Alumni HistoryLaGrange-Frink Alumni and Friends Association, nonprofit 501(c)3 organization of North Carolina, was established in 1982. The organization began with a group of LaGrange-Frink High School alumni who continued their fellowship through get together, picnics, and park outings long after the high school closed and regardless of whether alumni reunions were still being held. This group of folks, numbering about 25 or so, and inspired by Ruby Adams and Murrell Graham-Joyner, remained connected to the LaGrange community, and thus the organization was born. The alumni association filed their articles of incorporation in 1983 with the state of North Carolina, and applied for 501(c)3 nonprofit status. Nonprofit tax status documents were re-filed in 2001.
Although many alumni have moved to other areas, 25 years of annual gatherings of the LaGrange-Frink Alumni have been held with a steady increase of attendees each time. Today, approximately 300 gather for the LaGrange-Frink Alumni and Friends Association’s annual meeting and entire weekend of activities. The association now has six chapters in addition to the original LaGrange alumni group: the local Garden Spot chapter, Goldsboro, Washington, DC, New York, New Jersey, and Triangle Area.
In 1983, the alumni started their scholarship grant foundation which awards scholarships to achieving youth that need a little help towards higher education. Special fundraising events such as our King/Queen pageants were held to raise money for the scholarship fund. To date, the foundation has awarded over $80,000 in scholarships to 135 youth, many of whom are members of the alumni association today and who have contributed to the Cultural Center Campaign or have assisted with the association’s other special fundraising events.
It was the year 1998 when the alumni group first began talking about leaving a legacy in their beloved LaGrange community, something permanent and more than just a name. The Cultural Center idea was born and at first was just a dream that many thought would be difficult to achieve because of the massive fundraising and lengthiness of the project, stretching their volunteer hours, meeting with potential contributors, contractors, and other details related to opening a facility.
Today, our prayers have been answered and the DREAM has become a REALITY. Our vision is now on the verge of becoming a permanent monument representing the alumni’s devotion to our beloved LaGrange. The Cultural Center’s programs and services will be an asset to local youth and families for years to come. Please join us in our effort to give something back to LaGrange and Lenoir County.
Walter Ellis, Jr.
John Miller, Sr.
Gregory Rouse, Sr.
Evelyn P. Smith