Story by Tracey Jackson
Bags were packed, gas tanks full and the anticipation of seeing old classmates and sentiments of nostalgia grew, as more than 1,000 people recently traveled to Pine Forge Academy’s (PFA) 44th Annual Alumni Weekend, themed “Forging the Future.” Reaching back to the rich history that begins with an iron mill to the current goals of restoring the campus, PFA eagerly celebrated 74 classes of graduates. Special honor was given to the Class of 1969, as they celebrated their 50th anniversary.
Sokoni Scott (’94), president of the National Pine Forge Academy Alumni Association (NPFAAA), shares, “Reunions are all about reconnecting with old and dear friends. We encourage our alumni to remember to connect with current students, faculty and staff. Share your perspectives, insights and aspirations with them. In the last 12 months, the alumni association has raised over $314,000. These funds have renovated North Hall, purchased a 47-passenger bus, laid new sidewalks and improved lighting in dark areas around our campus. We are also extremely proud to report we provided over $62,000 in student scholarships and assistance.”
Alumni Career Day launched the weekend activities, where students met and spoke to presenters who shared their wisdom and stories of matriculation through PFA into their current careers. Alumni working in fields of science, information technology, media, medicine, law, engineering, aviation, ministry, government, barbering, entrepreneurship and more, volunteered their time to share information about their day-to-day work. In the afternoon, attendees gathered at the Alumni President’s Ceremony to celebrate the North Hall Conservatory renovations, made by Maranatha.
On Friday night and Saturday morning, God’s messengers, Dennis Ross (’89) and Noah Washington (’99) spoke memorable words of instruction to “Sacrifice What’s Good for What’s Best” and encouragement from John 3:16, reminding the congregation of God’s amazing love that was experienced while attending PFA through today.
Later, during an awards ceremony, many honorees, including Vivian English Washington (’79), Alumna of the Year, and Joseph C. McKenzie (’89), Alumnus of the Year, received recognition for their accomplishments and dedication to their beloved school.
Saturday night’s traditional basketball game between former and current Falcons proved to the young that the alumni “still got it!” After all, it was their weekend. On Sunday the alumni business meeting was held, and plans continued toward “Forging the Future” of PFA.
With bags packed again, lifetime friends smiled, hugged and parted until next year or hopefully Jesus’ imminent return.