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RI Academy Alumni to hold banquet

Rappahannock Industrial Academy’s final faculty staff for the 1947-1948 school year were, from left, Gerald Butler Harris, Lureatha Jones Harris (principal), Jacqueline Waugh, and Ida Smith Cauthorne (senior class sponsor).

The Rappahannock Industrial Academy Alumni Association will hold its annual banquet on Saturday, July 21, at 1 p.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church, 317 Town Bridge Road, Saluda. This event celebrates the history and legacy of the Rappahannock Industrial Academy, a private school that was located at what was then Ozeana (now Dunnsville) in Essex County. Retired educator and Essex County native George Francis Washington will be the keynote speaker. 

The Rappahannock Industrial (RI) Academy began operation at a time when there were no public high schools in the area for African-American students. A boarding school run by the Southside Rappahannock Baptist Association, it was in operation from 1902 to 1948 and primarily served students from Essex, King and Queen, and Middlesex counties. 

Formed in 1975, the RI Academy Alumni Association has awarded college scholarships to outstanding African-American high school seniors in Essex, King and Queen, and Middlesex counties for more than 40 years. A highlight of this year’s banquet will be the introduction of the 2018 scholarship winners: Breyona A. Harvey of King and Queen, Jordan L. Blake of Middlesex, and Mandy A. Byrd of Essex. 2017 scholarship winners whose scholarships have been renewed for the upcoming year will also be acknowledged. They are Khaila A. Nelson of King and Queen, Ja’Mel I. Reed of Middlesex, and Ziyah S. Smith of Essex.

The public is invited to attend the banquet. Tickets are $25 per person. Call 758-5163 to reserve a ticket. Tax-deductible contributions to support the RI Academy scholarship fund may be directed to TCF/RI Academy Alumni Association, P.O. Box 1154, Dunnsville, VA 22454.

posted 07.04.2018

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