LeMoyne-Owen College Alumni Affairs Director Frankie Jeffries. (Photo: Tyrone P. Easley)

LeMoyne-Owen College Alumni Affairs Director Frankie Jeffries was the centerpiece of a goodbye-and-farewell celebration last Friday. Alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends gathered in the Dorothy Harris Lounge for her retirement ceremony.

The room was filled to capacity as National Alumni President Jesse Chatman opened up the program and then acknowledgements started to flow.

“Frankie Jeffries has truly been exceedingly awesome and the conduit that has kept alums and alumni relations engaged and vital to the well-being of LeMoyne-Owen College,” Chatman said. “It has been and still is an extraordinary privilege to serve with her.”

Former National Alumni Association presidents shared comments about working with Jeffries.

“The retirement of Frankie Jeffries will have a profound impact on alumni relations at the college,” said Jeffrey Higgs, immediate past president. “Her dedication to planned giving and alumni affairs will be hard to replace.”

Higgs said Jeffries “was always working to assist alumni nationally and locally with college relationships. She was our bridge to the college. We hope the college can engage with alumni to find a suitable replacement.”

Michael Robinson, division chair of Social and Behavioral Sciences, said Jeffries represented “the epitome of professionalism.”

“You have been courageous and (a) beacon of hope to others that have experienced adversity in their lives,” Robinson said. “I will miss your encouraging words, presence and wisdom. Thanks for your frankness – Frankie!”

Dr. June Chinn-Jointer, dean of Student Retention, Jeffries was a colleague, friend and church member.

“LeMoyne-Owen College will be at a lost without Ms. Frankie Mitchell Jeffries in the Office of Alumni Affairs and Plan Giving,” Chinn-Jointer said. “She was patient, caring, supportive and professional at all times.”

Jeffries gave her time and her own money to aid students, alumni and friends, Chinn-Jointer said. “She bought cards, flowers, tickets, books and lunches for any student, staff or faculty she thought needed a lift or help. …

“She is a certified Plan Giver and knows how to motivate alumni and friends of the College to give, or leave something to the College in their wills. It is going to be very hard to find a person who has her class and professionalism to fill her position.”

(To learn more about the LeMoyne-Owen College National Alumni Association, email [email protected] or visit locnaa.com. Paula Anderson is a freelance journalist. She can be reached at [email protected].)