The Dekalb Chapter is a 7-time award winner of the “Chapter of the Year” award for the following years: 2005, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2016, and 2017!

In the 1980’s, there was only one alumni chapter in Metro Atlanta area…the Atlanta Chapter. Since there were enough residents in Dekalb County who wanted to begin their own chapter, interested alums met at the home of Porter and Bobbie Sanford, along with Mrs. Juanita Eber, who was the Alumni Director.

The Clark College Alumni Association-Dekalb Chapter was chartered in 1984 and the first presidents were Co-Presidents Joseph Strawbridge and Bobbie Sanford.

Other past presidents included: Jesse Baskervillle, Marcia Glenn Hunter, Brenda Tolliver, Michael Adams, Henry (Hank) Johnson, Anita Hanshaw, Veverly Byrd-Davis, JoAnn Grayson, Jayan Allen, and Carla Cooper.

The first Fall Conference held in Atlanta was hosted by the Dekalb Chapter in 1987 under the leadership of Jesse Baskerville. The first alumni formal affair, the Red and Black Ball, was held in conjunction with Homecoming and the Fall Conference at the Tom Murphy Ballroom at the World Congress Center. The Red and Black Ball continued until the mid-90’s.

The request for the charter of the Clark Atlanta University Alumni Association- Dekalb Chapter was submitted on January 3,1991, and was signed by 44 members. The chapter was chartered on May 19, 1991 and the Chartering Ceremony was held at the Robert Woodruff Library on the CAU campus.

The original proposed Constitution and By-Laws of the chapter were drafted by the Constitution Committee consisting of Chair, Henry (Hank) Johnson, Robert O. Davis, and Marcia Hunter Glenn.

The first "Around the Town Christmas Party", where members would travel to a member’s house for appetizers, a second house for dinner, and a third house for desserts began in December 1991.

By 1993, the Dekalb Chapter had the largest chapter in the history of the CAUAA with 100 financial members (both national and local dues). This record has not been broken.


Six of the past presidents of the Dekalb Alumni Chapter have been National Officers of the Alumni Association: Brenda Tolliver as President, Jesse Baskerville served as Treasurer, Veverly Byrd-Davis and Jayan Allen served as Corresponding Secretary, JoAnn Grayson as Financial Secretary and Carla Cooper of Alumni Representative of the Board of Trustees.

Four of the past presidents have served on the CAU Board of Trustees: Joe Strawbridge and Brenda Tolliver are former members and Bobbie Sanford and Cara Cooper are presently on the board.

The 1st Annual Spirit of Greatness Gala, an offspring of the Red and Black Ball was held in 2008. Some of the members of the original Steering Committee were past presidents of the Dekalb Alumni Chapter: Bobbie Sanford, Jesse Baskerville, Marcia Glenn Hunter and Brenda Tolliver. This year we celebrated our 10th Anniversary.

The Life Membership Program was started in July 1, 2004 and continue today. The following Dekalb Members are Life Members of the National Association: Dr. Michael Adams, Dr. Hershelle Adams Barrio, Mrs. Christine Callier, Mrs. Jamesa Rainey-Euler, Ms. Joann Grayson, Ms. Gladys Voncille Hodges, Ms. Brenda Tolliver and Mrs. Margaret S. Wooten.

The 1st Annual Prayer Breakfast, a fundraiser for scholarships, was held in 2012.


our story

the Executive Board


Phinda Hillmon,


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Casie Mathews,

Vice President


Letitia Frazier,


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Renika J. Swanson, Correspondence Secretary

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Valerie Reese,

Sergeant at Arms


Recording Secretary

Aleta McLean

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Carla Cooper,

Immediate Past President

Phinda Hillmon, President, enjoys a multicultural heritage having been raised in both Philadelphia, PA and the Republic of Guinea, West Africa. She obtained a Bachelors of Arts and Sciences degree in Political Sciences and a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Community and Economic Development from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, GA. Phinda is an experienced Project manager and a Grants professional with over 10 years of service in the public sector. Her experiences range from promoting workforce development with nonprofit groups and community based organizations to working with City, State and Federal governments on grant funded initiatives that help improve the community. In addition to serving as Chapter President for the CAU DeKalb Alumni Association, Phinda is very passionate about service to mankind. She is a member of the Prince Hall Order of Eastern Star and the Links, Inc. where she is involved in educational services to youth activities. For fun and relaxation, Phinda enjoys teaching French to youth, traveling the world, cooking, baking and writing. Her greatest accomplishments, pride and joy include being a wife and life partner to her husband Kavien Hillmon and a mother to her son (baby) Kavien Jr.

Casie A. Mathews, Vice President, graduated from Clark Atlanta University in 1997 with a BA in music performance.  She received her paralegal certification from Clayton State University.  She is employed as a paralegal and office manager at Fox Legal, LLC.  She gives back to Clark Atlanta University because she believes it is her duty to give back in any way she can to the institution that has given her so much.

Letitia N. Frazier, Treasurer, is a Business Intelligence/ Analytics Professional with nearly 20 years of experience within the field of Information Systems and Technology.  Letitia has worked in several industries within the field Information Technology which include Municipal Government, Corporate America (Power Management, Telecommunications and Finance), and Higher Education. Letitia is a native of South Florida and is a hold a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from Clark Atlanta University Class of 1999 and a Master of Business Administration – Management Information Systems from Strayer University Class of 2016. Letitia is an active member of the Clark Atlanta University Alumni Association and is a member of the CAU National Alumni Chapter and currently serves as Treasurer for the Clark Atlanta University DeKalb Chapter and is co-chair for the Women of CAU’s Legacy Project which is a mentoring program to encourage female high school seniors to apply for enrollment to Clark Atlanta University.   Letitia also serves as a Vice President within the Strayer University Alumni Chapter (Atlanta) and is also a member of the National Black MBAA Atlanta Chapter.

Renika J. Swanson, Correspondence Secretary

Valerie Reese, Sergeant at Arms, is a graduate of Clark Atlanta University School of Social Work, BSW 1991 and MSW 1996. She is an active member of the CAUAA DeKalb Chapter where role has evolved from serving on the membership committee to being a part of the Executive Board. Valerie is also an active member at the National level of the Alumni Association as well as founding member of the women of CAU. Valerie is an energetic alumna prepared to offer time, enthusiasm, commitment to serve and assist with bringing support to the Clark Atlanta University (CAU) collegiate family. Valerie currently works as a Public Health Advisor at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control and has been with the agency for over 20 years.