Western Carolina Chapter Attends Student Recruiting Events

The Western Carolina TCNAA Chapter, under the leadership of Darron Lockett. ’90, has been very active in promoting Talladega College to high school students in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.  On September 28th the chapter participated in the HBCU Day, sponsored by Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Charlotte.  The chapter forwarded information to admissions on eighteen students who expressed an interest in attending ‘Dega.

On September 28th the chapter participated in a follow-on event, the HBCU Fair, held at Friendship Missionary Baptist.  On that occasion 58 additional students expressed interest in Talladega College.  Their information was shared with the college.

Great Work, Western Carolina.

Dr. Joe Lee Recognized as First African American Park Nationalist

On Thursday, August 29, Great Smoky Mountains National Park Superintendent Cassius Cash

recognized Dr. Joe Lee, Talladega College Class of 1968, for his service as the first African American Park Naturalist. Superintendent Cash presented Dr. Lee with a mounted ranger hat in honor of his contribution to the history of the National Park Service.

Superintendent Cash stated that “His service fifty years ago broke employment barriers that once discouraged people of color from seeking employment in National Parks. He stepped bravely into unknown territory and paved a path for people like me to follow in his footsteps.”

The Superintendent also presented Dr. Lee with a framed photograph of all the park naturalists working in 1967, including two additional African Americans.  Dr. Lee shared memories of his park service journey with high school students, public officials, and the media at an event held  at William T. Dwyer High School in Jupiter, FL.

“I am overwhelmed that officials from the park would come to see me in the twilight of my life and recognize me as a trailblazer by being the first African American Park Ranger Naturalist in the Smokies,” said Dr. Joe Lee. “I have a deep, abiding respect for Superintendent Cash for following up on the call I made about my time as a Park Ranger. Now, I have proof for my grandchildren and their children about my time in the Great Smokies.”


Dr. Lee, who resides in Juniper, Florida, remains active in supporting Talladega College and its associations.

The park has recently embarked in an effort to better understand, share, and preserve the rich history of African Americans who lived in and around the southern Appalachian mountain region, both before and after the establishment of the park.  The National Park Service (NPS) strives to preserve the history of all people across the nation. Through this important project, the park is uncovering untold stories of African Americans who visited, lived, and worked in this region.

Leonard and Kathleen Smith 60th Wedding Anniversary

Leonard and Kathleen Smith of Granger, Indiana celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary July 23, 2019.

The two were married July 23, 1959 in South Bend, Indiana.

Leonard is a retired Assistant Principal from Niles High School,Niles,Michigan. Kathleen is a retired Material Scientist from Clark Equipment Company in Buchanan, Michigan.

Their three children, Donna, Anthony and Andre hosted them for a Celebration Dinner.

Triangle Chapter Update

The TCNAA Triangle Chapter has been very busy supporting Talladega College and its students.  This year the chapter reached out to North Carolina students who are currently enrolled at Talladega College.  This initiative was meant to support and encourage the students as they are attending classes and participating in extra-curricular activities, and to build mentorship possibilities and opportunities with our local alumni. 

In this effort our chapter has partnered with four students: Mya Summers, Taevion Harris, Alexis Nealy and Lane Gunter.  Throughout the year chapter alumni visited with students, provided financial gifts and words of encouragement.  During this budding partnership, we have shared the importance of giving back to our institution and for them to encourage others to join this great Talladega College family.  We are excited about the possibilities that this new partnership has. 

Additionally, the Triangle Chapter will be representing Talladega College at the HBCU Explosion on July 27th in Smithfield, NC.  Local students, families and community members from Central and Eastern North Carolina will be attending this great event.   We will be recruiting for and representing the Alpha Lyrae Vega of them All in excellence.  


Submitted by Angel G. Batts  ’94

Opening Ceremony Held for Talladega College’s New Residence Dormitory

Talladega College’s new residence dormitory had its opening ceremony on January 16, 2019. The affair was attended by students, local dignitaries, state officials, faculty, local residents, and administrators. Remarks saluting this historic event were made, by Isaiah Hugley, Board of Trustees President; President Billy Hawkins, Harry Coaxum, Past President of the Board of Trustees, and Dr. Eugene Cain, TCNAA President. Performances were made by the College’s band and choir. Here are a few photos of the ceremony:


Talladegans Mix and Mingle at 2018 Christmas Parties

Talladegans in the Birmingham and Tuscaloosa chapters came together over the 2018 Christmas season to meet, greet, and have a great time reminiscing about their years at Talladega College. It was a wonderful opportunity for young and “seasoned” Degans to meet, mingle, and mix. The Birmingham affair brought over 40 Degans together at the Club 1st and 23rd in downtown Birmingham. The affair had live entertainment and was capped off with Degans singing the school song.

The Tuscaloosa chapter had its gala event the following evening in Hoover, Alabama at the beautiful home of Mark and Nedonna Cooper,’97. One of the highlights of the evening was a Talladega College trivia game which challenged everyone’s knowledge about the history of Talladega College. It was interesting watching the competitive minds of Degans and guests compete for the top prizes. Lastly, Mark and Nedonna presented everyone with a Talladega College ornament to hang on their Christmas tree.

Alumni Dr. Eugene Cain’s Photographs Appear in Opening of the Ourrouss Gallery in Dakar, Senegal

Dr. Eugene Cain, ’65 is among a group of international artists from the African diaspora whose works appear in the opening of the Ourrouss Gallery in Dakar, Senegal. The exhibit’s theme is Migrations/Immigration/Expatriation/Rapatriement; it opened on December 7, 2018 and will end March 7, 2019.

Dr. Cain has seven photographs in the exhibit. He traces his love for photography back to his high school years in Birmingham, Alabama (Western Olin High School) where he was introduced to the art form by his biology teacher, Sampson Julius Bennett, a 1955 graduate of Talladega College. The title of Dr. Cain’s submitted photographs is The Eyes Have It. Here are three of his exhibit photos: