LUBBOCK, Texas- The Texas Tech University Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion hosted its “Lunch with Legends” event for the first time in two years, after being virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The event honored nine Black administrators from Lubbock Independent School District. The honorees were Leslie Cross, Nettie Edwards, Brenda Gipson. Natalie Harris, Curtis Gipson, Raymond Peppers, Margaret Randle, Charles Taylor and Vernita Woods-Holmes.

Cory Powell, Office of Institutional Diversity Director, said education is the cornerstone, and these individuals have helped champion that in an inspirational way.

“So often we look distant for legends and those that we feel have done heroic things, but there are people in our own community,” Powell said. “So, we felt it’s appropriate to recognize these individuals.”

The Luncheon was part of Texas Tech’s weeklong celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One honoree, Margaret Randle, spent 42 years with the school district, retiring in her role as principal at Joan Y. Ervin Elementary.

“A lot of times when you retire, you kind of drip off and wonder off into the sunset and nobody remembers you,” Randle said. “So, I think it’s a blessing to be recognized, and for people to want to, and to know that somebody feels like you contributed something to society that they want to highlight.”

Those in attendance heard a keynote address from Dr. George Love, witnessed the Living Legends Award presentation and a panel discussion with the recipients.

“We share our story with younger people and younger students to let them know that anything is possible, and to let them know some of the pitfalls that we experienced so that they don’t experience those same things,” Randle said.

“These individuals, because of their age, their contributions; they are retired and sometimes they can be forgotten, and we don’t want them to feel that way,” Powell said. So, as we tied the connection between Dr. King and his legacy, we realize we all have a responsibility, and these individuals recognize theirs, and help move the needle forward. So, we just wanted to say thank you to them.”

For more information about Texas Tech’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day events visit TTU’s website.