On July 16, 2000 a Reunion of the Adult Education Center graduates took place, organized by Alice Geoffray.
In her signature style, Alice wrote letters and made calls to as many of the 431 graduates as she could find. Plus faculty members she had stayed in touch with, Mr. James Coleman, the biggest financial supporters of the school, the Mayor’s office, Angela Hill at WWL who supported her throughout her career, and Times Picayune. The rallying call went out and it was heard loud and clear.
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One hundred of the graduates and many of the faculty members responded with an overwhelming “Yes” to attend. Mr. James Coleman offered to host the reunion at his hotel, Holiday Inn Superdome. The Mayor’s office participated by having Marlin Gusman, Mayor Pro Tempore, represent the Mayor. Angela Hill responded by saying she would do her best to have television coverage. Times Picayune said they would try to have a reporter on the scene.
It was a project that Jeff and I jumped on board to support and help organize. Sunday night came.
We knew the students and faculty would show, and show they did looking beautiful as ever in their Sunday’s finest. Mr. Coleman arrived beaming and the staff of his hotel provided us all with a 5-star service. Then, Marlin Gusman, the television crew from WWL and a young reporter from Times Picayune arrived—all saying they could only stay a few minutes—intrigued but noncommittal.
Within a short period of time, Marlin Gusman was settled into his seat preparing for his remarks and interviews were being conducted. Midway into the program we realized these special guests were here to stay. They were caught up by the spirit of the graduates, the love and admiration by all for Dr. Alice Geoffray, the inspirational program prepared to showcase how the school made a profound difference, the students as they gave their “testimonies,” the enchanting remarks by Mr. Coleman and the speech by Marlin Gusman.
Shortly after 9PM, the WWL crew quickly jumped up and said they had to leave so the AEC Reunion could be featured on the 10PM news. And, true to their word, the Adult Education Center’s success was back in the news again after 35 years with a little help from an old friend, Angela Hill, sending a team to cover the event.
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