HUD official visits city
By By Sherry Digmon
Advance Staff Writer
Howard Tutman Jr., was welcomed to Atmore amid a sea of red.
Tutman, a high ranking official with the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C., was given a dignitary's welcome to Atmore Thursday night.
His rank in government warranted such a welcome, but the men wearing their signature red blazers lined up in front of The Wisteria to welcome Tutman as Grand Polemarch of the International Fraternity of Kappa Alpha Psi, Inc.
Tutman's limousine was given a police escort from Pensacola. The Atmore Police Department picked up the entourage at the Florida line and escorted them to The Wisteria on Main Street.
Tutman likened his treatment to that afforded HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo and even President Bill Clinton.
The Grand Polemarch came to Atmore to help the Atmore Alumni Chapter celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Mayor Rodney Owens had proclaimed Thursday, Feb. 24, as Kappa Alpha Psi Day in Atmore. He presented Tutman with a key to the city during a reception in his honor.
Tutman was not the only man honored during the evening. The Atmore Alumni Chapter of the fraternity presented a plaque and gifts to Eldred Pritchett, one of the chapter's founders, and named him Kappa of the Century.
Pritchett's family stood by his side as he was honored.
Maurice Moore, Polemarch of the Atmore Alumni Chapter, presided before a standing-room-only audience.
James C. Cox, division superintendent of Baldwin County Schools and member of the Board of Trustees of Alabama State University, gave the call to order.
Tutman was presented with numerous plaques and gifts, in appreciation for his work with HUD, for his contributions and leadership, and as a welcome to Atmore.
Those presenting expressions were Elsie Stuart, president of the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce; Emilie Mims, executive director of the chamber; F. Diannah Rowser, president of the Alabama Democratic Conference; Lillie Johnson, president of the local chapter of the NAACP; Eldred Pritchett, founding member of the Progressive Civic and Recreational Club; Dr. Margaret Breland-Bradley, superintendent of the Escambia County Board of Education; Alesia Stuart, president of the Conecuh County Chamber of Commerce and head of marketing for Reid State Technical College; Wiley Tait, Escambia County commissioner for District 5; Dr. Susan McBride, president of Jefferson Davis Community College; Billy Ghee, a member of the Monroeville City Council; Carrie Holland Martin, representing the Creek Nation; Lavan Martin, chairman of the Poarch Creek Indian Housing Advisory Board; Dr. Douglas Littles, president of H. Council Trenholm State Technical College in Montgomery; Jim Johnson, chairman of the Atmore Utilities Board; and Probate Judge Devon Wiggins.
W.J. Grissett, a member of the Escambia County Ala. Board of Education, closed the evening with felicitations.
The Atmore Alumni Chapter invited several special guests to join in their celebration.
The guest list read like a KAP Who's Who. In addition to Tutman, special guests were Senior Grand Vice Polemarch Samuel Hamilton, Hartford, Conn.; Junior Grand Vice Polemarch Kareem Brantley, Gainesville, Fla.; Executive Director Richard Lee Snow, Philadelphia; Grand Polemarch's Assistant Robert G. Jacobs, Severn, Md., Polemarch, Southern Province, Dr. Frank S. Emanuel, Jacksonville, Fla.; Prichard Alumni Chapter; Editor, KAP Journal, Dr. Keflyn Reed, Mobile; members of the Grand Board of Directors; members of the Southern Province; and members of the Kappa Foundation.