Inaugural members inducted into St. Augustine High School Hall of Fame during Homecoming and Reunion Weekend
More than four hundred guests attended the St. Augustine High School Honors and Hall of Fame Gala Event which was held at the Xavier University of Louisiana Convocation Center on Friday, October 6, 2017.
St. Augustine alumni, reunion classes, parents, student volunteers, and friends were in attendance, as well as corporate sponsors and business and community leaders. The evening provided ample opportunity for guests and alumni to socialize with each other at the cocktail reception while enjoying gourmet food that was donated by New Orleans finest restaurants and caterers. The list of restaurant and catering sponsors included Lil Dizzy's Cafe, Dooky Chase's Restaurant, Byrd House Catering, D'Ashley Catering, Loretta's Authentic Pralines, McHardy's Chicken & Fixin, The Munch Factory, Smoke and Spice Catering, and Subway.
St. Augustine High School president and CEO Dr. Kenneth St. Charles welcomed guests to the inaugural event, which included the announcement of three special awards. Special recognition awards were presented to the Ladies for Purple Scholars, to the St. Augustine High School Foundation, and posthumously to Specialist Caleb Collins, class of 2011.
The evening continued with special reunion class gift presentations, an enthusiastic celebration where representatives from each of the classes celebrating a reunion announced their combined alumni giving support from the previous year. Representatives from 12 reunion classes made the special announcements which totaled nearly $93,000 in gifts. The class of 1987 had the largest gift announcement, a total of $25,302 from 54 donors.
The highlight of the evening occurred when six honorees were inducted with standing ovations into the newly founded St. Augustine High School Hall of Fame. The six charter Hall of Fame members were elected by members of the alumni who supported the school with a financial gift of at least $100 during the period August 1, 2016, to July 31, 2017, and by all Josephite priests and brothers.
The inaugural list of inductees included Carl Blouin, Sr., ‘55; George “Nick” Connor; Edwin Harrell Hampton; The Josephite Fathers and Brothers; Fr. Matthew J. O’Rourke, SSJ; and Otis Washington.
"Since the founding of St. Augustine High School, a countless number of legendary and dedicated individuals have provided the vision and drive that made our school so successful over the years, according to St. Augustine president Kenneth St. Charles. The creation of this Hall of Fame and the induction of these inaugural members is significant and we look forward to recognizing more dedicated individuals in future years."
A permanent Hall of Fame recognition display which will be prominently housed at the school is being developed and will be unveiled at a future ceremony.
In addition to being a major event of the Homecoming and Reunion weekend festivities, the inaugural gala proved to be a successful fundraiser, having generated slightly more than $40,000 for the school after all expenses were paid. Special thanks to our two top sponsors, Mr. Wayne Neveu, class of 1968 and Gulf Coast Bank and Trust, as well as to our generous table sponsors. Table sponsors included the Cornerstone Club, St. Augustine New Orleans Alumni Chapter, the Law Office of Marie Bookman, The Burns Family, Capital One Bank, Daughters of Charity Health Centers, Major Services Inc, St. Joseph Catholic Church (VA), St. Raymond and St. Leo the Great Catholic Church, Toyota of New Orleans, Transdev, and WWL-TV.
Music and entertainment throughout the evening was provided by St. Aug alumni. Dwight Fitch, class of 1970 along with his wife Connie entertained the audience during the beginning of the program. Jerald Barnes, class of 1977 (aka DJ B-Sharp) closed out the evening's festivities with a lively DJ set.