Alums Celebrate Scholarship Honoring Dr. Allen
The Dr. Edna Allen Scholarship was formalized on July 28 at an on-campus dinner honoring Dr. Allen. Funds to endow the scholarship were raised by the African-American Alumni Special Interest Group (AAASIG) with kickoff contributions from Charlease Hatchett '87 and J. Harold Hatchett III '83 and Jerome Kersey, professional basketball player, who attended Longwood in the early '80s.
Charlease Hatchett, one of the founders of AAASIG, traveled from London to attend and asked other alumni to "emulate Dr. Allen's example and become a role model, mentor and friend" to students. Hatchett lives in London with her children and husband, Harold, who is chief operating officer for Shell Financial Services.
Troy Littles '84, current president of AAASIG, came from MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa to praise Dr. Allen - "She would hold your hand, tell you not to quit, not to go home. Those were turbulent times, and she was one constant." He added, "As soon as I got here I kept hearing everyone talk about this 'Edna.' Edna was always in our business ... I appreciate you being in my business." Littles is a Lt. Col. in the Army. He and Hatchett, along with Melanie Lee Littlejohn '87 planned the event.
Allen, associate professor of social work, has been a member of the Longwood faculty since 1980, after teaching as an adjunct in the '70s. A licensed clinical social worker, she directs field services for the social work program and chaired the college's Evolving Scholars Committee from 1983 to 1999 to promote minority access. From 1972 to 1980, Allen held various positions with the Virginia Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation; previously, she worked as a psychiatric social worker in California and New York. Longwood President Patricia Cormier said, "Dr. Allen was the single most powerful advocate for access at this college, and I dare say throughout Virginia, for equal opportunity for others previously denied."
The Allen Scholarship was awarded twice before being fully endowed, both times to Jammie Jackson '99 who now attends the Marshall-Wythe School of Law at William
& Mary. Henceforth, the scholarship will be awarded annually to a full-time undergraduate who has demonstrated academic potential and is "actively involved in activities that make positive contributions to the common good of the campus or community," with preference for those with financial need.