"We Rise to Honor Councill"

  • "50th Anniversary Celebration 2016"


The 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Legacy of W.H. Councill High School - Save the Date August 13, 2016

Generations of Huntsvillians accessed the hallowed halls of William Hooper Counciill High School to acquire education and training that would prepare them to enjoy better quality life experiences. For decades hundreds of African-Americans in Huntsville could only find the door of WHCHS open to them. They used the opportunities provided therein to obtain employment, higher education, and other productive roles as citizens of Huntsville, the United States and the world

Since the school opened one hundred and fifty (150) years ago, we have all experienced the phenomenal changes that have taken place. The 1960's ushered in a new era for our country. When the Supreme Court ruling in the historic Brown v. Board of Education Topeka, Kansas case required an end to segregated education, our town of Huntsville responded in kind. In response, our community witnessed the closing of "dear ole Councill.:.

At this time of Sesquicentennial, 150 years since its opening, and Golden Anniversary, 50 years since its closing, the alumni will "rise to honor Councill." Please join us on August 13, 2016 for a community wide celebration; all alumni, friends and supporters are invited to participate. The school wide reunion will include a Gala that will recount stories of the school days, featuring choir music of an alumni and friends led by renowned musicians, Mrs. Carmelita Gandy and Councillian Mrs. Mary Curry.

The WHCAA willl use this event to launch a fundraising campaign that will result in a major gift earmarked for the permanent renovation of the historic William Hooper Councill High School site.
"Come Home to Councill"


Brenda Barley Chunn - Reunion Chairman

Gala Letter for Alums

April 7, 2016

Greetings fellow classmates,
The 50th Anniversary Gala for the Historic William Hooper Councill High School will be held August 12-13, 2016. The Steering Committee (Brenda Barley Chunn, Chair) is working tirelessly to ensure that a “golden” time will be had by all.

The Huntsville Marriott (5 Tranquility Base – Huntsville, AL 35805 – 256.830.2222) will serve as our headquarters. All events will be held there. If you require lodging, please make your reservations no later than July 22nd, in order to receive the discounted rate of $109.48 (tax included). Please inform the reservationist that you are with the William Hooper Councill High School Reunion.

In order for you to properly plan for this event, the following agenda has been provided:

  • Friday – August 12, 2016
    Alumni Hospitality Check-In
    (6:00pm until 8:00pm

  • Saturday – August 13, 2016

Legacy Celebration Brunch (10:00am until 12:00pm); Attire – Business Casual
William Hooper Councill High School Site Tour (OPTIONAL - 1:00pm until 2:00pm)
Class Photos (5:00pm until 5:45pm)
Legacy Celebration Gala (6:00pm until 10:00pm); Attire – Semiformal

The cost for this event is only $75.00 per person (alumni, guest, etc.). Ticket sales have already begun and may be purchased by contacting your Class Liaison, Committee Chair or Co-Chair listed below. All advance ticket purchases will be available for pick up during the Alumni Hospitality Check-In. If you were an attendee or graduate and your class does not appear on the list, you may contact any one of the liaison committee members.

In closing, thank you for choosing to be a part of a great celebration for all of us who call William Hooper Councill High School “alma mater”. In the event you are unable to attend, we encourage you to please send a donation to assist us in reaching our preservation and restoration goals.

Kindest regards,

Joyce Dickerson Martin
Class Liaison Chair

Catherine Madry Stewart
Class Liaison Co-Chair

1956 –Willie Leslie Lightford (256) 852-2596 willie.lightford@att.net
1957 – Laura Ford Clift (256) 859-2190 lclift1624@aol.com
1958 – Josephine Lightford Robinson (256) 694-9371 rjosephine50@yahoo.com
1959 – Carol Howard Scott (256) 852-8111 chs243@mchsi.com
1960 – Dorothy Ford Matthews (256) 851-7544 dorothy_matthews@bellsouth.com
1961 – Joyce Dickerson Martin (256) 464-5891 joyousmart@aol.com
1962 – Olivia McDonald Brandon (256) 837-0860 ombrandon@knology.net
1963 – Arthur McDonald (256) 527-8145 arthurmcdonald1976@wowway.com
1964 – Patricia Drake Williams (256) 653-9564 pataw2353@yahoo.com
1965 – Leatrice Conley Gradford (256) 859-0513 leagradford@hotmail.com
1966 – Catherine Madry Stewart (256) 859-2067 kittycat46@knology.net

Download the registration form:at this link: Gala Letter Registration Form


The first phase of a new four-lane roadway into downtown Huntsville honoring civil rights icon Dr. Joseph E. Lowery is open after a year of construction.

City leaders gathered Friday to debut the new Dr. Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard from Governors Drive to Pelham Avenue. The second phase of the $8 million project will stretch nearly half a mile and end at Williams Avenue in Big Spring International Park when it launches later this year. Each side of the boulevard features a 10-foot multi-use path for cyclists and pedestrians, supporting one component of the city's BIG Picture mobility plan .

"This is one of the connecting segments of the BIG Picture that as we do this piece, we will do another piece and another," said Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. "As these pieces all connect, we end up with a plan that gives us mobility throughout this city, both pedestrian, bike and by automobile."

The Huntsville City Council˙approved the naming of the downtown gateway for Lowery in May 2015. Lowery, now in his 90s and living in Atlanta, was born in Huntsville and grew up on Church Street across from where the WHNT-TV Channel 19 studio sits today. He graduated from segregated William Hooper Councill High School in Huntsville. Lowery, who got involved in the civil rights movement in the early 1950s, eventually co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He played key roles in the Montgomery bus boycott and Selma to Montgomery marches that focused America's attention on racism in the South.

"To be able to name this new street, this new vision to downtown Huntsville in honor of a great civil rights icon, we thank the mayor, the council and all of you who played a part in this opportunity today," said Councilman Richard Showers. "Dr. Lowery is awaiting an opportunity to come. We will have another ceremony when he is present."

The city is also creating a new east-west connector via Pelham Avenue and Davis Circle to provide more connectivity to the Monroe Street roundabout near the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library. The work should be complete this summer . Shane Davis, director of urban development for Huntsville, said a new greenway will be developed along Fagan Creek, replacing the original bridge design. Bids on the project, which will enclose the Fagan Creek channel into a box-culvert, will be awarded next month with construction starting in June. After it is enclosed, a new multi-use path will be installed to connect Lowery Boulevard to Monroe Street.

"By enclosing Fagan Creek from Lowery Boulevard to Monroe, we have created greater connectivity in the downtown area," Davis said. "At some point in the future, we would also like to look at extending the greenway from Lowery Boulevard east to California Street."