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How We Got Started

Promoting the Pursuit of Education

In March 2005, a motivated group of Howard University Alumni and friends from the Manasota area of Southwest Florida gathered to a call from Rosalind Ellerbee HUBA '56. The El Conquistador County Club was the venue and a southern breakfast was the menu. The master of ceremonies was Harvey Webb, Jr. HUBS '56, D.D.S.'60, MS. '62. Discussion ensued regarding the large numbers of Howard University graduates in the area who might not know each other and their many mutual friends from Southwest Florida who might not know about Howard University. The consensus was that Howard Alumni should shine their "Rays of Light" on the matter and make Howard known to the public, businesses and other institutions of higher learning, by holding a Howard University Scholarship Luncheon March 12, 2006, at the Hyatt Hotel in Sarasota, Florida. The group also desired to spread their "Rays of Light" for the educational and financial benefit of Howard University.


An Events Committee was formed at a second meeting consisting of Harvey Webb, Jr. and Thomas Peacock as co-chairmen and members John and Phyllis Gipson, Chloteal Lewis, Natalie Sievers, Rosalind Ellerbee and Elizabeth Early. The committee decided to work over the summer and fall to bring the Charter Day Luncheon to fruition. Thus began the labor of love that contacted over twelve hundred alumni, friends, businesses and institutions, which allowed Howard Alumni to spread their "Rays Of Light" over a portion of Florida, including Orlando, Clearwater, Naples and surrounding areas. The Howard Club of Southwest Florida is the result of this effort and this Scholarship Luncheon is the fruit of its labor.


Thank you for being a part of the new frontier of Howard University. 

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Left to Right: Back row: Phyllis Gipson, Vera Bryan, Harvey Webb, Jr. D.D.S., Elizabeth Early, Thomas Peacock D.D.S, Deborah Trice, Rosalind Ellerbee, Linda Trice, Frances Carter, Kim Sievers, Joseph Wharton, Natalie Sievers. Front row: John Gipson, Carl McClellan, Cynthia Jennings, Harrette Wade MD, Marion McClellan, Chloteal Lewis

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The hard-working Events Committee, renamed The Howard Club of Southwest Florida, became a formidable team. Seated: Natalie Sievers, Sylvia Kinard, Charlotte Scarbrough Ed.D, Leon West, Harvey Webb, Jr. D.D.S., Dorothy West, John Gipson and Timothy Stephen Jr., M.D. Standing: Chloteal Lewis, Phyllis Gipson, Rosalind Ellerbee, Thomas Peacock, D.D.S. Not shown are Elizabeth Early, Brenda B. Brown Ed.D, Dorothy Watson, James Lassiter Jr. D.D.S., Harold Brown and Joyce Ladner, PhD. 

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