Wall of Excellence nominees inducted

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The inaugural recognition of the Franklin Community Wall of Excellence was an intimate celebration of four people who have made outstanding accomplishments in their lives. The event took place on Saturday evening in the Back Porch Grille in the Village at Wood’s Edge.

Jim Jervey, who chairs the committee for this new program, explained that the nominees — and there were 22 — were individuals who have made an impact on other people, their community and even beyond.

Clyde Parker accepted the posthumous honors for Colgate W. Darden Jr., as well as the one for William H. Goodwin Jr., who could not attend the ceremony. Committee chairman Herman Charity is seated up front.

Clyde Parker accepted the posthumous honors for Colgate W. Darden Jr., as well as the one for William H. Goodwin Jr., who could not attend the ceremony. Committee chairman Herman Charity is seated up front.

“We want this to be ongoing for a long, long time,” said Jervey, who serves with 14 other people.

The photos and names will soon be established at Franklin High School.

He thanked superintendent Dr. Willie Bell and his staff, as well as the families and friends of the honorees, for their participation.

“If you see a turtle on a fence post, it had help,” Jervey further said about the inductees. His meaning was clear: Those people had help along the way. “They didn’t accomplish [what they did] by themselves. Family and friends made this evening possible for them.”

In the category of career achievements, William H. Goodwin Jr. of Charlottesville, and the late Colgate W. Darden Jr. were chosen. Representing them was local historian Clyde Parker, who outlined their achievements as detailed in the program.

Larry B. Rose was named for his life in athletics.

“It’s remarkable. Truly remarkable,” said Rose while holding his plaque. “I don’t take this lightly. To be  honored by you, it’s a different feeling.”

Looking out at his wife, Yvonne; their children and their own families, as well as siblings, he said, “I’m so proud they all came.”

The late Peggy H. Wilkins was noted for her community service and coaching basketball; she had a career record of 334 wins and only 62 losses. Wilkins was represented by a nephew, Jason McMasters of Greensboro, North Carolina. First, committee member Mona Sumblin made an introduction about Wilkins, adding with a smile, “She scared me,” which made everyone laugh knowingly.

“My aunt had such an impact,” said McMasters, who was joined by his father, Howard. “It’s a lasting legacy. I want to thank you all for sharing her with her family. She wasn’t about herself. She was about each and every person in the room.

“I never really knew what that was all about, but when the gym was named for her, I came to realize [what she had done].”

Herman Charity, another committee member, added a few reminiscences of his own.

“She was first and foremost a teacher. I would put her coaching third or fourth,” said Charity. “Discipline was first. Peggy Wilkins broke you down,” he added with a smile. “She stood tough, but loving.”

• Colgate Whitehead Darden Jr., was born at Marie Hill Farm in Southampton County, on Feb. 11, 1897.

He graduated from Franklin High School in 1914. After which, Colgate attended the University of Virginia for his freshman year; but, in 1915, he and several of his college friends felt the need to serve in the military since World War I was going on, so off they went to France to drive ambulances for the French army.

Stateside, he resumed studies, earning a degree in public law. He was elected to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1930 and 1932, and he was elected to U.S. Congress in 1933. He was subsequently elected as the governor of Virginia in 1941.

Following his tenure at the capital in Richmond, Colgate served as the Chancellor for William and Mary for one year, before becoming the ;resident of University of Virginia. He served in that position from 1947 until he retired in 1959. During that time, Colgate also served as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly (1955).

• William H. Goodwin Jr., born in Franklin, graduated from FHS in 1968. Afterward, he attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute, and earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1962. Bill later earned a master’s degree in business from the University of Virginia in 1976. He then went to IBM Corp. as a systems engineer and marketing representative. In 1972, he founded Commonwealth Computer Advisers, which exists now as CCA Industries.

In 1986, he bought AMF Bowling for $223 million and sold it in 1996 for more than $1 billion.

Bill is officially retired and lives with his wife in Richmond. He’s actively involved in CCA Financial, CCA Industries and the Riverstone Group.

Bill is rector of the U.Va. Board of Visitors, which he says requires a significant amount of time. He is honored to have been selected for the inaugural 2016 Franklin Community Wall of Excellence.

• Larry B. Rose, also known as “Chuck” among family and close friends, graduated from Hayden High School in 1968. He lettered in three sports while a student there: football, basketball and baseball. Upon graduation, Larry attended Hampton Institute where he played football and baseball. When he graduated in 1972, Larry returned to his hometown of Franklin, where he became director of Parks & Recreation. During his careers, Larry remained very involved in sports. He coached football at Franklin High School; football and tennis at Southampton High School; and officiated basketball in the area, starting at the intramural level, then collegiate, next ACC and finally at the national level from 1968-2014.

In 2002, he was awarded The Naismith Trophy, Men’s Official of the Year. This trophy is given to only one college basketball official annually. The winners of this trophy “must display character, integrity, and dignity, while contributing mightily to the growth, success, and viability of college basketball.”

In 2010, Larry was inducted into the Hampton Roads African-American Hall of Fame, and in 2015 he was inducted into the CIAA Hall of Fame.

• Peggy H. Wilkins, a native of Greensboro, earned degrees from North Carolina A&T State University and Virginia State University. Wilkins began teaching at Hayden High School in 1960, where she taught health and physical education and coached girls’ basketball for 10 years.

In 1970s, Wilkins transferred to Franklin High School, and continued to coach, including softball.

She herself never played basketball in high school, but was instead a majorette. As a P.E. major, Wilkins was automatically expected to coach. “When I first came to Franklin in 1960, I didn’t know a thing about coaching basketball … not one thing!” But conferences, workshops, clinics and on-the-job training enabled her to compile a career record of 334 wins and 62 losses (143-46 at Hayden; 191-16 at FHS).

To date, Wilkins has the Virginia High School League’s state record for the greatest winning percentage — 89 percent — among female, as well as male, coaches. She was named Coach of the Year several times, and has been nominated for the VHSL Hall of Fame.