I invite my reader to share with me life at certain stops on the way. How can I forget when the 1976 senior class decided that we wanted our senior pictures in the yearbook to be in color, and the student council budget could not cover the extra $3,000 expense. That need triggered a first at CVI: a dinner-dance honoring the chairman of the Board of Trustees, Ralph M. Paiewonsky. I was responsible for this undertaking, which accomplished its goal of raising the necessary funds, and resulted in the class of 1976 being the first class to have photos in color in the yearbook.
Another unforgettable and embarrassing moment taught me a valuable lifelong lesson: I am not a drinker. It was carnival, and the student council had a real interest in the running of the CVI carnival booth. As a duly elected representative of the student council, I decided to go to the carnival village to keep an eye on things. To get into the carnival spirit, I began drinking crème de menthe and cream. It was a sweet, mild drink, and I was comfortable with it. Unfortunately, I did not leave a good thing alone. A female student saw me drinking crème de menthe and asked: “Hutson, why are you drinking that ladies’ drink? Let me get you a real drink.” She brought me vodka and orange juice. After drinking the vodka and orange juice, I decided that it was in my best interest to start heading back to the college campus. On my way to the bus stop, I sat on a bench in Emancipation Garden and promptly fell asleep. A few days later, another female student met me in front of the cafeteria and asked: “Didn’t I see you sleeping on a bench in the Emancipation Garden the other night?”
After graduating from CVI, I went to Michigan, my first time away from the small islands of the Caribbean. I got a job with Michigan Bell as a management trainee, and started work alongside graduates from large, well-known schools. For quite some time, I kept asking myself: “How do I measure up academically?” After working with colleagues from some of these schools, however, I realized that at no time was I unprepared academically for any of my assigned tasks. I was able to reflect and whisper inwardly: “Yes CVI, you have done a great job. I can compete.”
Finally, I reflect on a professor that I will never forget, Dr. Barac, who once said to me: “If you are to understand God, then you must be a god yourself.”
Congratulations on your 50th anniversary CVI.
Alvincent Hutson is now Senior Vice President of Veritas Financial Partners, a financial services company, in Boca Raton, Florida.