“The Evolution of the East Suffolk High School Alumni Association, Inc.”
It was in November 1997 that some 15 members of the Class of 1943 of East Suffolk High School met with the purpose of encouraging Alumni, attendees, supporters and descendants to pursue higher education and make significant contributions to their community. The East Suffolk High School Alumni Association, located in Suffolk, Virginia, was organized in October 1999 and became incorporated in November 2000. East Suffolk High School's rich history spanned the years of 1939 to 1965.
The East Suffolk High School Alumni Association was formed to unite into one organized body all graduates, attendees and supporters to keep the name and legacy of the school alive. The alumni association first president was Rev. Dr. Thelma Taylor Norfleet. Along with Mrs. Susie Harrell Bennett, Mrs. Amanda Riddick Rodgers, Mrs. Rose Lee Everett Jenkins, Carol Bemory Diggs, Willie Wright, Marion Bemory Wright, Constance E. Jones, Cleophus S. Norfleet, Sr., Carey L. Boone, Virginia M. Boone, Beatrice Willie Reeves, Lessie Clary Hyman, Rossie Turner, and Kathleen Owens Simmons.
The Alumni Association is a 501© non-profit organization. Not a government or state agency. It depends on volunteers and the generosity of alumni, attendees, friends, and supporters like you to help perform our mission.
Ella Porter Ward, ‘64
Edward "Pete" Smith, '64
Carol Bemory Diggs, ‘64
Marion Bemory Wright '60
Yvonne Boone Green, '63
Earl Kindred '60
Parliamentarian (Not Pictured)
William H. Goodman
Barbara Williams Butler-Doughty ‘61
FROM THE DESK OF YOUR PRESIDENT
Greetings and welcome to another biennium of the East Suffolk High School Alumni
Association, and I want to begin this twenty-first year of our existence by expressing my
heartfelt thanks to all of the members of this great organization for allowing me to serve as
your President for the 2019-2020 biennium. I want to also express my sincere appreciation to
our immediate Past President, the late Mrs. Almeta Smith, who paved the way for me and who
served us well for more than five years before her untimely death in December. I also want to
say “Thank you” to the slate of officers who have agreed to work with me to continue the
legacy and to pursue new ideas that will move our association forward.
I also want to say “Thank-you” to past Presidents Ross Boone and Frank Kahan and vice
president Edward Smith who were the trailblazers for carrying out the mission of our founder
and our first President, the late Dr. Thelma T. Norfleet, who organized the alumni in order to
preserve the memory and legacy of the former East Suffolk High School. We have had very
successful biennial Reunions over the past 20 years, and we have also had successful
fundraisers during the off years, including the “Rally Around our 26 Years -1939-1935” annual
The fundraisers have enabled the East Suffolk High School Alumni Association to provide
and average of $6,000 annually in scholarships to students from the three high schools and to
students who are descendants of East Suffolk High School graduates. Our $6,000+ annual
scholarship awards include $3,000 annually to students who are descendants of the graduates
of the former John F. Kennedy High School due to a donation left by the late Joyce A. Artis, a
John F. Kennedy graduate. These combined efforts have enabled us to provide more than
$100,000 in scholarships to deserving high school seniors over our 20 years of existence.
Over the next two years, please work with me to accomplish the following goals for
1. To expand the active membership of our organization to at least 25
2. To improve communication by use of emails, telephone calls, social media, website.
3. To expand publicity of Association projects and Community events
4. To provide more social events for the Association
5. To provide written notification/reminders of all Association meetings and major
Please join us at our monthly meetings held at 1p.m. the first Monday of each month (unless
it’s a holiday) at the East Suffolk Recreation Center, 138 South 6 th Street, Suffolk, VA 23434.
Dr. Ella P. Ward, President, Class of 1964
Website: eastsuffolkalumniassociation.com Email: eastsuffolkalumni1939@gmail,com
Alumni meetings are held on the first Monday of each month at 1:00p.m. unless otherwise posted.
Location: East Suffolk Recreation Center - 138 South 6th Street. The meetings are open to all Alumni, Attendees, Friends and Supporters