Peter Campbell sent a nice update. “My wife, Joyce, and I are living in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina. Still spend plenty of time in Boston or on Cape Cod. At the most recent Homecoming, Jeff Nesson ’78 shared a picture of Joyce and me at a DEKE Christmas Party, so we go back a ways. I have retired from the corporate world but am involved in a more entrepreneurial venture that keeps me in it a bit. In the last few years, I have reconnected with friends from Wesleyan, many who I had not seen for a long time (you know, life gets in the way) but who I have always held close. Folks from those four years are overrepresented in my list of dear friends; I was lucky that way.”
Willie Jones shared news on his continued involvement with a special venture in the Charlotte area. He writes: “I’ve been very busy as the director of the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department. We are continuing to work on how we interpret and share the stories of the enslaved at some of our historic and cultural resource sites that were formerly plantations. In November of 2023, I received an Excellence in Leadership Award from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Branch of the NAACP for my efforts on the Historic Latta Reimagined Project. We’ve taken an innovative approach to community engagement that was required for this project. When the county opted not to renew its contract with the 501(c)(3) that had previously operated the site for decades, I worked with other county staff and community stakeholders to engage in a holistic assessment of best practices for interpreting difficult historic stories, including slavery. The guiding values developed for the Latta Project—Truth, Transparency, Compassion, Transformation, and Unity—have proved to be useful as Park and Recreation staff work side by side with community partners to plan for the site’s reopening in 2026. We’ve taken a major step forward but still have a long way to go.”
And here is a great article about an honor he recently received:
“County’s Park and Recreation Director Honored with Charlotte’s Men of Change Award”
“Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Director Lee Jones recently received the 2023 Charlotte’s Men of Change Award from the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture and the Levine Museum of the New South.
“Charlotte’s Men of Change recognizes Black community leaders for their work as business owners, teachers, political and justice activists, trainers, and visionaries. The Smithsonian Institution’s traveling exhibition Men of Change: Power, Triumph, and Truth inspired this local annual honor. Charlotte’s Men of Change was on display at the Levine Museum and the Gantt during 2023.”
Kudos, Willie. Amazing work and a great recognition!
Reminder: We are heading toward our 45th Reunion next May. Please save the date May 23–26, 2024. Our class has historically had record or near record attendance levels at our earlier reunions, so it should be fun! If you are interested in becoming a reunion ambassador to help with planning or would like to update your contact information to stay informed, please email Destiny Lopez (email@example.com) or Gina Driscoll (firstname.lastname@example.org).
That’s it for this issue. Thanks for the submissions!
DIANE M. LAPOINTE | email@example.com