About Us

History of the Douglass Alumni

In 1972, the classes of 1946 and 1947 decided to have a combined reunion because of the size of each class.  During this three day affair, the group decided to establish a scholarship in memory of classmate, Dr. Omar Robinson, Jr. and to invite classmates in other cities to join them.  Consequently, classmates in Chicago, Cleveland and Detroit joined them and formed organizations in each of those cities.

In 1977, Percy Williams was elected president of the Memphis group and other classes were invited to join.  In 1978, the Douglass Alumni Association was chartered in the state of Tennessee.  During the Memorial Day weekend in 1979, the Chicago group hosted the Memphis group.

Each city elected a president.  Eddie “Pete” Ware was president of the Chicago group, Eddie Hayes was president in Detroit and Claudia Ivy Jackson (1957) was president of the Cleveland group.  Later, Los Angeles organized and Bernard Moore became president.

In 1986, a representative from each group attended a planning meeting in Dallas, TX to establish a national organization. The first meeting of the newly formed organization met in Los Angeles in 1987 and the National Douglass Alumni was born.  James Swearengen was elected as the first president.  This new group was established and chartered in the state of Tennessee in 1992 with chapters in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Los Angeles and Memphis.  We were designated as a tax exempt organization in 1993.  Our official name became National Douglass Alumni Corporation.

In 2010, the Georgia chapter was established. In 2018 a new alumni was organized.  All chapters were dissolved and we became one – National Douglass Alumni Corporation. Vanessa Grimes Randle became this new organization’s first president.