A Homecoming for the Ages: Huston-Tillotson Grads Get First Class Ring

by Alexis Michele Higgins on April 23, 2019 in Lifestyle, Living Texas, Austin,

Community is the cornerstone of Austin, Texas. Yet, there’s something particularly refreshing about the culture within the African-American community in this city.

As a pillar on the East side of I-35 since 1952, the historically black college Huston-Tillotson breathes for many looking to enjoy the capital of Texas and call it home.

We are now two months from Black History Month and still reflecting on the university’s celebration in honor of their official class rings to its graduates for the first time. Friday, February 22nd, many university seniors gathered to rejoice in the unveiling of their soon-to-be class ring. After University President Dr. Colette Pierce-Burnette debuted the designs, students honored the Greek tradition of synchronized dance and chant made popular by black and Latino organizations by strolling through campus.

Patricia Taylor at Huston-Tillotson’s recent homecoming weekend in Austin. Photo Alexis Michele Higgins

The next day proved to be the highlight of everyone’s week. The Yard, the university’s main grounds, was filled with alumni, vendors, students and sweet smelling food. Patricia Taylor, a vendor from the women empowerment organization Ladies In Alignment said, “We have no choice but to get excited,” in response to the faces around campus. National Pan-Hellenic organizations of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Delta Sigma Theta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, Phi Beta Sigma and Omega Psi Phi were represented in a stroll-off that made the crowd roar. The winner’s title was given to Delta Sigma Theta based on poise, steps and uniform.

Kimberly Holiday, Lady Joy of Kazi 88.7 FM, (left) and Kevin Carroll, Deejay Slyce of Kazi 88.7 FM (right) are all smiles in between broadcasts on Huston-Tillotson’s beautiful campus. Photo Alexis Michele Higgins

KAZI 88.7, the oldest community radio station in Austin, kept listeners involved with broadcasts live from the President’s trailer with the help of radio hosts Kimberly Holiday and Kevin Carroll. Comedian and Homecoming King of 2000 Marcellus Crayton invited listeners out for “a hellacious time,” as he voiced his support for local businesses and creatives.

Zeta Phi Beta sorority members lead the line in its signature stroll. Photo Alexis Michele Higgins

This homecoming was one to remember. It brought those of all colors together and uplifted the community surrounding it with addicting energy. Huston-Tillotson was the first institution of higher learning in Austin and its student body continues to grow.

Visit HT’s beautifully landscaped campus on Austin’s east side at 900 Chicon Street to learn more about the opportunities offered for liberal arts majors.

Editor’s note: A heartfelt congratulations to Women Communicators of Austin’s 2019 Banner Award honoree Dr. Colette Pierce Burnette, who receives the Liz Carpenter Lifetime Achievement Award May 4th at WCAustin’s annual Banner Brunch.


Cover photo: Alpha Phi Alpha brothers take the competition to the audience. Photo Alexis Michele Higgins

Alexis Michele Higgins, a Texas State University student from Houston, has a professional background in the music and entertainment. As graduation approaches, she looks forward to the launch of her own company.