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Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Black Alumni Organization Inducts Inaugural Hall of Fame Class

Sarah Davis
Black Alumni Hall of Fame Inductees and Behalfs (from left to right) : Cheryl White (on behalf of Roy Goines), Wendy Thomas (on behalf of Ed Starling), Marie Redd, Dr. Kimberly Austin, Joseph Williams, Victoria Smith, William Smith and Delegate Sean Hornbuckle.

The first 10 African-American alumni inducted into the Black Alumni Hall of Fame are a testament to the mission of the organization, said the president of Marshall University’s Black Alumni at the induction.

“Our goal is to be an olive branch for the current students,” said LaKeisha Barron-Brown, president of MUBA. “So that way, once they graduate, we did have an avenue to pair them with alumni from future endeavors of their profession as well.”

She went on to say, “We recognize that there are a lot of great people that come through the University, and we felt like what better way than to honor them for what they’ve done while they were here on campus and then what they’re doing out here in their respective communities.” 

The organization hosted its first hall of fame induction ceremony on Friday, Sept. 29, at the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.

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The inaugural class, which stretches across multiple decades, consists of 10 inductees: Roy Goines, Ed Starling, William Redd, Marie Redd, Joseph Williams, Katherine Dooley, William Smith, Victoria Smith, Delegate Sean Hornbuckle and Dr. Kimberly Austin.

Marie Redd, inductee and former state senator, spoke about the roots of the organization and its impact. Redd was the first African-American to be elected as a West Virginia senator. Her late husband, William Redd, was one of the founding members of Black Alumni.

“I have been here since the inception of this organization,” she said. “The legacy is accepting love where you are.”

She went on to honor her husband and his colleagues that started the association.

“They had bricks in their hands because they wanted something in bricks and mortar to recognize the contribution of African American students at Marshall University,” she said.

Dr. Kimberly Austin was among the inductees. She was the first African-American Yeager Scholar at Marshall University.

Joseph Williams was also inducted into the hall of fame. Williams is a former mayor of the city of Huntington and a new fire station in the community is named after him. 

Delegate Sean Hornbuckle, surprised by his induction, expressed that it is an honor to be a part of the inaugural class.

“Marshall’s home. Marshall’s family,” Hornbuckle said. “I’m speechless.”

Hornbuckle went on to advise Black Alumni to never give up in their endeavors.

“At the end of the day, we’re here. We’re doing our best that we can to move everyone forward,” he said.

Inductee Roy Goines joined the ceremony virtually from California. Goines was the first African-American Marshall football player and the first African-American to receive an academic scholarship from the University.

Like Goines, inductee Katherine Dooley joined the ceremony virtually. Dooley, in addition to her law practice, serves as a founding member of African American Philanthropy in Action, a group of non-profit organizations that work to support the African-American community.

Couple William and Victoria Smith explained their gratitude for the organization, saying that they are “blessed and highly favored.”

One of the inductees, the late Ed Starling, was remembered during the ceremony. Starling served as interim and associate athletic director following the 1970 Marshall football plane crash, replacing the deceased Charlie Kautz. 

Also joining the inaugural class, Janis Winkfield was honored at the ceremony. Winkfield served on the executive committee of Black Alumni before her death in 2009.

Campus organization Black United Students, which held their Miss Captivating Pageant earlier in the week, sent representatives Miss Captivating Cyrah Moore and president Aliyah Crozier.

“I think the ceremony is a great honor, just to see so many great people who have made an impact on this community,” Moore said. “It’s a great event to have—especially for Homecoming week—just seeing all of the alumni come back.”

Marshall President Brad D. Smith and First Lady Alys Smith also attended the induction. Smith received an honorary award during the ceremony, which he described as a surprising one.

“I am so humbled by what they have done for this institution. What they represent and the fact that they have honored me in this way is breathtaking,” Smith said. “I would have never imagined. I didn’t expect it, and I’m humbled.”

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About the Contributor
Sarah Davis, News Editor
Sarah Davis is a sophomore from Hurricane, West Virginia, studying broadcast and multimedia journalism. In addition to her experience with The Parthenon, Sarah wrote for Charleston Gazette’s FlipSide during her senior year of high school and has been featured on West Virginia Public Broadcasting’s Vital Signs, a health talk show hosted by Dr. Richard Rashid. She is also involved with Baptist Campus Ministry, where she serves as secretary. Sarah enjoys reading, traveling, shopping and playing tennis in her free time. She is also an active member of her local church. Sarah aspires to work as a multimedia journalist and dreams of making it big someday.
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