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Everard Williams (’57) proudly wears his vintage class sweater at the reunion.

National Pine Forge Academy Alumni Association Celebrates 46th Annual Reunion

Story by Tracey Jackson

To honor the Allegheny East Conference Pine Forge Academy’s (PFA) 75th anniversary, leaders of the 46th Annual National Pine Forge Academy Alumni Association (NPFAAA) reunion recently converted the traditional three-day weekend event into a weeklong celebration. This hybrid virtual experience ended with an in-person reunion at Capitol Hill church in Washington, D.C.

The week premiered with a virtual kick-off welcome, introducing the theme “Forever Forward.” The events included an alumni-sponsored pizza party for the student body in which student ambassadors Cariss Reynolds (’23) and Kristen Dudley (’23) hosted a live virtual call with Carmen Robinson (’00), who interviewed various students about their current PFA experience.

The reunion also featured a Pioneer Podcast with Eric Adams (’05), featuring Gloria Davis (’49), one of the originators of the honorary 50th class graduation march. Davis shared insights into the early Pine Forge Institute days, demonstrating that, although the campus has had structural advances, the familial friendship experiences remain securely intact.

Courtney Coutreyer-Thornton (’06), NPFAAA general vice president, shared the new FalconConnect Tutorial for the Membership Moment, and Sokoni Scott (’94), NPFAAA president, honored the contribution of all former staff and faculty. He presented Distinguished Faculty awards to Samuel (’70) and Diane Darby, Kris Fielder and Henry Beck for their decades of dedicated love and service to the students and the overall success of the academy.

A virtual Friday Night Live and Alumni Concert ushered in the Sabbath. The culmination of the week’s events occurred with a hybrid divine worship service at the Capitol Hill church with guest speaker Calvin Watkins Sr., North American Division vice president for Evangelism and Regional Liaison.

Charles Battles (’70), former PFA history instructor and Capitol Hill member, says, “About 150 to 175 people attended the mask-mandated service, sporting their class sweaters and reuniting with classmates from the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s.”

Joyce Dorsey Martin and Ethel Hall, representatives from the “classy” 50th anniversary Honor Class of 1971, presented a donation of $50,000 to the academy (Martin pictured presenting dontation to Sokoni Scott, NPFAAA president).

The virtual Alumni Awards Ceremony honored Karl J. McCleary (’84) as Alumnus of the Year and Zsakeba Watkins-Henderson (’91) as Alumna of the Year. Frazier and Virginia (’65) (Lester) Mathis received the Community Service Award; Lawrence Washington (’54) received the Meritorious Award; Cecelia Lester (’71) received the President’s Award; and Henry J. (’61) and Sharon Fordham received the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously.

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