Birth of the National Mary Potter Club, Inc.

The Mary Potter Story

excepts taken from Our Story; The African-American Presence in Granville County, North Carolina by Bessye Lawrence McGhee

The purpose of the National Mary Potter Club, Incorporated is to perpetuate the ideals and standards of excellence set forth by the founder; to preserve the history of Mary Potter School; to foster fellowship and comradery among its members; and to keep the Mary Potter Spirit ever alive.

It was 1975. Ruth Umstead Clark, Helen Currin Amis, Gracye Hall Moore and Bessye Lawrence McGhee began the awesome task of planning a grand reunion.

The 1976 Mary Potter Reunion was an overwhelming success.
Headquarters: Holiday Inn, Henderson, NC
Activities in Oxford, NC:
Breakfast: Mary Potter School Lunch: Central Children’s Home Worship: First Baptist Church

Cornell “CC” Powell, a former student and teacher at Mary Potter suggested that the larger challenge of sponsoring a reunion of all classes, 1898-1970, should be attempted.

The 1979 Mary Potter Reunion at the Sheraton Centre Hotel in New York City was phenomenal. Over 1,500 alumni and friends gathered from across the nation.

On the Friday after Thanksgiving, November 23, 1979, a group met at the home of David and Bessye McGhee to discuss formation of a National Mary Potter Club. In attendance were John Harding Lucas, Cornell “CC” Powell, Marilyn Tyler Brown, Isaac Royster, Ellis Allen, Gracye Hall Moore, Rose Williams Hedgepeth, Lethia Jordan Johnson, and Ruth Umstead Clark. This group brainstormed and decided to seek the legal expertise of Attorney Willie Darby.

In the spring of 1980, they met at the home of Charles E. Gregory where Articles of Incorporation were formulated. The Honorable George Royster Greene, member of the Class of 1948, assisted with the process. Others attending that meeting, in addition to the original group, were Eddie Carroll, Irene Miller, Marshall Cooper, Cornelia Hunt Broadie and James “Eddie” McCoy.