The Legacy Tour, which took place Saturday, Sept. 23, honored the memories and accomplishments of Saint Augustine’s University’s past while enlightening the next generation. Alumni, stakeholders, supporters, friends, and individual donors were given the opportunity to see student life and facilities on campus.
A little over 100 visitors came to share this experience including the National Alumni Association Queen, Mrs. Lillian Scott Lee, the sister of Dr. Everett Ward, Dr. Felecia Ward Hardy; the cousin of Dr. Ward, Mrs. Rezelle Williams; and Dr. Ward himself. The event also helped raised $5,000 for the Saint Augustine’s community.
The tour, led by student leaders, included an exhibit in the Prezell R. Robinson Library of the works of John Hope Franklin, a former Saint Augustine’s history professor who became known as “the dean of African-American History”; a re-enactment, in Seby Jones, of the life of Anna Julia Cooper, who graduated from SAU in 1877, was the fourth black women to earn a PhD in the U.S and was responsible for women’s equality in the classrooms at Saint Augustine’s; a tour of the chapel built in 1895 by students who quarried the stones themselves; the dedication of an oak tree provided by Home Depot, on the quad; and an elegant dinner in MLK.
The past opened new perspectives for some students.
“I truly enjoyed having a chance to speak with and close the generational gap between myself and the alumni,” said Quan Vann, Mr. SAU. “It was a great experience.”
Paulette Addison, Miss SAU, added: “It provided for a greater appreciation of our HBCU experience at this institution that is so rich in history. I now understand the importance of being aware of your school’s history because you feel a part of a much greater and inspirational story.”
Student Trustee, Kendrick Cunningham, said that for him the legacy tour meant a lot, and he appreciated the history of the university, learning about new facts, and learning about key figures who formerly attended the university. He says this experience taught him “the importance of the university”, and after his graduation he desires to “hold the name of Saint Augustine’s University high.” This year’s legacy tour students could participate for free and could eat on the quad during this time. Cunningham adds that this coalition “brought out student life to alumni, giving alumni and students both a chance to network and mix and mingle with each other.”
Mrs. Lillian Scott Lee, National Alumni Association Queen, called it “a wonderful tour” and added, “It’s always interesting to hear about the legacy, and it makes me feel a part of the legacy even more.” She leaves a message for the Saint Augustine’s student body to “take what you have learned at the school and use it to be a strong influence for whatever community you so desire…and to always give back to the University so other students after you can grow also.”
President Ward concluded, “It was a phenomenal invent to recognize the history but more importantly the future of Saint Augustine’s.”
— Kelsee Arnold