History of the Atlanta A&T Alumni Association of North Carolina A&T State University
The third Saturday, September 1960, marks the initiation of the Atlanta Alumni Association, with a meeting of six fellow graduates at the home of Albert Saddler. Meetings were held on Saturday evenings at each member’s home with most of them hosted by the chapters’ president. Recruitment of local alumni was primarily via phone and word of mouth. Members often visited local churches as a way of fellowship, which coincidently lead to recruitment.
The original charter members and positions held were:
Howard Kennedy, President
George Geiger, Vice President
Mary Wells, Secretary (deceased)
Murris Jones, Treasurer (deceased)
W.G Walker, Parliamentarian (deceased)
Albert Saddler, Business Manager (deceased)
They set goals to encourage active participation from more local A&T graduates in the Atlanta Metropolitan area, to assist in related community affairs and to raise funds in support of their beloved institution, our A&T. Throughout the years, the Atlanta A&T Alumni Association has been active in the Atlanta Community and reflected its reciprocal commitment to the University through tireless efforts such as presenting Thanksgiving baskets to families in need, contributing to the symbolic cause of the SCLC, NAACP, UNCF and supported the efforts of other Alumni Chapters. This chapter has sponsored the A&T Choir, the Aggie Ball (Aggie-Eagle Ball), contributed to the J. Maxwell Reeves Scholarship Fund. Mr. Reeves, a former member of the Atlanta A&T Alumni Association, was recognized for his dedication in support of the Atlanta Chapter and the National Alumni Association. He was one of the oldest members in the country at the time of his death.
The Alumni Association throughout its history has experienced frustration and joy in fundraising activities in support of the local and national association. We have literally sold everything from chitterlings to candy to raise money for A&T. Chapter dues were initially set at $50 that helped fund our first chapter contribution to the National Association, which was a modest $200. Members made monetary pledges in addition to chapter dues to send funding to A&T. In 1966, ten chapter members borrowed $1000 from a local lending institution to send to the National Association. This started the Annual Alumni Giving. It is safe to mention that this debt was paid on time. At one point, we were the largest donors during Annual Giving with NY and DC chapters as our biggest rivals. In the mid 70’s, we paired with other North Carolina schools to form an Annual Dance with tickets costing $5. Dances were held at big hotels downtown and grew to 6-7 schools before it ended just 4 years later due to multiple factors with segregation playing a large part. This later became the building blocks for the HBCU Alumni Alliance.
Besides our fundraising activities, we raised our morals and spirit of brotherhood through our annual Christmas parties, summer outings, homecomings (hospitality rooms for homecoming is a must), The “Aggie Sip” at the Kopacabana and Golf Tournaments. In 1978, 12 Atlanta Alumni Members decided to start an annual golf tournament during homecoming, currently known as the Richard E. Moore Aggie Homecoming Golf Tournament.
Presently our chapter is very active within the community with plans to continue growth with a main goal of giving back to our dear A&T.
Perhaps when the original charter members met they probably were thinking the following thought:
“Follow our lead or stand by our side.”