Drexel Catholic High School alumni collection
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Drexel Catholic High School alumni collection

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Auburn Avenue Research Library
Title: Drexel Catholic High School alumni collection
Dates: 1964-1967
Quantity: 2.5 linear ft.
Abstract:The collection contains yearbooks, textbooks, information on the birth of the high school, general correspondence, newsletters, photographs, and artifacts including class rings, a sweatshirt, and a trophy documenting student life and school operations at Drexel Catholic High School in Atlanta, Georgia, from 1964 through 1967.
Identification: aarl95-020

Biographical/Historical Note

Drexel Catholic High School began in the mind of The Most Reverend Francis E. Hyland, Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Atlanta, from 1956 to 1961, when he thought about opening a high school for the purpose of providing quality education for African-American Catholic and nonCatholic students. Through the generosity of the trustees of the Raskob Foundation for Catholic Activities, Inc., Wilmington, Delaware, the diocese was granted the funds for the new school.

The school was erected at 631 Harwell Road, NW, on a property that was formally owned by the Medical Mission Sisters. The name Drexel was chosen in honor of Mother Mary Katherine Drexel, founder of the Sisters of The Blessed Sacrament, and a pioneer in the work of interracial justice. The Architectural Arts Offices of Albert 0. Ordway, A. I. A., designed Drexel's physical structure, and construction began in the summer of 1961. The general contractor was Van Winkle & Company of Atlanta.

Drexel Catholic High School was built to accommodate only 300 students, when it opened the first year, September of 1961 it started with a freshman class of 33 pupils. Thereafter, a grade was added each year until they reached a complete four-year high school. In June of 1965 enrollment was 122, and the school graduated its first senior class that year.

In 1966 the number of students increased to 138, and in 1967 that number increased to 156 students. The Reverend Richard O'Leary, C. P., was appointed principal. The Sisters of Saint Joseph and the Sisters of the Most Blessed Sacrament were the original members of the faculty; the faculty staff included Sister Mary Donatus, S. S. J., Sister Maureen Patricia, S. B. S., and Sister Mary Francois, S. B. S.

On September 23, 1962 the Most Reverend Paul J. Hallinan, Archbishop of Atlanta, dedicated the building. However, the Archdiocese saw that it was not feasible for enrollment to, grow, from other segments of Atlanta, in order for the school to become large enough to fully provide the highest quality education envisioned; consequently, Drexel High School was closed in June, 1967 after graduating only three senior classes.

In July of 1969, the Atlanta Board of Education purchased the building, and it is now the site of Bazoline E. Usher Middle School. However, between 1961 and 1967 Drexel's students continued to share a special kinship unlike that experienced by students of any other school.

The Drexel students and the faculty nfembers have manifested in their lives and in, their communities, the motivation, values, traditions and successes, which they gained during the sixties. They realize how important it is for African Americans to record and to take responsibility for preserving their history as a testimony to their striving and accomplishments.

The students' and faculty's members' Diaspora is vast and varied, and truly, being a school without a home, the alumni have worked diligently to organize and contribute their legacy to the archives of the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History. This legacy will serve as a resource and as an inspiration to all people who are interested in the unique achievements and history of African Americans.

Scope and Content Note

Drexel Catholic High School Alumni Collection contains school records and alumni papers, documents and memorabilia. The collection, which spans the years 1956 to 1961, and has been arranged into the following series: I. Publications (1961-1967); II. Biographical Information and general correspondence (1961-1967); III. Printed Materials, (1962-1967); IV. General Photographs; V. Miscellaneous School Documents; VI. Artifacts.


Organized into six series:

I. Publications
II. Biographical information and correspondence
III. Printed materials
IV. General photographs
V. Miscellaneous School Documents
VI. Artifacts

Index Terms

African American schools--Georgia--Atlanta.
African Americans--Education (Secondary)--Georgia--Atlanta--History--20th century.
Catholic high schools--Alumni and alumnae--Georgia--Atlanta.
Drexel Catholic High School (Atlanta, Ga.). -- Alumni and alumnae
School yearbooks.

Administrative Information


Mr. Marshall B. Thomas donated the Drexel Catholic High School Collection to the Auburn Avenue Research Library in 1995.

Processing Information

Processed by Regina Broh-Castin. Completed in 1995

Container List

  Scope and Contents noteScope and Contents noteScope and Contents noteScope and Contents noteScope and Contents noteGeneral note

Series I: Publications, 1961-1967

Contains three Drexel High School yearbooks (1965, 1966, & 1967); three textbooks with Drexel High School box cevers, and thre issues of the school newsletter, The Tattler

Subseries IA: Books


13 Drexel Catholic High School Yearbooks ( Pendulum), 1965-1967
3 textbooks with "Drexel Catholic High School" bookcovers:
Adult Writing - Anita Thomas
English assignment included, 1965
Effective Writing - Marshall Thomas
Toward the Eternal Commencement - Bonnie K. Bohannon

Subseries IB: Newspaper Clippings, 1961-1967

Georgia Bulletin (entries Reproduction): Newspaper clifppings, articles with photographs attached.



Article - Sermon - Dedication of Our Lady of Lourdes Church (includes history of Mother Katherine Drexel), p. 8, April 15
Newspaper clippings with articles on Drexel High School, 1961-1981
Photo & article - New Diocesan High School to Open In Fall (New School Plant for Northwest Atlanta), p. 1, July 22
Photo & article - Third Diocesan School Opens p. 1, December 9
Drexel High Located in NW Atlanta
Article - Two Named to Board of Consultors, p. 1, May 12
8 Pastors, 3 Principals on New School Board (Fr. Richard)
Photo - Drexel, St. Pius & Marist students at Summer School of Catholic Action at Hendersonville, NC, p. 8, June 20
Photo & article - Drexel High - Student Council Officers Installed, p. 8, November 21
Photo & article - Students Sponsor - Drexel High Holds Fellowship Dinner, p. 12, December 12
Article - Drexel High Visits Home, p. 8, December 26
Photo & article - Day Tour, p. 7, January 23
Drexel High Clubs Entertain Parents, p. 7, February 6
Photo & article - Pi-High Journalists Guests at Drexel, p. 6, February 13
Six Archdiocesan Lay Advisors For Education, p. 1, February 20
Article - Drexel High Parents Meet, p. 7, March 26
Article - Drexel High Club Entertains Parents, March 26
Article - p. 8, Order of Mary Recollection Day, March 26
Article - Nuns Outlive Average US Women (photo of Sr. Frederick). This article was not found among the items, p. 6, April 30
Photos - May Procession, p. 7, May 21
Fr. Richard (ring ceremony Class of 1965), p. 7, May 28
Photo - Fr. Hoffman, p. 3, June 25
Photo - Fr. Hoffman, Clergy & Laity, p. 1, July 30
Photo - Fr. Richard (installation of Student Council Officers, Class of 1965), p. 7, October 15
Photo & article - Newman Club - Initiation At St. Paul's (Fr. Alban Harmon), p. 6, November 26
Article - Students at Drexel Aid in TAP Program, p. 6, January 21
Article - Fund of High Schools Vital Expansion, p. 1, February 4
p. 7, Mother - Daughter Tea (Teachers), February 4
Article - Drexel Tops TAP Drive (Juanita Huff awarded scholarship), p. 6, February 11
Photo - Drexel High Paper the Tattler, p. 6, March 25
Drexel High Holds First Coronation, March 25
p. 8, article - Great Interest in Math Course Here (Sr. Leonard), March 25
Charter Members - National Honor Society, p. 6, April 15
Photo & article - Drexel Forms Honor Group, April 15
p. 9, Drexelite tells of Selma March (Barbara Williams), April 15
Photo - Felicia Jeter wins Vocation Essay Contest; elected co-editor of yearbook, p. 1, May 13
p. 2, Graduation Set for High School…, May 13
This article was not found in the collection.
p. 8, Drexel Annual May Procession (Lynn Sims), May 13
Photo - Fr. Hoffman & teachers at joint graduation (left top) & graduates of all schools (right top), p. 8, June 3
Photo - Drexel Senior Class of 1965, p. 7, June 17, 2 copies
Photo - (left top) Six Students from Drexel, p. 8, June 24, 3 copies
Photo - (left, 1st column) Barbara Williams awarded full scholarship (Mt. St. Agnes College, Baltimore), p. 6, July 8
Photo - 2nd photo (top - Drexelite)..., p. 6, July 15
This photo was not found in the collection.
Photo & article - Fr. Richard - Drexel's Head Leaves Atlanta for Health..., p. 3, July 22
This was not found in the collection.
Photo & article - High School Seniors Discuss Status of Eighteen Year Old, p. 6, August 26
Photo - Fr. Hoffman, p. 3, October 21
Photo - Annual Thanksgiving Dinner, p. 8, December 2
Photo & article - Vatican Council. A Story of Achievement, Promise, p. 7, December 30
Photo - Bishop with Drexel students (lower, center), p. 6, February 17
Photo - Drexel High School, p. 6, March 3
p. 8, 3rd photo, March 3
Photo & article - Jeter Crowned Drexel Queen, p. 8, March 10
Drexel Hears Archbishop, p. 6, March 17
Photo - Andrew Hill (scholarship - Manhattan College), Marion Jenkins (scholarships - Xavier, Univ. of Louisville, Clark, Morehouse), p. 7, April 21
p. 8, Article - Drexel Track Win (2nd Place in District I Track Meet April 16, - Arthur Jackson leading scorer of the day 0 6th Jump/130 ft. toss - Jeep Jenkins turned half mile in 2:10 - Tink Thomas set meet record in the mile, in 5:05), April 21
Photo - Cassandra Peters - full scholarship to Briar Cliff College - Felicia Jeter - recipient of two scholarships (not named), p. 3, May 12
Photo - Graduation (Fr. Hoffman on stage), p. 2, June 2
Andrew Hill - One of six winners for Davison's Scholarship Award ($500), p. 7, June 23
Drexel Will Expand School's CAP Study, p. 2, August 18
Catholic School's Highest Enrollment, p. 1, August 25
Drexelites Honored - National Achievement Scholarship Program for Outstanding Negro Students. Candidates - Theodore Lyons, Kenneth Mannings, Reginia Rogers, Anita Thomas & Judy Watkins, p. 6, September 15
Photo - Robert Gaines & Shelia Newborn in "Our Town", p. 7, November 10
Felicia Jeter, elected President of freshman class at Mundelein College, Chicago, IL., p. 5, December 1
Article - Young and Alert (Fr. Kiernan), p. 4, December 8
Teacher's Institute - the Emerging Layman's Role in a Time of Challenge & Change (Fr. Hoffman), p. 1, January 19
Photos - Drexel High - winning drama & debate competitions, p. 5, February 9
Photo - a Raisin In The Sun (rehearsal), p. 6, February 23
Photo & article - Drexel - Pupils to be Transferred When School Closes in June, p. 1, March 23
Article - Decision to Close Drexel Deferred for Further Study, p. 1, March 30
p. 5, Article - Drexel Death Shows You Still Just Can't See Us, March 30
See George Coleman's column in Atlanta Daily Works, March 26, 1967
Photo & article - Arguments on Closing of Drexel Aired at Education Board Meeting, p. 1 & 2, April 6
Article - Drexel Closing Final, p. 1, April 20
Photo - Robert Gaines - 1st place in the Georgia High School Association, April 20
Photo - Drexel Junior Leila Brown Leads with students from St. Paul, p. 2, April 27
Photo - Drexel's Military Ball Queen, Miss Paulette Potts/Kurt Hill, p. 6, May 4
Photo - Drexel Senior, Ingrid Frazier, May Queen, p. 2, May 18
Drexel Graduates - list of names- six will receive Scholastic Honor - Fr. Hoffman to present degree to Drexel's 35 graduates at ceremony held at the Fox, p. 7, May 25
Photo & article - Fr. Hoffman Chaplain at Emory, p. 1, June 22

Series II: Biographical Information and General Correspondence, 1961-1967

Contains information on the birth of Drexel Catholic High School and general correspondence throughout the collection. These are photocopies from the Arhives of Drexel Catholic High School.



211The Drexel Story...Reflection of a 17 year old, 1967
12Correspondence: From Rev. Daniel J. O'Connor, 1967
12Correspondence: Rev. Joseph L. Bernardin, to Mr. Sam McQuaid, 1967
12Correspondence: Board of Education, n.d.
13Correspondence: Construction loans for Drexel, 1961
14Correspondence: Rev. N. C. Burtenshaw, to Mr. Benjamin Raskob, 1967
14Correspondence: Rev. O'Connor, to Rev. Paul J. Hallinan, 1967
14Correspondence: Rev. N. C. Burtenshaw, to Rev. Edward J. Banks, 1968
14Correspondence: Laurence E. Enlow, to Catholic Archdiocese, 1968
15Correspondence: Laurence E. Enlow to Mr. James R. Brown, 1969
15Correspondence: Laurence E. Enlow, to Catholic Archdiocese, 1969
15Correspondence: Father Edward J. Banks, 1969
15Correspondence: Father Burtenshaw, to Archbishop Donnellan, 1969
15Correspondence: Rev. Thomas Donnellan, to Mr. Gerard S. Garey, 1969
16Bio - Drexel, Home and School Association Committee,, Mar. 25, 1967
16Correspondence: Archbishop Paul J. Hallinan, to Parents, 1967
16Correspondence: William Hoffman, to Rev. Paul Hallinan, 1969
17Drexel High School - Agreement Option to purchase Real Estate, 1961-1969
18Drexel Catholic High School Reunion, Drexel History, 1961-1967

Series III: Printed Materials (Newsletters).

Subseries IIIA: Newsletters, 1964-1967



219Vol. III, No. 6, May 4, 1966
20Vol. IV, No. 1, Oct. 27, 1966
21Vol. 2, No. 2, Oct. 1964
21Sept. 12, 1964
22Vol. II, No. 5, Mar. 19, 1965,
23Vol. II, No. 6, Apr. 19, 1965
24Vol. IV, Feb. 6, 1967
25Vol. 3, No. 3, n.d.

Subseries IIIB: Newspapers

Whole newspapers; newspaper clippings also in scrapbook from - The Georgia Bulletin, and the Atlanta Daily World; Atlanta Voice; Atlanta Journal from 1966-1967.



226Newspaper: Lively Living, featuring Andrew Hill, 1969
27Newspaper clipping - Harwell Road Elementary School to Open, n.d.

Series IV: General Photographs, 1960s

Contains general photographs of Drexel students and faculty members.



31Drexel students and faculty members., Nine photographs, 3"x4"
2Eleven b&w photographs
3Class of '67, Five photographs,
4Five photographs
5Six photographs (individuals identified)
6Father Richard Leary, C. P; a letter from Father Richard, Three photographs
7Diane Lynne Camer., One b&w photograph
8George Howard Terrell., One b&w photograph, 8"X10"
9Six b&w photographs
10Jackie Adams and others., Six b&w photographs, 2"X3"
11Carol Raper and others., Six b&w photographs, 2"X3"
12Three b&w photographs, 3"X5":
13One b&w photograph; two colored photographs., Three photographs:
14(photocopies) Drexel Queens - Carmen Comer; Felicia Jeter., Two photographs
15Drexel School building, courtyard; Father Hoffman, Four photographs
16George Terrell, Juanita Huff and Robert Harris., Five photographs
17George Terrell and Ralph McGill., Four photographs

Series V: Miscellaneous School Documents, 1961-1967



318Booklet: Reunion Celebration, 1961-1967, Atlanta, Ga., 12/27/95
19Ten Year Reunion Directory, July, 1975
20Agreement - Owner and Architect; letter, May 1, 1961
21Commencement Programs, name cards & invitations, 1965-1967
22Diploma - Drexel High School, for Marshall Braxton Thomas
23Diploma - Drexel High School, for George Howard Terrell.
24Diploma - Drexel High School, for Kathy Elaine McCree
25Diploma - Kathy Elaine McCree, May 26, 1963
26Certificate: National Honor Society of Secondary Schools, Carmen Comer.

Series VI: Artifacts


4One Drexel High School sweatshirt (gold & green)
One trophy - GIA Dist. 1, Class B. Runner-Up, 1966
One Drexel High school graduation tassel (gold), 1967
Two Drexel High School graduation rings (gold): one male, one female.