TALLADEGA, Ala. – A decision has been made regarding whether or not the Talladega College Marching Tornadoes will perform at the 58th Presidential Inauguration.
Thursday morning Talladega College President Billy C. Hawkins confirmed in press release that his school will perform in the parade following President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
“We respect and appreciate how our students and alumni feel about our participation in this parade,” said Hawkins. “As many of those who chose to participate in the parade have said, we feel the inauguration of a new president is not a political event but a civil ceremony celebrating the transfer of power.”
The college received both scrutiny and approval after it appeared on the the initial participant list that was released by the Presidential Inaugural Committee released on Dec. 30.
Countering petitions were started, one by Shirley Ferrill, a 1974 graduate of Talladega College. Her petition against Talladega College performing has over 1,800 supporters. Ferrill previously told SylacaugaNews.com that she did not want her school performing at the inauguration of a man who is “not fit to be president” and whose comments and actions are “appalling” to women and the African American community. On Thursday, Ferrill said she was very upset with the decision but she not surprised. She said she believed President Hawkins’ decision was influenced by money.
Talladega College alumnus and Hampton University President William R. Harvey agrees with President Hawkin’s decision. “It will be a wonderful learning experience for the students in the band. It will be a teachable moment for them to understand the importance of supporting the leader of the free world, despite one’s political viewpoint,” said Harvey. “After all, the reason for being of any college or university should be to promote learning and not to enhance apolitical agenda.”
Harvey said he feels it is an honor to be invited to the inauguration no matter who the president-elect may be.
Jeremy Law for SylacaugaNews.com | © 2017, SylacaugaNews.com/Marble City Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.