Nov. 17, 2016

Greeting: John T. Dukes instead of Les.
Song, Music, & Pledge: Tommy Blankenship and America the Beautiful.
Announcements: Bo Mattei spoke on the Rotary Fund and the Rotary Education Fund. Mr. Mattei highlighted and introduced representatives of the Goodwill Easter Seals and Camp ASCCA. Both of the aforementioned charitable organizations were recipients of Rotary Education Fund Grants. He directed members to envelops and enclosures provided by Mike Payne at Greer’s. He encouraged the membership to contribute to the Rotary Education Fund by way of the materials kindly provided.
John Peebles thanked Ms. Stevens for her introduction. He opened his presentation by saying that all assembled know Barton Academy for reason of the remarkable buildings prominent location, notable architecture, and pervasiveness in our shared culture. Mr. Peebles went on to tell the story Barton Academy, the people who created, and Barton Foundation which will help to preserve it. Providing context for Barton Academy’s founding, Mr. Peebles spoke on epoch which the school was founded. He noted how progressive Mobile was within the nation, region, and state its founding of the first institution of government funded education in the state of Alabama. He highlighted the actions and achievements of Willoughby Barton (creator of what became the Mobile County School Commission), Henry Hitchcock (politician, judge, financier, and civic booster who lead the campaign for realizing the creation of the school and building housing it), Gallier & Dakin (architects of the building), and others who created a landmark of educational and architectural excellence for our City. Mr. Peebles told those assembled that building cost an excess of $50,000 to construct. He asked the audience to contemplate what that same sum would be in today’s dollars, as well as the imitative set in its day, the achievement it represented, and how Mobilians of today should learn from the past. Mr. Peebles then turned attentions to Barton Academy Center for World Studies. He explained that 6-12 grade program will offer instruction to four hundred students baed on equitable access. The focus w ill be on critical thinking and languages. Mr. Peebles spoke of what a valuable tool the program will be for Mobile’ educational and recruitment toolkit. After speaking of the figures required to realize the school, he informed those assembled of considerable sums already received. Mr. Peebles gave four reasons why the school should be supported: 1.) architectural significance of the campus; 2.) prominent location of the campus; 3.) importance of eduction; and 4.) recognition of our pasts. He closed his presentation by saying that members of Rotary should expect a communication regarding their commitment to this important initiative. Mr. Peebles stated that he was happy to answer questions. Several questions ensued.