ABOVE PHOTO: From left: Joseph Pailin, Clarion University of PA African-American Alumni Association president; Gary Robinson, Dr. Laurie Carter, president of Shippensburg University, Alva Edwards and Rev. Michael Robinson, co-chair of the fundraiser. (Photo: Robert Mendelsohn)
By Patricia Gilliam Clifford
The Clarion University of Pennsylvania African-American Alumni Association — also known as “Clarion Folk” — hosted a scholarship fundraiser at Chestnut Hill’s Platinum Grill on Saturday, June 23rd. Thanks to the hard work of Joseph “Joe” Pailin, alumni association president, who chaired the event and co-chairs the Rev. Michael Robinson and Alva Edwards and supportive “Clarion Folk”, the event was a huge success!
“It was a great event and I thank all who attended and enjoyed dining and dancing at an African-American owned establishment as African-American students benefit from funds raised,” Pailin said. “Interacting with The Clarion African-American Alumni is always insightful as relates to the achievements of an outstanding group connected by the pursuit of a college education.” He is CEO of The Pailin Group, which offers a range of financial services and is located in Montgomery County.
“Most of the Black alumni in attendance at the Platinum Grill were recruited to Clarion University by John Shropshire, late dean of admissions,” said Rev. Robinson, who is the senior pastor of Philadelphia’s Greater Enon Missionary Baptist Church. “Shropshire was beloved by legions of higher education colleagues, Black alumni, and friends.”
“He [Shropshire] was single-handedly responsible for recruiting thousands of first-generation college students, and transformed our lives for the better via our educational experiences at Clarion University,” Robinson continued. “From the public housing projects of the Ruth L. Bennett Homes in Chester, to corporate Industry Icon Award winning business leader in Philadelphia, I am indebted to Clarion University and particularly the legacy of John Shropshire for the lasting impact both have had on my life. I am proud to be counted among the lawyers, doctors, industry titans, educators, musicians, professional athletes, accountants, researchers, STEM professionals, journalists and broadcasters who are alumni family of Clarion University.”
Clarion University’s Black Alumni-Philadelphia Chapter honored Dr. Laurie Carter, president of Shippensburg University and 1984 alumna of Clarion University. It was a very proud time to acknowledge and applaud her career success, while raising money for book scholarships. Dr. Carter was presented with a beautifully engraved plaque and red, long stemmed roses.
“What a great honor to be recognized by Clarion University’s African-American alumni,” she said. “Clarion gave me the foundation for my life’s work. I am forever tied to it and the people who make it what it is. I met people at Saturday’s event who felt like family because of our Clarion connection.”
Event co-chair Alva Edwards, class of 1975, was acknowledged for her dedication and service to the association. Edwards was the first Black Clarion University Homecoming Queen. She was also gifted with beautiful red, long stemmed roses from the Alumni Association.
“I’m a proud alumnus of the Class of 1982, and it’s an honor to serve under the leadership of Joe Pailin,” she said.
“Joe is my college schoolmate (Class of 1979), friend and fellow Greek member of the Divine Nine. He’s a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. and I’m a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.,” Robinson added.
Dr. Carter took the time earlier in the day to attend a Shippensburg University recruiting event in North Philadelphia. The event was specifically organized for high school students and parents interested in learning more about the university. Prince of Peace Baptist Church, where Rev. Robert Shipman, Sr., serves as senior pastor, and Rev. Robinson organized and hosted the recruiting event. As a result of Carter’s visit, three students who were extended admissions offers accepted and will attend Shippensburg this fall. .
“This is the endearing character, philanthropy, and impactful testament to Dr. Carter’s sincere ambition to help students achieve,” Rev. Robinson said. “What college president can you ever recall visiting North Philadelphia to specifically recruit area students? Dr. Carter is a bonafide mover-and-shaker, she makes great things happen!”
Graduates representing the Classes of 1974-79 included Larry Lawson, Alva Edwards, De Borah Spicer-Sanders, Linda Baltimore, Ricky Grant, John Lovelace, Morgan Russell, Roy. E. Purdy, Vaughn Booker, Tony Lewis and Joseph Pailin.
Graduates representing the Classes of 1980-89 in attendance were: Darlene Alston, Cynthia Johnson Goodman, Paula Jones, Taryn Galey-Gaynor, Barbara Coatrum, and Rosalind Bruce Dickens, Laurie Cater Robinson, Ella Bruce, Michael Robinson, Walter Joppy, Stephanie James and Tennille Bond. Sherrell Ganges and I. Sharp represented the classes of 1999 and 2000 respectively.
Others “Around Town in Philly” who had a great time were Rogers Laug, Clarion’s director of minority student services; B. Dontae Truss from Shippensburg, Gregory Passley, Michelle Young, Sheryl Pailin, Mary Butler, Kim Harris and Kevin Davis.
Thanks to The Clarion University of Pennsylvania African-American Alumni Association “Clarion Folk” for their continued support of the future of our young people!
It was another great time to be “Around Town in Philly!”