About 30 members of the Class of 1966 returned to campus April 22-23 for their 50th Reunion and induction into the Golden Circle.
In addition to the Golden Circle induction, the weekend featured opportunities for the 1966 graduates to meet current students, attend the ninth-annual Guilford Undergraduate Symposium and take tours related to Quaker history, the Underground Railroad and campus sustainability.
President Jane K. Fernandes offered state-of-the-college remarks at a luncheon honoring the Class of 1966. She also offered greetings at the Golden Circle induction. At the induction Minnette Coleman ’73 made remarks comparing the College in 1966 and 2016, and the attendees also heard from Kyle Dell, associate professor of political science, and Gerardo Marcos-Ocampo ’18, incoming president of Community Senate. English professor Jim Hood ’79 offered an invocation and Academic Dean Beth Rushing presided.
The Class of 1966 included the first three African Americans to graduate from Guilford: James McCorkle, Linda Moore Banks and Melrose Nimmo. James and Linda attended reunion; a nephew represented Melrose, who died in 1999.
In 1962, James became the first African American traditional student enrolled at Guilford, turning down a full scholarship opportunity at Morehouse College. After graduating with a major in chemistry and a minor in education, he joined the Peace Corps and taught in Malaysia and West Africa. He taught in Forsyth County Schools for 42 years and is a member of the Black Alumni of Guilford College Advisory Board.
Linda came to Guilford in 1963 at the age of 16 after studying with Guilford religion professor Frederic Crownfield in the Saturday program at Bennett College. She graduated three years later. She worked on scientific research at Duke University, the University of Virginia and East Carolina University before earning a second bachelor’s degree at ECU and becoming a teacher.
When Melrose enrolled at Guilford to pursue a master’s degree in religion in 1962, he already held two bachelor’s degrees and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. He completed his master’s degree at the age of 45. From 1967 until his death, he served as pastor of Bethel Institutional Missionary Baptist Church in Houston.