It was a day of celebration as the Dayton community came out to honor the past and present of the historic Annie E. Colbert School on Saturday, April 23.
Guests were clad in purple and gold for the Colbert Rosenwald Corporations Dedication Day Ceremony on the grounds of the current Colbert Elementary and the historic Rosenwald campus.
James Grays opened and served as the emcee for the event as they honored the contributions of four local community members.
After opening ceremonies, attendees heard a brief presentation of the history of Rosenwald by LaDonna David, as well as Annie E. Colbert School by Haywood “Frosty” Pruitt.
Dayton ISD Superintendent Dr. Jessica Johnson greeted those in attendance while former teacher Alpha Wright-Henderson made special remarks before presenting the four newest honorees.
First up was former DISD Superintendent Greg Heyman, who played an instrumental role in preserving the Rosenwald campus after discovering the building enclosed in the walls of an addition to the campus.
Joann Paul was unable to attend, but she was undoubtedly still recognized for playing a significant part as an advocate for the Museum housed in the Rosenwald building. The museum tells the story of Dayton’s segregated Black community that was educated at Colbert.
Local community leader Earl Randolph was honored for his contributions to the local community.
Finally, Liberty County Historical Commission Chairwoman Linda Jamison was honored for her efforts in local history throughout the county and the Dayton area, especially in preserving Dayton’s Black History. Last April, the LCHC under Jamison dedicated a Texas State Historical Marker honoring Annie Colbert.
A presentation was then made recognizing essential employees at Colbert by Brenda Trahan and Lynda Young. Those employees all played a part in the school’s history from 1927 to 1967.
Grays closed with some comments about the Colbert Tigers Football team before Sharon Caeser-Francis led everyone in a rousing rendition of “Dear Old Colbert High.”
Colbert truly is a legacy that can’t be denied!
For more information on the Annie E. Colbert Rosenwald School, visit them at facebook.com/Colbert.Rosenwald/ or stop by in person on the first and third Saturday of each month from 10 am – 2 pm.