One of Northport's most prominent and beloved citizens, Bessie Booth devoted her entire life to teaching and education, volunteer service, her faith and church, and as a devoted wife and mother. "Miss Bessie" touched the lives of people through her long-term teaching and counseling career, through her volunteer work along side her husband's medical career and through the West Alabama General Hospital in Northport, and through here church related work. She was honored as Northport's Citizen of the Year at the age of 84, selected as Alabama's Senior Citizen Queen at the age of 73, and named Volunteer of the Year at the age of 85 by the West Alabama General Hospital.
Leading The University of Alabama to new heights of academic achievement, growth and physical expansion, Dr. George Denny left a significant and lasting impact that changed the course of Tuscaloosa as well as The University. During his tenure, there was unprecedented growth in student enrollment from 500 to over 5,000; expanded academic offerings; growth of the physical facilities from nine major buildings to twenty-three; and led The University to national prominence through the football program. His legendary leadership was recognized statewide and nationally, earning him various accolades from professional, civic and community-based agencies and organizations, including membership in the Alabama Hall of Fame.
One of Tuscaloosa's and Alabama's most effective legislators and political leaders, Ryan deGraffenried left a significant legacy and impact on the growth and development of the Tuscaloosa County community during his all-too short life. Known for his professionalism, expertise and understanding of the legislative process, and civic leadership, Ryan had a lasting impact on The University of Alabama, Shelton State Community College, the Department of Mental Health, economic development, and a host of other key initiatives that contributed to the area's growth and prosperity.
Serving as Pastor of the New Zion Baptist Church for over 40 years, Dr. E. J. James' involvement and impact expand far beyond his duties as a pastor and across a wide spectrum of community life and all people. A pivotal figure in the civil rights movement in the 1960's, he made significant contributions to understanding and bringing people together, as he still does today. An active community leader, Reverend James has made lasting contributions through the Tuscaloosa Ministerial Association, YMCA, Stillman College, Temporary Emergency Services, Northport Civil Service Board, Northport Housing Authority and a host of other agencies and organizations.
With a lifetime marked by public service and civic responsibility, Claud Morrison made a significant and lasting impact on education, recreation, business development, and positive community relations. A practicing and respected Certified Public Accountant and business leader, Claud Morrison was active in many important and diverse leadership roles, including being one of the first members of the Tuscaloosa Park and Recreation Board, a member of the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education, and active leadership in a variety of other civic and community organizations, including the Tuscaloosa Chamber of Commerce, United Way, Alabama Society of Certified Public Accountants, Alberta Baptist Church, FOCUS on Senior Citizens, Civitan Club and many others.
One of Tuscaloosa's and Alabama's best-known entrepreneurs and innovative business leaders, Pettus Randall, III left a lasting impact on the area's economic, business and civic development. Building Randall Publishing into one of America's most successful publishing firms, Pettus Randall also insisted on building his beloved community into a prosperous and vibrant business center. Active across a wide and diverse spectrum of civic and community organizations, he provided significant leadership through the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, Tuscaloosa Kiwanis Club, Christ Episcopal Church, United Way, Tuscaloosa Association of Retarded Citizens, March of Dimes, the American Village in Montevallo, Alabama and a myriad of other community causes.