On a calm and serene evening in the spring of 1930, President Rufus B. Atwood, in his second year of tenure as President of Kentucky State Normal and Industrial Institute for Colored Persons, saw the need to call a meeting at the “Y” Hut for the purpose of establishing an Alumni Association.
It should be noted, however, that this effort was initiated forty years after the first graduating class of 1890 and three years after the group of graduates gathered to form the Chicago Alumni Chapter in January, 1927. President Atwood set the tone and defined the mission as he charged those in attendance with the task of developing the structure that would serve as the frame work needed to establish an organization that would become known as the Kentucky State University Alumni Association.
Upon acceptance of the assigned task Mrs. Katie H. Brown began to transfer theory into written word and was later identified as the architect of the original constitution of the Kentucky State University Alumni Association. She was elected the first president and served until 1933. It was decided that annual meetings of the association would be held during K.N.E.A. (Kentucky Negro Education Association) in Louisville. This practice continued until the establishment of Alumni Weekend at Frankfort in the mid-sixties.
The purpose and mission of the Association as delineated in Article II of the constitution is to promote a spirit of cooperation, preserve the University’s values, traditions, and heritage, and support its mission and vision. The vision of the Association is to be a globally recognized alumni association that has a historically black college and university perspective that is financially independent and uses its resources to promote the land grant status and all other programs and services of Kentucky State University.
Since its inception, the Association has experienced a rich history of growth that has been compatible with the growth of the University. Its tangible support of the University programs and active participation in the mission of the University has impacted the continuous development of Kentucky State University as it deservedly celebrates 100 years of service to mankind with a fervor that is irrepressible and unrestrained.
A review of the archives indicate that, through dedicated leadership, the Association, in its more than 77 years of existence, has continuously carried out the identified aims with a sense of loyalty and pride for Kentucky State University.
Realizing a need to keep abreast of the University as it headed into the 21st century, in 1978 the Association decided to broaden its horizons by establishing the first Annual National Conference holding the initial meeting at Louisville, July 14-15, 1978. Its purpose being to provide a forum, through a series of workshops, which addressed such issues as Scholarships, Student Recruitment, Monetary Support, Leadership Training, Alumni Recruitment, Program Planning and Political Action. The fruits of the effort increased the level of interest in the University through involvement of alumni at the local and national levels.
Local chapters are the main contributors to the Association’s viability. They have served as the arms of the association implementing policies and providing the ingredients necessary for fulfillment of identified goals. Further, they have been the backbone of the association giving impetus to its survival.
The Association is proud of its accomplishments over the years and the role it has played in the growth and survival of Kentucky State University. It is infinitely committed to a lasting partnership with the University as it looks toward the next 100 years with renewed hope based on past events.
Through the years, there have been seventeen presidents of the Association, listed below, who have continued to build on the efforts of those who preceded them in order that a strong foundation remained constant:
|Katie H. Brown||Frankfort, KY||1930-1933|
|Stephen M. Samuels||Fairfield, KY||1933-1935|
|Robert H. Jordan||Harrodsburg, KY||1935-1945|
|Agnes G Duncan||Louisville, KY||1946-1959|
|Elmer C. Collins||Cleveland, OH||1959-1966|
|William S. Dotson||Lexington, KY||1966-1968|
|Gertrude H. Lively||Louisville, KY||1968-1970|
|James Y. Peoples||Chicago, IL||1970-1974|
|Frank Simpson||Louisville, KY||1974-1978|
|James C. Letton||Cincinnati, OH||1978-1984|
|Roy E. Bussell, Jr.||Indianapolis, IN||1984-1990|
|C. Vincent Bakeman||Chicago, IL||1990-1996|
|Dr. Clifford Claiborne||Chicago, IL||1996-2002|
|Mrs. Tava Clay||Lexington, KY||2002-2006|
|Dr. Luther Burse||Washington DC||2006-2010|
|Dr. George T. Moore||Cincinnati, OH||2010-2014|
|Venita Hawkins||Washington DC||2014-2018|