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Published on March 8th, 2014 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Richland One Hall of Fame Induction Gala set for March 22

Tickets are on sale for the 10th annual Richland One Hall of Fame Induction Gala which will be held Saturday, March 22, 2014 at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, 1101 Lincoln Street.

Richland One will induct ten new members into the Hall of Fame which was established in 2004 to recognize graduates of Richland One schools and other persons throughout the district’s history who have made significant contributions to Richland One, their communities, their professions and society as a whole. The gala also will salute all 47 of the men and women who have received the district’s highest honor since the inception of the Hall of Fame.

A red-carpet reception at 6:00 p.m. will kick off the evening’s festivities, with the program/dinner starting at 7:00 p.m. WIS News 10 anchor Judi Gatson will serve as emcee. Entertainment will be provided by Connie James, a New York City singer-actress who is a graduate of Columbia High School. Saxophonist Dante’ Lewis’ Band also will perform. Lewis is a graduate of Eau Claire High School. A dance featuring music from DJ Nitro will begin immediately following the program. Attire for the gala is black-tie optional.

Tickets are $55 for Richland One employees and Richland One retirees. Tickets are $75 each or $125 per couple for the general public. To purchase tickets, call the Richland One Office of Communications at 231-7504.

The members of the 2013 Richland One Hall of Fame induction class are:
§ Heyward Bannister, a 1969 graduate of Hopkins High School who is president and CEO of BANCO/Bannister Company, the public relations, political consulting and marketing firm he opened in 1992.

§ Dr. Thaddeus J. Bell, a family practitioner in North Charleston, South Carolina who is a 1962 graduate of C.A. Johnson High School and founder of Closing the Gap in Health Care, a nonprofit organization aimed at decreasing health disparities by providing health education for African-Americans and other underserved populations.

§ Shirley A. Davis, a graduate of Hopkins High School who served on the Richland One Board of School Commissioners from 1992-2000 and whose life’s work was dedicated to being the voice for special needs and underserved children and their families. Mrs. Davis passed away on August 9, 2009.

§ Naomi Hall Dreher, a 1939 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School who served as a teacher, principal and consultant in Richland One for 43 years and was the first African-American woman to work as a personnel coordinator in the district’s Human Resources Office where she hired teachers.

§ Attorney Francenia “Frannie” B. Heizer, a 1972 graduate of Dreher High School who was the first woman to be elected to Columbia City Council and the first woman elected Mayor Pro Tempore for the City of Columbia.

§ Bette Jamison, a 1969 graduate of A.C. Flora High School who was the second woman producer-director hired to work for South Carolina Educational Television (SCETV) and currently works part-time with the ETV education team.

§ Dr. Evaretta Sims Rutherford, a native of Washington, D.C., who taught English, Latin and French at Booker T. Washington High School and later served as an instructor and administrator at Benedict College and at Howard University. Dr. Rutherford passed away in 1978.

§ Dr. Harry B. Rutherford, a 1928 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School who taught mathematics at Booker T. Washington and later served as principal of Carver Junior High School, Waverley Elementary School and Booker T. Washington. Dr. Rutherford passed away in 1980.

§ Catherine B. Davis Thomas, a Fairfield County native who gave more than 56 years of service as an educator and began her career in 1951 as an English and reading teacher in Richland One. Mrs. Thomas passed away on August 4, 2012.

§ Archie Preston Williams, Jr., a 1932 graduate of Booker T. Washington High School who operated A.P. Williams Funeral Home from 1936 until his death in 1992 and helped to establish the Richland County Concerned Citizens Committee which challenged segregation and racial discrimination.

For more information about the Richland One Hall of Fame, go to or contact Karen York in the Richland One Office of Communications at 231-7504.



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