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Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni's January/June 2024 Digest + Centennial Celebration Re-Caps



This edition of the APCAA Digest features updates on 39 Brothers from the Alpha Rho Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and their professional developments, transitions, artistic pursuits, industry projects, awards and recognitions.


Also — we announce several leadership enhancements for the association, provide updates on recent APCAA Archive acquisitions for the Woodruff AUC Library, and welcome the chapter's most recent members, the Spring 2024 Centennial 23.

 

Bro. Robert P. Williams Named Principal Of B.E.S.T Academy At Benjamin S. Carson All Male Middle And High School


APCAA Staff


Dr. Robert Williams' school administrator career began as an assistant principal at Washington High School, followed by an interim principal position at Kennedy Middle School, assistant principal at E.L. Connally Elementary, and finally an assistant principal at BEST Academy (6-12). He managed the implementation of STEM practices school-wide and partnerships such as Project ENGAGES (Engaging New Generations at Georgia Tech in Engineering and Science), which contributed to BEST Academy (6-12) becoming Cognia STEM certified. 


BEST Academy is a 227,000 square foot middle and high school constructed on a steeply sloped 15-acre site. BEST is Atlanta’s first all-male school in more than 60 years. Operated by Atlanta Public Schools, the site is in the campus of West Fulton Middle (High) School. The curriculum focuses on business, engineering, science, and technology thus the name- “BEST” Academy.


Williams currently serves as APCAA's Chief Scholastic Officer and is the principal author of the association's B.O.L.D. Centennial Scholarship Program which presents our first $20,000 in grants this July to incoming Morehouse College freshmen.

 

Atlanta Police Department Promotes Bro. Ralph M. Woolfolk IV (Spring 2007) To Major - Violent Crime Interdiction Section



Major Ralph Woolfolk IV is a proud Atlanta native and Commander over the Violent Crime Interdiction Section (VCIS). VCIS is responsible for fighting criminal street gang activity, firearms crime and narcotics related crimes in the City of Atlanta. Prior to promotion to Major, he ushered in a wave of new and analytical focused processes and brought a targeted response to the City’s Special Enforcement Section, encompassing Homeland Security Unit, Gangs, Fugitive, Repeat Offender and Auto Crimes Enforcement, where he was assigned as a Captain.


Through data analysis, surveillance, targeted enforcement and inter-agency cooperation with local, state and federal partners, he oversaw a dramatic decrease in gang related violence in a little over a year. During this time, Woolfolk oversaw a nationally recognized operation entitled “Operation Heatwave,” aimed at combating violent crime through the identification and apprehension of violent offenders associated with criminal gang activity. Championing the use of evidence-based practices, he worked with executive leadership to reconfigure the Violent Crime Interdiction Section to realize the next generation of targeted enforcement of repeat violent offenders.



Before promotion to Captain, Woolfolk served as the Commander of the elite Homicide Unit, achieving one of the highest clearance rates on record. Prior to serving as the Commander of the Homicide Unit, Woolfolk served as a lieutenant in Zone 5, where he also commanded the Field Investigations Team. During his time as lieutenant, he worked in the Executive Protection Unit, responsible for managing the safety and security of the mayor, as well as several VIP and dignitary visitors to the city.

 

NBA Hires Bro. Albert L. Sanders (Fall 1998) As Executive Vice President Of Referee Operations



The NBA has hired Albert Sanders as its new executive vice president, head of referee operations. Sanders, who has spent the past several years working as Google's director of government affairs and public policy, spent another several years before that working in various positions in government, including as an associate counsel to President Barack Obama.


"I'm excited for the opportunity to use my experience in strategic oversight and planning to further enhance the NBA's officiating program," Sanders said. "It will be a privilege to work with such a talented group at a world-class organization that values innovation, creativity and integrity." Longtime NBA referee Monty McCutchen, who has been in the league office for the past six seasons and is the NBA's senior vice president of referee development and training, is remaining in his role and will work "in concert" with Sanders, the league said.


Sanders will direct the NBA officiating program with responsibility for the recruitment, hiring, supervision and evaluation of all referees, and he will also oversee the NBA's Replay Center. While Sanders has a higher title than McCutchen, both of them will report directly to Byron Spruell, the NBA's president of league operations.


"Albert is a proven team leader who excels at bringing key stakeholders together to engage on challenging issues and identify needs and opportunities," Spruell said in a statement. "Our officiating program will benefit greatly from his expertise in operations management and organizational strategy."

 

Alpha Rho's Centennial Great Gathering Immortalized By Attendance Of 505 Members, Five Fraternity General Presidents, And Presentations By Legacy Members Of Chapter Legends


APCAA Staff


The Chapter's January 6, 2024 "Centennial Great Gathering" was developed as a two-part happening: A black-tie VIP reception & dinner, followed by a live performance of the original stage presentation "The Alpha Rho Show" — a multi-act presentation on the Chapter and its luminaries throughout the past century. Some 505 Alpha Rho Men (62% of the living membership) traveled from around the globe at take part in this once-in-a-lifetime occasion. Brothers M. Lavell Sanders (Fall 1979) and Richard Makerson III (Spring 2001) served as Co-Chairmen of the weekend's signature experience at the legendary Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Atlanta.

 

Headlining as host for The Alpha Rho Show was television personality and director/producer Shaun Robinson, a Spelman College alumna who was crowned as Miss Alpha Rho Chapter in 1982.


This milestone celebration was made possible by the underwriting strength of APCAA's Centennial Captains — 170 Alpha Rho Chapter Alumni who signed-on to emphasize that centennial fundraising remain true to the association's founding mission: scholarships.


Here's a sampling of the Alpha Rho Men (by Line) who left their mark at this historic gathering, as we began our year-long centennial celebration:










 

Alpha Rho's Centennial 23 Enters The Chat In Spectacular Fashion While Linking To The Chapter's Storied Legacy


APCAA Staff


This brilliant mini-documentary is much more than the probate performance for Alpha Rho Chapter's most recent line, The Centennial 23, primarily because it demonstrates the mindful execution of the partnership between the line's leadership board (Bros. Grantley Whitaker, Kingsley John, Roney Howard, and Alexander Harris) and APCAA's centennial leadership team.


In an effort to blend the April 2024 arrival of the C23 into the year-long centennial programming, the video's storytelling captures perspectives on the chapter's storied 100-year legacy on the campus of Morehouse College, and features historical elements about legendary members and landmark occasions like the raising of the 90th Anniversary Memorial Obelisk — now standing on the exact sacred college site where the chapter's charter members gathered as they carried out the public business of the fraternity in 1924.


Truly — worth the 20-minute experience!


Bro. BMaynard Scarborough, Fall 1980

APCAA President

 


There was history on the horizon when the 1973 GHSA Football season kicked off. Southwest Atlanta was coming off its first-ever undefeated regular season—a 10-1 finish—and had its sights set on becoming the first-ever Atlanta Public School to capture a state title. The Wolves achieved that goal and closed the 1973 season with a 21-7 win over Americus to cap a perfect 13-0 season. In the process, Southwest Atlanta became the first All-Black football team to win a GHSA state championship and the first and only Atlanta Public School to win a football state title. On December 13, 2023, Score Atlanta and the GHSA will recognized the 1973 state championship team at Mercedes-Benz Stadium after the Class 5A championship and before the Class 7A championship kicks off.


“One of the big stories at our Georgia High School Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony in October was the induction of Anthony Flanagan,” said Score Atlanta president I.J. Rosenberg, who is also the executive director of the GHSFHF. “Anthony is not with us anymore but the number of people that showed up for him was amazing. I had one former woman call me and get a ticket for herself. Her husband had passed but he had taught Anthony at Southwest and out of respect for her husband and Anthony, came to the event. This was a very special team.”


Southwest Atlanta head coach Ted Sparks had improved the Wolves overall record in each season since he took over in 1969 and the foundation was built for his fifth year at the helm to achieve the ultimate goal. The growing success on the gridiron came as the average GPA on the team was excelling north of a 3.4 GPA and the statewide attention was also sharpened after head coach David Jones and the Wolves basketball team won the state title in the winter of the 1972 season.

 

APCAA Welcomes Bro. Hamilton Earl Holmes Jr. (Zeta Pi Spring 1987) And Luke Holbrook Jackson (Alpha Chapter Spring 2022) To Signature Centennial Legacy Conversations Series


APCAA Staff


In keeping with our ongoing centennial year programming, two legacies of legendary Alpha Rho alums [Bro. Hamilton Earl Holmes, Jr. (son of AP Brother Hamilton Earl Holmes Sr. Fall 1960) and Bro. Luke Holbrook Jackson (grandson of AP Brother Maynard Holbrook Jackson Spring 1956) joined us on June 5, 2024 for the second in our series of "Centennial Legacy Conversations."


The elder Bro. Holmes was the first Black student admitted to both the University of Georgia and Emory University Medical School. And the elder Bro. Jackson was the first Black Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia. AP Brothers from as far back as Fall 1962 joined in the session.


The gathering provided another opportunity for the association to pour historical knowledge into the newest members of the Chapter (the Centennial 23) and establish the first ever "AP-To-A Link-Up" between the two Atlanta and Ithaca, NY campuses. AP will host the Alpha Chapter Brothers during our centennial homecoming in October 2024.


 

Smithsonian American Art Museum Appoints Bro. Robert C. Davidson (Fall 1964) As Chairman



The Smithsonian American Art Museum has announced today that Robert “Bob” C. Davidson, Jr. of Pasadena, California, has been appointed chair of the museum’s board of commissioners. Davidson has been a member of the museum’s board since 2016 and was the chair of the collection committee from 2021 through 2023.


The museum’s board of commissioners was established in 1908 as an advisory board that meets twice a year in Washington, D.C., to counsel the director about matters of policy and fundraising, and to review proposed major acquisitions. Davidson is the first African American chair of the museum’s commission in the organization’s history.


“As a noted art collector and business executive, Bob Davidson brings important expertise and connections in the arts to this new leadership role,” said Stephanie Stebich, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. “He has championed the collecting mission of the museum as well as provided knowledge and experience of strategic, financial and public governance matters.”

 

Bros. Gregory T. (Spring 1987) And Jordan G. Burrell (Fall 2013) Featured As 'Today Show" Commemorates 30 Years Of The TODAY Plaza



Monday, June 3, 2024 — Just days after the TODAY plaza opened in 1994, Al Roker met a family with a young baby. Thirty years later, Jordan Burrell and his father Gregory are back outside Studio 1A!

 

Glīd Appoints First Chief Operating Officer Bro. Craig A. Woolridge (Fall 1982)



Glīd, the maker of the autonomous road-to-rail patent-pending shipping technology, today announced the appointment of Craig Woolridge as the Chief Operating Officer (COO).


In his capacity as COO, Woolridge will lead the company’s program, finance, marketing, and human resource teams. His appointment aligns with the vision of CEO Kevin Damoa to continue to streamline decision-making processes while bolstering Glīd’s mission to fast-tracking deployment with excellence.


Craig Woolridge is a highly respected sales and marketing leader known for his expertise in increasing organizational value. He has a proven track record of success in various sales and account management positions within the financial sector. Craig excels in building and managing relationships, developing long-term business strategies, and delivering innovative client solutions. He prioritizes business growth and innovation and has exceptional skills in operations management and sales strategy development.

 

Bros. George B. Walker (Fall 1989) And Jonathan TG Wilkins (Spring 1999) Inducted Into 39th Annual College of Ministers and Laity At Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel



The Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College convened the 39th Annual College of Ministers and Laity on Thursday, April 11, 2024 on the historic campus of Morehouse College. This signature program was designed by the Founding Dean of the Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, the Rev. Lawrence Edward Carter Sr., PhD.


The College of Ministers and Laity is a distinguished gathering that has drawn some of the brightest minds across various disciplines since its inception in 1985. This year, the induction class includes an ecumenical cohort of over 100 individuals who will be inducted into the esteemed Board of Preachers, Collegium of Scholars, and Board of Sponsors.


Bro. Walker reflected: "My commitment to ensuring that everyone has a life free of bias and has the ability to make decisions that bring them peace and wholeness has been a lifelong goal and vocational calling. It is truly humbling to be acknowledged for the work that I have dedicated myself to."

 

Google Annex Unveiled At Morehouse College Creates New Opportunities For Students, Faculty (Bro. Ernest D. Holmes — Spring 2018 and Bro. Alfred R. Watkins Spring 1984)



ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Google unveiled The Google Annex at Morehouse College on Monday, May 13, 2024. The ceremony was part of Morehouse’s 140th commencement week activities. Google executives, students, college officials and community members were all in attendance. The new innovative lab is in Morehouse’s Charles Merrill Hall.


“This is an exciting development for our students. Many of our students have expressed the desire to create projects outside the classroom and we really did not have that facility until today, to facilitate that. So, now we have an innovation lab coming online today,” said Dr. Alfred R. Watkins, chair of the Computer Science Department at Morehouse College.



The innovative lab, sponsored by Google, has 10 dedicated workstations. The workstations have Alienware machines with the latest software and hardware for students to create and collaborate on different projects like coding, and other things starting in the fall.


 

Bro. Jason T. Mercer (Fall 2003) Joins More Than 90 Diverse And Women-led Firms At Bank Of America VC Summit


By Kwame Anku


"Food for thought: Seven “Brothers in Purpose” together in New York City for Bank of America’s VC Summit. These men lead seven venture capital funds and collectively they manage hundreds of millions of dollars. Over half of the group started those funds themselves. 10 years ago this picture wasn’t possible. 10 years from now what will the picture look like and what will it represent?


We can make excuses or we can make it happen. We chose to make it happen. Saluting my brothers today for being pioneers and being the change we wanted to see. Just getting started!"


 

Smithsonian's New York Hirshhorn Gala Honors Bro. Derek A. Fordjour (Delta Chi, Spring 1993) With 2023 Artist x Artist Award


By APCAA Staff


The Hirshhorn New York Gala is a rare occasion in the art world where artists come together to celebrate each other while raising vital funds for the Hirshhorn’s year-round free education and art programs. On November 6, the Gala honored an extraordinary group of artists who share an appreciation for one another’s work and thinking. These artists represent the interdisciplinary, intergenerational, and global depth of the art world today.


Derek Fordjour was born in 1974 in Memphis, Tennessee to parents of Ghanaian heritage. He earned a BA at Morehouse College before receiving an MEd in Arts Education at Harvard University and an MFA in painting at Hunter College. He was recently appointed the Alex Katz Chair at Cooper Union and serves as a Core Critic at the Yale School of Art. He was named the 2016 Sugarhill Museum Artist-in-Residence and the 2018 Deutsche Bank NYFA Fellow.



Recently one-person exhibitions were held at the Pond Society, Shanghai; Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; and Petzel Gallery, New York. His work is included in the collections of the Brooklyn Museum; Dallas Museum of Art; Guggenheim Museum, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Pérez Art Museum Miami; The Studio Museum of Harlem, New York; and Whitney Museum, New York among others. The Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York commissioned Fordjour to create a series of mosaics for Manhattan’s 145th Street subway station which were unveiled in 2018.

 

National Guard Names Washington, DC Law Center For Retired Bro. Colonel Victor A. Tall (Fall 1981)


APCAA Staff


Retired Colonel Victor A. Tall has been honored as the namesake of the National Guard's District of Columbia's Law Center. Prior to his 2022 retirement, Colonel Tall served as principal agency counsel to five presidentially appointed Commanding Generals and the DC National Guard (DCNG enterprise). 


His responsibilities included the administration, oversight, and execution of all agency legal programs, with areas of legal practice being administrative law, contract law, environmental law, fiscal law, government ethics, labor and employment law, military justice and operational law. He also served as legal advisor for Command Special Emphasis Programs: Agency Ethics Program, Agency Counter Drug Operations, Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Prevention Program, Military Support to Civil Authorities Operations, and Joint Diversity Executive Council. 

 

Morehouse College MARCH Ambassadors Program Launches In Washington, DC — Bro Rollin F. Jackson (Spring 2023) Selected In 12-Member Inaugural Class



Morehouse College students are embarking on an ambitious leadership and advocacy journey. The newly launched Morehouse Advocacy Reaching Capitol Hill (MARCH) program is more than an initiative; it’s a bold endeavor. The MARCH program is preparing its students to travel to Washington, D.C., where they will address social and political issues impacting African-American communities through a blend of academic insight and poignant real-world narratives.


MARCH was meticulously crafted by Dr. Kendrick Brown, provost at Morehouse, and his dedicated team. Together, they have ushered in an innovative era at Morehouse by selectively appointing 12 student ambassadors to pioneer the program’s inaugural chapter. In a fusion of academia and active policy reform, MARCH ambassadors will immerse themselves in comprehensive advocacy training as well as developing and refining policy proposals on important issues like fair housing and healthcare. They will go to Capitol Hill, engaging with Congress members, especially the Georgia delegation, to share their insights and seek collaborative solutions. 



“What this is about is enabling men of Morehouse to have a chance to speak passionately and knowledgeably about issues they care about in the community,” Brown said. “And to have an opportunity to connect with members of the federal government and Congress, White House, and to be able to connect with alumni and friends of the college in the D.C. area.”

 

Leadership Highlight: Bro. Reginald A. Mathis (Fall 1989) President Of Alpha Phi Alpha’s Beta Beta Lambda Chapter In Miami, Florida



In an effort to highlight the people who are leading graduate chapters across the nation, we at Watch The Yard reached out to the brothers of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.’s Beta Beta Lambda Chapter in Miami and did an interview with Reginald A. Mathis the President of the chapter. The position of president of a Black fraternity chapter is a highly respected role and there is a special pride that one takes. Reginald A. Mathis, who works as an attorney, has been in the position of president for 3 months.


We interviewed Mathis, who is a Fall 1989 initiate of his fraternity and talked to him about his position, goals, future and what it means to hold this type of leadership position in the digital age.

 

APCAA Archives Caucus Fortifies With New Members, Appoints Bro. Christopher D. Gooding (Fall 2011) As Curator For Catalogue And Centennial Exhibits

Caucus Members L-R: Bros. KP Smith, C Brown, Gooding, M Ward, JS Brown, Caldwell, Horne, DA Jackson, Holloway, AL Smith, Tafari, and Vaughan.

APCAA Staff


Following an early 2024 season of spectacular acquisitions for the APCAA Archives at the Robert W. Woodruff AUC Library, the association's archives caucus has expanded its roster of leaders to include seven new members who will work in partnership with founding caucus co-chairmen, Bros. Kevin P. Smith (Fall 1989) and Cecil P. Brown (Fall 1962).


To lead as curator for the association's acquisitions strategy and upcoming centennial exhibits, APCAA has tapped Bro. Christopher D. Gooding (Fall 2011) who will proactively source artifacts from legacy generations of Alpha Rho Men, and also concentrate on compiling the comprehensive catalogue of existing memorabilia housed outside of the official archives.


Additionally, Bro. D. Alexander Jackson (Spring 2018) has stepped up to lead as caucus administrator and liaison with the Woodruff AUC Library staff and archives donors. And rounding out the team enhancements are five Brothers who will serve as "Acquisition Agents" who represent targeted segments of our 833-member association, they include: Bros. Adam L. Smith (Spring 1984), Sean D. Holloway (Spring 2001), Jordan J. Tafari (Spring 2017), and Isaiah A. Horne (Spring 2019). Neophyte Joshua A. Vaughn (Spring 2024) will fill the OTY position left vacant with the recent election of founding caucus member Bro. Rollin F. Jackson (Spring 2023) as SGA president for the 2024-25 school year.

 

Exploring Life & Business With Miles Hickman (Spring 2023) Of The Morehouse Investment Fund