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Memorial Service Held for Alumnus George H. Andrews

Image associated with the Memorial Service Held for Alumnus George H. Andrews news item

Author: Lois G. Russell

Release Date: Jul 17, 2017

A memorial service was held on Saturday, July 15, for George H. Andrews, an alumnus who worked to honor ASU students for advancing the University’s tradition of academic excellence.

George H. Andrews made his final entrance as a Marching Hornet on July 15, 2017. The processional of his loved ones and ASU officials was led by high-stepping drum majors and members of the drum and brass sections of the ASU band.

It was a fitting display for the alumnus remembered as an alumnus who always kept Alabama State University at the center of his heart.

“This is a celebration of a the life and legacy of a true drum major for Alabama State University,” said Zillah M. Fluker, ASU’s vice president for Institutional Advancement, who served as the facilitator for the event.

From the “lean back” of the current band members to the black and gold displays, the service had the unmistakable flair of Hornet pride that Andrews loved. The former drum major for the Mighty Marching Hornets continued to be a supporter of the band and his beloved alma mater throughout his life.

“George was the consummate drum major,” said W Rayford Johnson, a friend who marched in the band during the late 60s. “He had his own distinction. He carried two batons and he could twirl them both.”

The service also included shared memories about Andrews as a Mighty Marching Hornet, as a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., as an ASU “Ambassador,” and as a friend. Edward Andrews represented the family and thanked the University for hosting the event. Other family members in attendance included Lillian Andrews (sister), Deborah Andrews (sister-in-law), Phyllis Weatherly Adams (niece) and Lt. Col. (USAF) Cedric Weatherly, (nephew).

Dr. Farrah Lubin (’96) recounted how she was recruited by Andrews to attend ASU when she was a 16-year-old high school student in New York.

“I was the only girl in my family and my parents focused primarily on my brothers attending college,” said Lubin, who is now a neuroscientist. “But I had always wanted to be a doctor. Mr. Andrews offered to take me and other students on a black college tour. It was a real eye opener for me. I had scholarship offers from several HBCUs, but I selected ASU. Mr. Andrews was with me every step of the way. I can now say, being a professor at UAB and running my own multi-million dollar lab, none of that would be possible without Mr. George H. Andrews. I am truly indebted to him…He changed my life and he’s changed the life of many others…I will always come home to ASU and give back just like George Andrews did.”

Lubin was one of nearly 200 students Andrews recruited to ASU and other HBCUs during his lifetime. Helping students was central to Andrews’s life. He was best known for providing the initial funding for the George H. Andrews Student of the Year Award, which recognizes an honor student each year for outstanding academic achievement, as well as community service and other notable accomplishments.

“George left a great legacy,” said Lionel Je’ Woodyard (’72), who was a close friend of Andrews. “His life can be summed up in one word and that is ‘love.’ George loved Alabama State University.”

The final tribute was made by Wendi Joy Franklin, a noted actress who took on the persona of Andrews’s friend, Lena Horne, to bid him a fond farewell.

In all of the accolades and tributes, Andrews was remembered as the embodiment of that Ole ‘Bama State Spirit. 

“I have always been a part of ASU,” Andrews said in a 2012 interview. “It’s in my blood.”

To view photos of the memorial service, click here:

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