Leadership Blount graduates with cheers from alumni

The Leadership Blount Class of 2011 poses for a photograph together during their graduation at Smithview Pavilion.

Photo by Leslie Karnowski

The Leadership Blount Class of 2011 poses for a photograph together during their graduation at Smithview Pavilion.

The Leadership Blount Class of 2011 graduation was as much about alumni as it was the graduates.

The Class of 2011 wrapped up their year recently during a ceremony that drew participation from all the guests gathered at Smithview Pavilion to honor the new grads.

“We had folks come out and support the class. The class did an exercise they did during their diversity session earlier in the year where they asked people to stand up if the statement made by the speaker was true about them,” Leadership Blount executive director Katherine Caputo said. “They did a series of questions involving everyone at graduation.”

Caputo said the speakers ended with the question, ‘“Stand up if you feel Leadership Blount is one of the best experiences of your life or a spouse’s or friend’s life,’” she said. “It was a feel-good exercise. It was a time for alumni to reminisce on their own experience.”

Caputo said about 130 turned out for the May 19 event at Smithview Pavilion and she thanked the property owners as well as Aubrey’s Restaurant for making the event happen. “There was more there than last year and we appreciate Smithview Pavilion and Aubrey’s for their unyielding support of this program,” she said. “Randy Burleson of Aubrey’s is so good to us and Smithview Pavilion, that place is such a wonderful space.”

Caputo said the weather was pleasant and gatekeeper Bob Booker gave a challenge to the graduating class to stay connected. A gatekeeper’s job is to lead the class and Caputo said Booker advised the classmates to keep their notebooks as a resource to maintain contact information. He challenged the class to maintain 100 percent participation in paying alumni dues and he encouraged the members to maintain their accountability partners in the group so everyone supports one another. “As a gatekeeper he challenged the class to stay together, which I thought was great,” she said.

The new class of 2012 for Leadership Blount is scheduled to be introduced on July 26 during a reception at Smithview Pavilion.

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