  • 2009 Maroon and Gold Queen Shirley Robinson represented WCHSNAA, Inc. in Annual Carolinas’ Carousel Parade
  • An anonymous alumnus donated $3,250.00 to a deserving WC student for next 4 years.
  • Clinton L. Blake Scholarship recipients:
    • Ayisha Conyers – 2008
    • Raven Hoskins — 2009
    • Christina Scott –2010
  • 10th Triennial Reunion held July 2010

July 2010, the National Alumni Association passed the leadership torch on to Ella D. Dennis, Class of 1966 for the next three (3) years. She was installed as the 10th president.

  • Adopted the motto of “Moving Forward” for the execution of programs and ideas for the Executive Board of the National Alumni Association
  • Torch was collectively accepted by Vice-President Timothy Gibbs, Recording Secretary Anita Brooks Johnson, Corresponding Secretary Brenda Reid Watts, Treasurer Curtis Ross, Financial Secretary Karen Douglas, Chaplain Leroy Watkins, and Parliamentarian Eutrilla Byers Ratchford
  • Vice-President introduced the idea of having a “Face to the Name” as a regular part of our monthly meetings.
  • Provided refreshments for the Senior Exit Exam Panels 2010-11
  • Clinton L. Blake Scholarship recipients:
    • Tyiste Taylor – 2011
    • Destiny Planter – 2012
    • Joshua Moore – 2013
  • In 2012 there were nine (9) applicants for the Clinton L. Blake scholarship. The remaining eight (8) candidates were awarded one-time $500 stipends by individual alumni classes.
  • Challenge issued to classes and individual alums to purchase championship rings for the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team.
  • Challenge issued to classes to purchase new uniforms (home and away) for the Men’s Varsity Basketball Team.
  • Sponsored airfare for WC Chess Club for travel to Minnesota for the National Chess Tournament.
  • Challenge issued to classes and individual alums to purchase yearbooks for students who could not afford to make the purchase
  • Celebrated 30th Founders’ Day recognizing community trailblazers and introduced the WCHSNAA Alumni Choir.
  • Fed 100 families at the Rescue Mission in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
  • Addressed the Second Ward/West Charlotte Men’s Breakfast Club.
  • The Eleventh Triennial Reunion to be held July 5 – July 7, 2013