June 5, 2003 The University of the Virgin Islands Alumni Association St. Thomas-St. John Chapter invites the public to its first alumni award recognition breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, June 7, at Palms Court Harborview Hotel.
The honorees are Luna Claxton, Class of 1972; Doreen V. James, Class of 1983; Shirley J. Joseph, Class of 1974; Cyril Harrigan, Class of 1972; and Elise Vialet, Class of 1972.
Jacqueline Sprauve, UVI's Alumni Affairs supervisor, said the local chapter wanted to highlight their diverse members by recognizing a mixed segment of the group. This year the chapter will recognize the more senior alumni who were non-traditional students in the early years of the then-called College of the Virgin Islands. All of the honorees have made regular contributions to UVI, are active in their alumni chapter and attend UVI sponsored events.
The Caribbean breakfast will include fresh seasonal fruits, herbed scrambled eggs, smoked bacon and sausage, stewed or pick-up saltfish, wheat and white toast, homestyle hash brown potatoes, and (wheat and white) dumb bread and cheese. Drinks include assorted fruit juices, tea, coffee and bush tea.
Donations are $25. Tickets are available at UVI's Alumni Office and the bookstore on the St. Thomas campus, Parrot Fish (Back Street), Krystals and Gifts Galore (Tutu Park Mall), and Native Arts and Crafts (across from Vendors Plaza).
Luna Claxton was born and raised on St. Thomas, where she graduated from the Charlotte Amalie High School. Claxton took several teaching courses through the V.I. Teachers's Institute, which offered college courses from various colleges stationed in the Virgin Islands. When the College of the Virgin Islands opened in 1962, Claxton began attending part-time in the evenings, working as a teacher during the day. After a few years she began attending CVI full-time. Claxton earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education in 1972. She continued teaching until she retired in 1984 after 43 years as a teacher.
In 2001 Claxton was the International Who's Who of Business and Professional Women's Hall of Fame Honoree of the Year.
Claxton is a member of the All Saints Cathedral Church, Business and Professional Women, Downstreet People Inc., AARP and the Committee to Revive Our Culture.
Claxton has three sons, seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Doreen V. James
Doreen V. James was born and raised on the island of Nevis, where she lived until she relocated to St. John in 1959. James began employment with the Education Department, working as a paraprofessional for two years before being promoted to a substitute teacher at the former Benjamin Franklin School, now the Guy H. Benjamin Elementary School.
She enrolled in the Teacher Trainee Program at the College of the Virgin Islands. When James left the classroom as a teacher in the afternoons, she braved daily ferry boat rides to St. Thomas and bus rides to the CVI campus to take evening courses. In 1983 she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education.
During her teaching career she has taught kindergarten through the ninth grade. She has taught at the Joseph Gomez Elementary School and the Guy Benjamin Elementary School, and spent most of her 30-year teaching career at the Julius E. Sprauve School.
James began graduate studies in special education at the University of Michigan. There she developed her skills, enabling her to better serve special-needs students. She taught the blind to read and write Braille, taught the deaf to sign, and taught Spanish-speaking students to speak and write English.
James retired in 1998. She is the mother of three sons. She keeps busy by working in her family's convenience store.
Shirley J. Joseph
Shirley Joseph was born on the island of Jamaica, where she received her early education. She met and married St. Thomian Ray Joseph in New York. The family moved to St. Thomas in 1971, and Shirley Joseph began working with the Department of Human Services. Joseph successfully transferred college credits to the College of the Virgin Islands and began the teacher certification program.
In 1974 Joseph graduated magna cum laude from CVI. A few months before graduation, Joseph was hired as a reading teacher at the Kirwan Terrace Elementary School. Shortly after, Joseph received a scholarship to attend graduate school and earned a master's degree in special education. In 1976 Joseph resigned from the Education Department when offered a fellowship to Ohio State University. She completed all courses to earn a doctorate degree, but did not complete her dissertation due to competing family demands. Her training led her to into the field of behavioral therapy and parental counseling and education.
Joseph rejoined the Education Department in 1989 and is the principal of Julius E. Sprauve School. Joseph will retire later this year.
Cyril Harrigan began a family tradition of attending UVI, being the first of three generations of Harrigans to attend the institution. In 1972 Harrigan graduated from CVI with an associate's degree in police science administration. In 1987 he received a bachelor's degree in social sciences from UVI.
Harrigan is a Rotarian, member of the Harmonic Lodge No. 356, and a member of All Saints Cathedral Church. Harrigan's service at the All Saints Cathedral Church includes being an acolyte, chalice bearer, lay minister and Eucharistic minister.
After serving many years in the V.I. Police Department, Harrigan retired as a communications specialist.
He is the proud grandfather of Alba Harrigan, the reigning Miss UVI.
Elise Vialet was born, raised and educated on St. Thomas. In 1966 she received an Associate of Arts degree in business administration from the College of the Virgin Islands. She went on to receive a bachelor's degree in social science in 1972.
In 1948 Vialet joined the staff of the Municipal Council as a clerk typist, working on all committees, the Legislative Assembly and the V.I. Legislature. Along with being a clerk typist, she worked in other capacities, such as clerk, stenographer and account clerk. She was promoted as the executive secretary of the Legislature in 1955.
Vialet was subsequently transferred to the Budget Office where she worked as a budget examiner. She was transferred again, this time to the Lieutenant Governor's Office, where she worked as the district recorder of deeds. Vialet held that job until she retired in 1980.
Vialet has served as a Girl Scout leader for more than 25 years and on executive committees of the Girl Scout Council of the V.I. She is also a member of many civic organizations, including the Caribbean Chorale, Cathedral Choir, AARP, Community Action Agency, St. Thomas Music Association and the Quadrille Group of St. Thomas. Vialet has held leadership positions in several organizations, including the St. Thomas Friends of Denmark, where she served as president; Business and Professional Women, where she served as the local and state president; and the Catholic Daughters of America, where she served as president. Vialet has also been the choreographer for Eta Phi Beta Sorority for 25 years.
Publisher's note : Like the St. Thomas Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.