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2009 Faculty & Staff News

Lonnie Calhoun was among the organizers of a reunion for those who tutored African-American students shut out of education in 1963

October 7, 2009

Lonnie Calhoun, Director of Multicultural Affairs and International Student Services, was among the organizers for the reunion sponsored by the Robert Russa Moton Museum for former Queens College students who in 1963 tutored African-American students shut out of education by the closing of Prince Edward County's schools.

Calhoun served on the planning committee for the event, held Oct. 1-4, and also serves with the ongoing group "Our Schools, Our Vision: A Shared Commitment," whose members are drawn from Longwood, Hampden-Sydney College, Fuqua School, and the Prince Edward County Schools, which helped the Moton Museum organize the reunion. Some seven of the 16 students from Queens College in New York City who tutored in the Farmville community in the summer of 1963 returned for a "recognition weekend." Two current Queens College students, who are working on an ongoing archival civil rights project at their school, also came to Farmville.

Among the activities was a banquet Oct. 3 in which the keynote speaker was William F. Winter, a former Misssissippi governor who founded the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation at the University of Mississippi. Other events were held at several churches where the Queens College students and others tutored local students (as many as 500 students benefited from the tutoring, done by about 40 tutors). Four of the four Queens College tutors who made the trip visited Longwood on Oct. 2; interestingly, one of them, Carolyn Hubbard Kamunanwire, is the wife of the Ugandan ambassador to the U.S., who was a professor of Calhoun's at the City College of New York.

Dr. Martha Cook, Professor Emerita of English, served with Calhoun on the ad hoc planning committee for the reunion of the Queens College tutors. Both she and Calhoun are former members of the Moton Museum Board of Directors. The Moton Museum, housed in the former R.R. Moton High School, near the Longwood campus, is devoted to the study of civil rights in education.