Upcoming Regional Alumni Events
The Alumni Association has launched its online store, featuring its first page alumni product – a baseball cap with the Capitol Page Alumni logo. In the future, we hope to add additional products for sale.
On Thursday, May 24th, the Capitol Page Alumni Association and the U.S. Capitol Historical Society kicked off the first-ever Page Alumni Homecoming with a panel discussion in the Capitol Visitor’s Center. The panel discussion brought together several alumni who had been “firsts.” Frank Mitchell ’67, Felda Looper ’73, and Ellen McConnell Blakeman ’72 shared their experiences of being the first female and first African-American pages.
In Spring 2012, the Capitol Page Alumni Association began work on a new full-length documentary film that captures the page experience and the living history of seven decades of pages. In the year since the termination of the page program, dozens of former pages have shared their stories with the Alumni Association, many of which are presented in this new film.
In October, the Alumni Association gave a sneak preview to page alumni and their guests in the Washington area and in Chicago. If you are interested in hosting a similar viewing in your city, please contact us to arrange.
In 2013, the Alumni Association will publicly unveil the final product, which we hope will be a vehicle through which we can share with the American public the true value of the page program – not just the value to those who experienced it first-hand, but also the value to all of society.
Filmmakers Taylor Stanton and Bhanu Chundu joined us at the Homecoming and captured the weekend on film. They have made this special video for us to enjoy. Stay tuned in September/October for more footage from Homecoming 2012.
This short film highlights the page memories of a handful of alumni who attended the May Homecoming, captures many of the special moments during those four incredible days on Capitol Hill, and reminds us all why the page programs are worth continuing for future generations.
Friends and family mourn the loss of Chuck Bush, who made history in the page program the same year that the U.S. Supreme Court officially struck down the practice of “separate but equal” in the landmark Brown v. Board decision.
Chief Justice Earl Warren personally sought to integrate the pages in 1954, and some believe that Warren viewed it as an early implementation of the court decision that he himself had lobbied for among his fellow justices just months prior.
Speaking of his experience as a page, Bush said that: “I was thrust not only into a white school but also into a white power structure at the court. Pages are next to the law clerks on the totem pole, so we were treated with a great deal of respect. . . . Suddenly folks who were accustomed to treating black people one way had to change. . . . It was very clear that no one wanted to cross the chief justice on that score.”
Alumni Reunion Leader Ken Smith ’58 Passes
In July 2012, Ken Smith passed away. Many of us have come to know fellow page Ken Smith (Class of 1958) in the past several years. In 2004, Ken took leadership of the Capitol Page School Reunion, for the first time bringing together page alumni who served in the 40s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Ken was the moving force behind the second reunion in 2008, and he devoted countless hours to searching for those of us who had lost contact during the intervening decades.
Recognizing Ken’s deep personal commitment to the meticulous planning of the 2008 Reunion, many of us fell into the habit of referring to the event simply as “Ken’s Reunion.” In fact, many of you first reconnected with fellow pages as a result of Ken’s efforts in 2008.