Morgan Academy prepares to celebrate 50th anniversary

Published 12:14 am Saturday, September 19, 2015

John Tyler Morgan Academy will celebrate its 50th anniversary next month by inviting more than 2,000 alumni back to school.

In the summer of 1965, Morgan Academy was incorporated as a nonprofit educational institution and has been growing ever since.

“It started in the John Tyler Morgan house on Church Street [with] just 100 or so kids, and it has grown to almost 500 students,” said Lauren Henry, who is chairing the 50th anniversary committee. “We’re really excited about Morgan 50 because this is the first opportunity that we’ve had to ask all of the alumni to come back.”

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Henry said the school will have a two-day celebration Oct. 16-17 beginning with homecoming that Friday night.

With so many alumni being invited back to the campus, Henry said the school will be having a campus tour and tailgate for alumni before the game.

The first Morgan football team, state championship teams, former homecoming queens and more will also be honored before the start of the football game against Fort Dale Academy.

“It’s not so much about the school and the actual place and the campus, it’s about all the memories that we’ve had here from kindergarten through 12th grade,” Henry said. “There’s been a lot of good ones.”

An alumni herself, Henry said she is looking forward to the events and seeing all the former students back at home.

The homecoming festivities continue Saturday night with performances by Selma native Destiny Brown, Telluride and Dallas Dorsey and the Rails at the Selma Amphitheater. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the show is set to start at 7:30 p.m. Henry said between performances, classmates and family members will honor the lives of alumni that have passed away.

“We wanted to honor those memories, so in between acts Saturday night, we’re going to have a sky lantern launch and name off the fallen Senators.”

Karim Oaks, director of instruction, said Morgan is more like a family than it is a school.

“One of the reasons I teach is because I had a great elementary and high school experience here at Morgan Academy, and I want these students to have the same experience that I had,” Oaks said. “We’re like schools used to be. We have that camaraderie and that family atmosphere here at the school.”