After Reunion 2017

Reunion 2017 sadly, has ended. If you did not attend this reunion, you missed a treat. The twinkling lights, the bands, the DJ and that awesome Jazz, Blues & Throwback night; along with the tour of the MLK Historic Site have all come to an end. At Reunion 2017 ‘s Worship Service our own Rev. Dr. Regina Meadows Bell’s sermon entitled “Dry Bones”, aroused an awakening among all who attended. Our Sunday Closing Session was memorable. Judge Michael Hancock, was one of the first African Americans to graduate from Gainesville High. However, he began his journey with the Butler class of 1967, celebrating our 50th graduation anniversary. His message took us on a journey from our early years at Fair Street, that included him, to the current place with so many different stories of success. We all took different paths, but the journey led us to a magical re-connection on Sunday, September 3, 2017. Judge Hancock, or Mike as he prefers was introduced by his lovely and intelligent wife, Odessa Buffington Hancock, a member of the class of 1966. She prepared the audience well for her husband of most of their lives.
The BOD wishes to thank each one who attended for reaching out and remembering that each of us have one common denominator Gainesville & Hall County Georgia. A small community nestled in the Northeast Georgia mountains, which has produced Judges, Lawyers, Business Executives, Entrepreneurs, Doctors, Ministers of the Gospel…….  ……a proud group of Gainesvillians making a difference in this world. As Jesse Jackson has said so many times “Keep Hope Alive”.  We have so much to build upon, that we must pass on, or the struggles of so many will be for naught. This is the soul of our organization, renewed biennially at our Reunion with a purpose. 
Think about our children & grandchildren who want to further their training or education beyond high school. It is expensive and growing yearly beyond the resource of most of us. Our focus is to help as many as we can to realize their dream. Many of you gave from $10 to $1500 to finance this. Why not make a commitment now to send a check monthly or quarterly to fulfill that commitment for 2019?  As we discussed at the reunion, we all need to give back. One helps one. This money is tax deductible, but it will also make you feel better in knowing that you are giving to a cause that you will be able to see the product. The students are worth every dime. So, act now.
As a heads-up, we will start working on Reunion 2019 in a few weeks, if you have any ideas and or suggestions regarding the reunion please feel free to share with any Board member or leave us a note here. 
In closing, I say “Thank You” to this outstanding Board of Directors. It has been a pleasure to work with you and enjoy your company. No one person makes the Reunion; each person brings a unique perspective and flair. We roll it, mesh it together to create a product that works for us and pleases the Tiger Alumni Nation. The reward is the pleasure we receive when everyone (or about 99%) of the Alumni has a great time and leave getting ready for the next reunion.
At Reunion 2019 we will honor the class of 1969, who closed the doors of the Fair St.-Butler High era. Plan now to be there!
Theresa Anderson Puryear
Business Manager – Class of 1967


New Membership Levels

Your BOD is now an organization with a full-time agenda,  not just the biennial reunion. To defray expenses that come with this expansion, we asked our members to contribute. Make no mistake about this, every person who claims membership is a full member regardless of any donations. We created the VIP Maroon Level to allow our members to help pay these expenses. Details of this level:


  • Cost is $25 per person
  • Participants receive Membership Card or Certificate
  • Recognition on Program at the  Reunion
  • All at this level will be honored at the next Reunion and online as is appropriate

Preparing for our future means training and educating our young people to be able to answer the call by preparing for it. In response to the speech of John Harris at the 2015 Reunion Closing Lunch, our former President Ms Deborah Keith Mack committed to donate $1,000 to the Scholarship Fund. She inadvertently created the new VIP  Tiger Booster Membership Level:


  • $1,000 per person or couple
  • All benefits of Maroon VIP Level
  • Certificate to acknowledge contribution
  • 20% reduction of Reunion fees
  • Additional recognition at Reunion (TBD)


Again, it is well recognized and acceptable that not all are able and willing to participate. If you are, please add $25 payment with your registration for VIP. If you would like to participate at the Tiger Booster, please send an email to or call John Harris at 404-421-9862. We ill send a direct mail to some of you and hope you will respond.


John W. Harris

Director of Membership & Communications

Class of 1965





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The Amen Corner – “We’ve come this far by faith”



W live in a time when it seems these words have never been truer. When we look around our world and into the circles in which we live, we are reminded that it’s been our faith in almighty God that has sustained us. Who would have thought that the president elect would be taking office? Times like these remind us that we need a Savior. Regardless of who our candidate was in the election, one has to agree that each day of cabinet selections prove to be unbelievable.

I believe that God has and always is in the shadows keeping watch above His own. Maybe this is just a time for the faithful to reaffirm their faith and trust in God. Our land is sick, it’s sin-sick, crime and mayhem gets higher every night, yet God still say’s “If My people who are called by My name would humble themselves, and pray, seek, My face and turn from their wicked way’s, I will hear their prayer, forgive their sins and heal the land”.

Often we are reminded that in order to have a clear picture of where we are going, we have to have a clear picture of where we have been. We have never made it on policy, power or politics. It’s always been God who opened doors, made ways and caused us to survive and thrive against all odds. Regardless of who’s in the white house let’s make sure God’s in our house.

When we look back at how we’ve made it, we come to the conclusion that “we’ve come this far by faith”.

I pray that we all have the merriest Christmas ever and that our New Year is brighter than ever, and that we live in the promises, provisions, and the power of God.


Pastor NilesMs Prez Fair St 004 (3)

Where are they now? – Carol Jean Thompson King Keavney

img_0227-20170107-203309If it’s the third Saturday morning of the month, you’re most likely to find C.J. Keavney at a fine dining restaurant with stunning views of a placid lake surrounded by luxury homes and sailboats in Westlake Village, a tiny suburb about 40 miles northwest of Los Angeles. As president of the Democratic Women’s Council of the Conejo Valley (DWCCV), you will find her presiding over the group’s champagne brunch meeting.

A graduate of E.E. Butler High School Class of ’67, Carol Jean Thompson King Keavney began using the C.J. moniker when she became a consultant with the eco-chic fashion line, kikaPaprika Inc. “My late husband, Patrick, used to call me C.J,” she recalled. “So, I decided to use it to project a snazzy fashion consultant image.”

Always informative and frequently entertaining, DWCCV’s campaign brunches are major meet-and-greets for local, state and national Democratic candidates and other political notables. Many credit C.J.’s program planning and “emceeing” for creating enthusiasm during the meetings.

“I use my Oprah voice to announce the speakers,” said C.J., who was inspired by watching the way Oprah Winfrey created rousing exciting when she welcomed guests to her syndicated talk show. “Both the speakers and brunch attendees really get a kick out of it.”

Taking advantage of the opportunity to leave biotech giant Amgen Inc. in late 2007, not only gave C.J. time to catch Oprah episodes but accelerated her involvement with the Ventura County Democratic Party. In 2008, she became club rep for the Democratic Club of the Conejo Valley (DCCV) on the Ventura County Democratic Central Committee. She became an elected District 2 delegate in 2010 and was re-elected in June to the central committee of which she also is former vice chair.

Since attending her first California Democratic Party Convention, also in 2008; C.J. hasn’t missed a state convention. Her statewide involvement continues to expand with appointment to the California Democratic Party’s Executive Board, where she helps set the party’s policies.

“I have a real passion for politics, especially Democratic Party politics,” said C.J., whose participation went into hyper speed during the 2008 and 2012 general elections. She joined a delegation of nearly three dozen Ventura County voters who braved the freezing Washington, DC, temperature to witness President Obama’s 2009 inauguration.

Working to register voters at shopping malls, fairs and festivals, farmer’s markets and in her Newbury Park neighborhood, she helped the Ventura County Democratic Party, transform the county from red to blue. “Just six years ago, Ventura County registered voters were predominantly Republican. Today, Democrats now make up 42 percent of the county’s nearly 500,000 voters over 33 percent Republicans.”

Recognition for C.J.’s efforts include DCCV’s Volunteer of the Year and the Truman Volunteer Honoree Award from the Democratic Party of the San Fernando Valley. In October, she received the Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Volunteer of the Year, 44th Assembly District, presented by the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, the largest political party in the US.

While California held the blue wall with an overwhelming 63 percent for the Democratic presidential candidate, C.J. was devastated by the electoral college decision for the 2016 general election. “I have a lot of trepidation over what the next administration will bring; not just for this country but for the entire world,” she said.

When considering her most successful political or social accomplishments, C.J. counts leading DCCV’s 2013 Garden Party Committee, which holds the record as the club’s most successful fundraising event. She also chaired the VCDP Endorsement Committee that first implemented carefully developed procedures for guiding endorsement of candidates in down-ticket races in 2010. In 2009, she helped DWCCV establish scholarships for young women graduating from the five Conejo Valley public high schools. Renamed in 2015 to honor a state senator, whose environmental legislation have influenced worldwide emission standards, the “Fran Pavley Scholarship for Empowering Young Women” has honored 31 young high school seniors with awards totaling nearly $35,000.

In addition to Democratic Party politics, C.J.’s affiliations include the Ventura County Leadership Academy, City of Thousand Oaks Business Roundtable, NAACP – Ventura County Chapter, Save Our Open Space & Agricultural Resources (SOAR) environmental organization, AAUW (American Association of University Women) – Thousand Oaks, Ventura County Reproductive Rights Network, Ventura County Women’s Forum Collaborative, the nonpartisan Ventura County Women’s Political Council and Friends of the Thousand Oaks Library. She was a founding board member of Wells Bring Hope, a nonprofit helping women and girls in Niger, West Africa, by providing access to clean and safe water.

C.J. supported The Greater Contribution, a nonprofit raising funds and awareness to fight poverty worldwide, by portraying a micro loan recipient from Uganda, East Africa, at various civic and volunteer organizations. She also has performed in a local production of The Vagina Monologues” and excerpts from “Race.”

Besides working 13 years with Amgen Inc. and two years with kikaPaprika Inc., C.J. also worked two years in advertising sales for professional journals that publish scholarly reviewed scientific articles for SAGE Publications, Inc. Currently, she is working on starting a consulting business, C.J. Communications. She also is considering resuming efforts to earn a master’s degree in public policy.

She keeps in touch with her daughter, Michelle King; sister, Yasmin Thompson; brother and sister-in-law, John & Aletheia Thompson; and other family members and friends in Georgia, Massachusetts and Florida.