Saturday, December 15, 2007

Prairie View Today
By: Frederick V. Roberts, Esquire

Tonight, Dec. 6, dignity, integrity and class marks the threshold for the Annual Christmas Cantata of John Purifoy's "Touched by a Child, Touched by a King" by the Chancel and Community Choir at 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Prairie View. The newly formed Community Bell Troupe of St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church will make its debut this year.

Principals for the cantata include Maestro Lucius R. Wyatt, retired professor of music at PVAMU, Mrs. Ann Marquis of St. Katherine Drexel Church as the pianist, Dr. Danny Kelley, dean of arts and sciences at PVAMU, as the organist and special accompaniment by violinist Elizabeth Mayorca, music teacher with St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School, Houston. The cantata's narrators are the Rev. Charles Lewter, dean of chapel at PVAMU, and Mrs. Mary Roberts, a retired HISD teacher, with Mrs. Christine Wyatt as the coordinator.

Prairie View A&M University will hold its Fall Commencement exercises on Dec. 8 in the William Billy Nicks Auditorium. More than 600 candidates will receive degrees in various programs in two ceremonies beginning at 9 a.m. and the other at 1 p.m. Mr. Roy Perry, PVAMU class of 1978, is the speaker for both graduations. Perry made history in the 90's when he became the first black vice president at Dell Inc. and several other major U.S. organizations. Call academic affairs at (936) 261-2173 for details.

In the spirit of Christmas, the city of Prairie View again invites the citizens to join in decorating the city for the holiday season. The tree at the entrance of University Drive and 290 is now up and illuminating the skyline of the city as well as the decorations adorning the lightpoles along University Drive. The city's Holiday Beautification Committee, co-chaired by Herbert Thomas, is seeking donations for its Christmas toy and canned food program. Donations can be made at city hall on U.S. Business 290 W. Call (936) 857-3711 for information. The Top Ladies of Distinction will conduct judging for its Christmas Lights and Decorations in the Prairie View community on Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. For more than 15 years the group has presented awards to the best all around winners in the community.

They are back and they keep coming - the award winning Charles Gilpin Players of PCAMU, Department of Music and Drama, wins big at the recent Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival held at Texas A&M University, Commerce. The Gilpin's entry "Lend Me A Tenor," directed by Rachel Dickson took top festival awards in Respondent's Choice and Director's Choice. Cast members receiving and Excellence in Ensemble Performance honors include Jaleesa Beavers, Derrick Brent, Ebony Burton, Falecia Dunn, Alfredo Morales, Fulgencio Perez, Aziza Scott, and Derrick Stokes. Recipients of the Excellence in Acting were Alfredo Morales, Fulgencio Perez; The Irene Ryan Acting Award, Ebony Burton, Alfredo Morales and Derrick Stokes; Excellence in Honor Crew were Warren Blackmon, Cleo Ellington, Ahmad Hygh, Sam Jackson, Alfredo Morales and Kerrick Rosemond. Winner for the Best Lobby Display was Patrice Hoskins. The cast also received the Excellence in Furniture Altering Onstage. Congratulations to director Dickson and the cast for keeping the legacy going. The cast awaits the decision on whether the next stop will be the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC or back to the drawing board for next year!

Ode to the Legend: Many well wishers, family and friends paid homage to Judge Frankie Bradley Ledbetter who passed away on Nov. 23. Celebration of Family and Friends provided focus on the life of the legendary Frankie on Nov. 30 in the Johnson Phillip All Faith Chapel. The three-hour event was filled with respect, honor and some humor as persons reflected on her life and the impact she made in the lives of others. The ladies of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. paid fitting tribute with its Ivy Beyond Wall Ceremony. Funeral services were held at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church on Dec. 1, with the Rev. Robert Moore, Frankie's former minister, officiating. While the Prairie View Community mourns the loss of Judge Ledbetter, the community can say that Prairie View is much better because she lived a fruitful and productive life and made a great impact with her many contributions.

The members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. commemorated its 101st Anniversary with a special Founders Day Observance. State Representative Borris Miles challenged the brotherhood to reach back in the community and help others. He urged them to get involved until it hurts. The event was sponsored by the Eta Gamma (PVAMU), Pi Omicron (TAMU), Epsilon Tau Lambda (Prairie View) and Pi Alpha Lambda (College Station) chapters.

The Prairie View Police Department will host its first annual Holiday Ball 2007 on Dec. 19 at 6 p.m. in the ballroom of the W. A. Tempton Student Center at PVAMU. The black tie event will honor the memory of Officer Christopher Sobieski, Chief Frank Steward and Sgt. Monty Shafer, fallen officers of the department. Tickets are $35 and can be purchased through Dec. 14. The department will also team up with the Prairie View Volunteer Fire Fighting Association for its annual toy drive from Nov. 12 to Dec. 18. Toys may be dropped off at the police department, the city hall annex, and the municipal court. For more information, call (936) 857-3521.

To commemorate the anniversary of the dedication of its new facility on Dec. 5, the Amistad Bookplace on 700 University Drive is hosting its Holiday Gift for Friends and Family Sale on Dec. 7&9 from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. and on Dec. 14&15 from Noon - 3 p.m. Patrons can receive discounts of 20% off, plus an additional 5% for cash.

Special Discount Flyers are available and should be presented with purchase. Today, the store continues as the main source of books by black authors in the local area. Patrons may contact (936) 857-9101 for information.

A VIEW FROM THE HILL: The professor of military science and the cadets of the Panther Battalion will host its 2007 Fall Commissioning Ceremony on Friday, Dec.7, at 6 p.m. in the Johnson-Phillips All Faiths Chapel. The commanding officer of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps Unit, Houston Consortium will also hold its 2007 Fall Commissioning Ceremony Saturday, Dec.8, at 1 p.m. in Julius Becton Auditorium at PVAMU. The public is invited.

The staff of the Johnson Phillip All Faith Chapel and student organizations at PVAMU hosted another successful "Gift for Tots" on Dec. 1 for more than 100 children (toddlers to 8 years of age). Christmas gifts were provided by student organizations at PVAMU and other contributors. For information on next year's event contact Ms. Lewis at (936) 261-3590.

The folks in Sodexho Food Services are again offering its service for those who hate to cook! You can enjoy your family this holiday by purchasing a dinner or A la Carte tray from Sodexho. Last day to place an order is Dec. 17 by 12 p.m. and last day to pick up is Dec. 24 by 12 p.m. For more information: (936) 261-1778 or (936) 261-1770 or EMAIL:

The Students In Free Enterprise Team at PVAMU closed out its semester activities with a special presentation on "Business Ethics and Communications in the Global Economy" on Nov. 27. Dr. Dr. Munir Quddus, dean of business, and Ms. Yvette Barker, general manager of American Campus housing, at the university both shared personal experiences and how students must learn to function in their future careers. The program was coordinated by Mr. Ridge Fields-Cooper, a freshman accounting major. Andrew Williams, a junior communications major, is the president. For SIFE information, call the Sam Walton Fellow at (936) 261-3574.

Please remember the following persons in your prayers: Mrs. Mary Kemp and Ms. Claudia Hill, for prayer changes things!

HAPPY DECEMBER BIRTHDAY WISHES to: Justin Samuel (1), Valeria Nickerson (1), Lewis Smith (1), Sarah Williams (1), Linda Barrs (2), Betty Ricks (2), Lorenzo Tramble (2), Robert Woodie McClennon (2), Kim Washington Garrett (7), Ketari Toler (7), Jessica D. Berry (8), Carol M. Brown (9), Carl Gardiner (11), Maxine Matthews (12), Dianne Garret (13), Kameko Bowers (14), Doss Pruitt (15), Ursula Johnson (15), Chase Gillian (17), Esel Bell (18), Cecil Dorsett, III (18), Hazel Echols (18), Barbara Queen-Clarke (19) and Deviyon Gillian (21) and HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Hubert and Vivian Smith (1) and Cynthia and Maurice Hobson (17).

CULTURALLY SPEAKING, I am sure you knew that on Dec. 2, 1975 Archie Griffin of Ohio State University became the first athlete to win the Heisman Trophy twice; 12/3/1847 Frederick Douglas and Martin Delany published the "North Star Newspaper," one of the foremost abolitionist newspaper of its day; 12/4/06 Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity was founded as the first collegiate fraternity for black men at Cornell University; 12/5/1784 African American poet Phyllis Wheatley dies in Boston. Born in Africa and brought to U.S. as a slave, she quickly learned English and Latin and published her first poem in 1770; 12/6/1865 - Slavery was officially abolished in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; 12/6/1871 P.B.S. Pinchback is the first black to be elected president pro tem of the Louisiana Senate and acting lieutenant governor; 12/8/77 Earl Campbell of the University of Texas at Austin wins the Heisman Trophy. In 1990 he was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame as a Houston Oiler.

Until next week, remember the children, take care of the elderly because the children will one day have to take care of you! Be Thankful, be real and above all be yourself. Keep the news, happenings and achievements coming to, fax (936) 857-5352 or call (936) 857-3272 or P. O. Box 2906, Prairie View, Texas 77446.

©Houston Community Newspapers Online 2007

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