Cheyney University Hosts Annual Life Members Induction

October 19, 2012

Cheyney University hosted the annual Life Members Luncheon on Friday October 19.  Past president of the Cheyney University National Alumni Association, Barbara Daniel Cox, '66, was Mistress of Ceremonies.

Representatives from the Atlanta Metro region, Ohio, North and South Carolina, as well as the Philadelphia area, filled Carnegie Hall. Aside from serving as an annual gathering of loyal alumni, the occasion served as a way for the University to acknowledge its appreciation to the dedicated alumni who are so generous in supporting students and programs at Cheyney University.

Cheyney University President Michelle Howard-Vital greeted the guests and introduced the Cheyney University Jazz Ensemble which performed under the direction of Professor Alan Gardner.  Cheyney University Student Council President, Ahn-Yea Graham, Class of 2014, and Tonvia Mays,
Class of 2013, both expressed their appreciation to the Association for its support. Each described their moments of worry about paying the final tuition bill and purchasing books and how the Alumni gifts came through just in time to get them through the semester.  Ms. Mays noted, "I attended last evening's gala and the key word I heard over and over was "share." After I graduate, I look forward to giving back and returning the favor. I want to thank all the alumni - I greatly appreciate your support."  Mr. Graham shared the same sentiments, noting he also had received a book scholarship from the Montgomery County Alumni that made a difference for him.  "You don't have to give back, but you do. In the future, I look forward to coming back and giving to Cheyney, too."

CU Alumna Velma Lester took the microphone and greeted the group, "I'm going to do a little begging today. I've sent a lot of students to Cheyney University. After going to college in Indiana and experiencing terrible discrimination, I came to Cheyney. When I got here to Cheyney I had the opportunity to do what I did.  I will never forget what Cheyney has done for me.  And now I'm loooking at you and wonder what you would have done without Cheyney University.  Mr. Benjamin, today I'm going to give you a check.  I'm only a teacher, but Cheyney University is always in my budget."

Junious Stanton, President of the Cheyney University National Alumni Association, greeted the group. He began the roll call with,  "Now, Cheyney University started in 1837 - is anyone here from the Class of 1837?  Barring none, we will move on." As usual, there was a strong turnout of lifetime members from many decades. 

Elaine Johnson Ababs, class of '68 welcomed the newly inducted members. "Every time we come together, we are stronger.  We have to always reach out and pull someone along." Newly inducted Lifetime members attending the event included, Betty Zaida Rodrigues, '71, Dr. Bernadette Carter, '72, Phyllis Wyche Brown, '63, Elaine Johnson Abas, '68, Betty Hunt Aylcox '76,  Emma Beatty Dickerson, '65 and George E. Dickerson, '71, Gregory Benjamin,'81.

Absent inductees included Dr. Ann Gillis Waters, '61, Evelyn Outerbridge Sommerville '62, Carrie E. Jones, '71, Carolyn  Brewington Manns '70, John E. Izzard, Jr., '71,  Carrie Jones, '71.