September 13, 2013
The NAACP annual banquet honored the work of a local woman and featured the words of UVa's president.
The Charlottesville-Albemarle NAACP held its annual Freedom Fund Banquet Friday night.
Annie Mae Dorns Merrit won the Charlottesville-Albemarle NAACP's Humanitarian award this year. Merritt is a member of First Baptist Church in Charlottesville. She has served there as a deaconess, Sunday School teacher, and member of the church choir. She also worked UVa as a nurse. Merritt is 98 years old.
UVa president Teresa Sullivan spoke at the event. The number of black undergraduate students at UVa has declined since the 1990's. Rick Turner, the Charlottesville-Albemarle NAACP president, voiced concerns about the that recent changes to AccessUVa, UVa's financial aid program, will continue this trend.
"The community is very concerned because we feel that the revamping of the scholarship will lower the enrollment of African American students and other low income students," said Turner.
Turner said that the group was happy to have Sullivan as their Guest Speaker.
"We're delighted to have her speak," said Turner. "She's the kind of woman that wants to be a part of the community."
The event also recognized Timothy Morse as the recipient of the 2013 NAACP and Federal Executive Institute Scholarship Recipient. Morse, a student at Bridgewater College, read his essay, "Why the NAACP is Still Relevant" at the dinner.