History Of BWINAANA
It was men and women with vision, working together for a just cause, that thought of establishing a national body in North America to which all graduates, former students, faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of the Booker Washington Agricultural & Industrial Institute of Liberia could belong. Among those men and women of vision were Delores Zor-Edwards, Emmett Jones, Emmett Fiawoo, Arthur K. Watson, Joe Isaac, Bennie D. Warner, Edith Carr, Daniel R. Henri, Foudiya K. Henri, Vera Peal-Weah, Paul Mulbah, Samuel T. Rennie, Stephen A. Sawyer, Femon Padmore, Steven Kpou, Ceasar Gardiner, Roberta Gardiner and others.
The association was formally established at a meeting on May 26, 1991 during the sixty-second Founders' Day celebration in the Washington DC Metro area. The meeting was held at the Halfnor Park Community Center, 42 Oswega Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland. Mrs. Delores Zor-Edwards, vice president, BWI Former Students Association of Washington, D.C. presided. Some members of the DC chapter at the gathering included, Mr. Joe Isaac, Mr. & Mrs. Emmett Fiawoo, Mr. & Mrs. Samuel Rennie, Mr. & Mrs. Daniel Ralph Henri and Mr. Robert Kilby. Those from the NY/NJ Chapter included Mr. & Mrs. Ceasar Gardiner, Mr. Emmett Jones, Mr. & Mrs. Femon Padmore, Mr. & Mrs. Arthur K. Watson, Mr. Momo Peters, Mr. Stephen Sawyer, and Mrs. Vera peal-Weah. Others from various places included Mr. & Mrs. Stephen Kpou from the PA Chapter, Mr. & Mrs. F. Amadu Sirleaf and family, and. Dr. Bennie D. Warner, who provided the keynote Address.
The following interim officers, Mr. Emmett Fiawoo, General Secretary, Mr. Stephen A. Sawyer, Deputy Secretary, Mrs. Vera Peal-Weah, Secretary, and Mr. Daniel R. Henri, Treasurer, were elected to coordinate the efforts for the formation of a National BWI Alumni Association and for the convening of the first national convention. On January 11, 1992, the General Secretary, Mr. Emmett Fiawoo convened a meeting in Newark, New Jersey at the then famous DEKONTE Social Club operate by another BWI Alumnus, Mr. Patrick Blake. Discussions for the first national convention and other matters were held at this gathering. The following chapters were in attendance: Rhode Island, Washington, DC, and the host chapter, NY/NJ. Mr. Alexander Massey was elected to chair the Constitution Committee and the first convention was scheduled for June 27, 1992 in Providence, Rhode Island.
At our first Annual Convention & Founders' Day gathering in 1992 in Providence, Rhode Island, we had five registered chapters and observers in attendance. The organization has since grown to thirteen chapters with an ongoing effort to establish several new chapters in various states. The organization is open to all graduates, former students, faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of BWI. The major goal is to fulfill our commitment to our alma mater by doing everything possible to keep the legacy of BWI alive.