LAURINBURG — Over the weekend, the iconic Laurinburg Institute will hold its 4th Annual Hall of Fame event and raise funds and awareness for the schools “rebirth.”
The event will feature attendees playing a round of golf at Deercroft Country Club today at 12:30 p.m.; a community issues forum on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at Bright Hopewell Baptist Church; and a silent auction and dinner starting at 5:30 p.m. at Bright Hopewell.
“The Hall of Fame event is meant to acknowledge and identify people who can make a difference not only to the school but also to the community,” said Frank “Bishop” McDuffie, Laurinburg Institute headmaster.
The Laurinburg Institute is the oldest African-American boarding school in the nation and was founded in 1904 by Emmanual Monty and Tinny McDuffie, the grandparents of Frank McDuffie.
There is a total of 50 members in the Laurinburg Institute Hall of Fame, and the boarding school expects to see between 150 and 200 guests in attendance of the weekend’s event.
“It takes a village to raise a child — yes and what is the address. You need an address to get there,” said McDuffie, an alumni of the school. “So we are trying to create an addressable village.”
During Saturday’s Hall of Fame dinner, Gary Gregg, a member of The Coasters will perform two songs for the audience. Tickets for the weekend long event were meant to be purchased in advance, however, there is still a few tickets available at the door for $50 each, or $80 for a couple, McDuffie said.
The event will conclude Sunday at Bright Hopewell Baptist Church for worship at 11 a.m. and dinner at the Clinton Inn at 3 p.m., followed by a walk in Hammond Park.
“We are coming back to life, in fact, the title of this weekend is ‘Laurinburg Institute 2nd Century Renaissance,” McDuffie said. “The rebirth of Laurinburg Institute is scheduled to happen in September.”
The boarding school will reopen its doors to residential students in September after moving its teaching platform online. “Inside we are going very high-tech and the entire teaching platform will be on the internet as well as having teachers in the classroom,” McDuffie said.
In addition, the school will begin offering adult training courses, such as high-tech internet wiring, and drone piloting. “Not only will they get certification, they will get jobs,” McDuffie said.
According to McDuffie, students will be able to not only be present in the classroom but also be able to watch each lesson online in order to take notes and reviews classroom teachings from anywhere. “You can follow with your course work no matter where you are in the country.”
Instead of a 180-day school year, which public schools operate on, the Laurinburg Institute will have a 230-day school year.
Over the summer, and moving toward reopening the doors to the school, McDuffie said the Institute will be recruiting students from all over the world. There will also be an opportunity for Scotland County natives to enroll in the Laurinburg Institute as daytime students.
Reach Nolan Gilmour at 910-506-3171