Retired Brigadier General Clara L. Adams-Ender
Beatrice P. Payne
One of the Oldest Living Alumni
Beatrice O. (Gwynn) Pitts Payne was born on April 16, 1909, on Kelly Ave. in Mt. Washington, Baltimore County, Maryland. Her parents were the late David T. and Pearl M. Gwynn.
The family moved to Glenn Arm, Md., also in Baltimore County, where her father purchased a farm and raised and sold produce as a truck farmer at the Belair Market in Baltimore City. She enjoyed life on the farm, especially horseback riding and climbing fruit trees.
Before she was old enough to go to school, she would play school. The kitchen chairs and her little sister Louise were her students. She always wanted to be a school teacher. At the age of six, she attended elementary school at the little one room Hartley Mills Elementary School where her Uncle Elijah Gwynn was Principal. When she completed 8th grade in 1923, she went to Bowie High School where she graduated in 1926. She then entered the Bowie Normal School and graduated in 1928 receiving a Maryland Teacher's First Grade Certificate. She received a BS degree in education from Morgan State College. Later, she did graduate work at the New York University and Johns Hopkins University.
Bowie State Normal School has always been the highlight of her life. She credits the foundation at "Bowie" with "carrying her through". She had the honor of being the second National Alumni Association President from 1942-1946. She is a Life Time Member of the institution's National Alumni Association. In October 2008, she was the "Grand Marshall" of the Homecoming Parade.
Mrs. Payne's teaching career began in Carroll County where she taught for two years. She resigned from Carroll County and went to Baltimore County where she remained for 36½ years. During her years in Baltimore County, she was teaching principal at Sparks Elementary School for 25 years, teacher-in-charge of Special Education for two years and concurrently administrative assistant and supervisor of the Special Education Department in Towson Elementary School. She also served as corrective Reading Specialist in Baltimore County for six years prior to her retirement. She was the first black administrative assistant in Baltimore County.
She married the late Dr. Thomas A. Pitts, on Christmas day, December 25, 1946, and resided with him for 27 years in Baltimore City and had a summer home in Oyster Harbor Annapolis, Maryland. After the death of Dr. Pitts in 1973, she was married to Charles H. Payne in 1983. She and Mr. Payne resided in Catonsville, Maryland, until his death in 1993.
After retiring in 1966, Mrs. Pitts' political and civic activities were many and varied. She served on the Mayor's Task Force Committee for Prevention of Crime, the Community Action Agency as a Commissioner, Campaign Liaison person for five Baltimore City Districts and Advisor to the 16th Ward Democratic Club.
Other affiliations include membership in the following organizations:
- Alpha Zeta Chapter-Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. Inc. (served as Basileus, Founder of Zetarama, Treasurer, Secretary, and Chairman of various committees and as a member of Zeta for 50 three years)
- Women's Auxiliary of Frontiers Baltimore Chapter-Charter President, Secretary
- Sigma Wives-President, Treasurer
- Twenty women-President, Secretary
- Local and State Chiropractic Auxiliary
- Daytimers-President and Tour Guide
Mrs. Payne has traveled extensively in the United States, cruised in Hawaii, the Caribbean and Virgin Islands, Canada, Alaska, South America, and the Panama Canal. Her hobbies are bowling, dancing, sewing and reading. She has been a member of Grace Presbyterian Church for 81 years where she has served as a Deaconess, Elder and has been a member of the Chancel Choir for 27 years. She currently resides in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area.
Her motto is very simple: "Treat others how you want to be treated" and "God is good all the time."
Mrs. Payne is still driving and enjoying it!
Graduating Senior Commencement Information
Click here for more information
Commencement overflow parking locations:
Jericho Park (9510 Laurel Bowie Rd, Bowie, Maryland, on Route 197 across from Florian Hall)
Cresthill Baptist Church (6510 Laurel-Bowie Road, Bowie, Maryland on Route 197)
Name: Michael Wilder
Hometown: Capitol Heights, Md.
Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Fine Art (Graphic Design)
Michael Wilder knew that he wanted to attend Bowie State because of its "rich history and background." Since admission to Bowie State four years ago, "I've become more knowledgeable in graphic design, entrepreneurial, and met more people who share my faith through a bible ministries club on campus." His major is graphic design and the skill he has developed as a college student enables him to earn money by developing designs for posters, flyers, banners and the like for various entities and individuals including renowned jazz musician and Bowie State faculty member Marcus Johnson, who owns a music production company.
Name: Ghingi Barkley
Hometown: Upper Marlboro, Md.
Degree: Bachelor of Science in Communications (Public Relations)
Ghingi Barkley transferred to Bowie State from Morgan State University. She explains, "I didn't have the finances to afford to live on campus so it was easier for me to attend Bowie State because it was closer to home." Unlike Wilder, who knew he wanted to major in graphic design early in his college career, Barkley says choosing a major was challenging. "Before transferring to Bowie State, I went from taking classes toward physical therapy, to finance, and finally decided to choose public relations. From this I learned how to be more focused on my future instead of just doing something just because. It took me a little time to realize what I wanted to do in life."
Name: Clarence Johnson
Hometown: Clarksburg, Md.
Degree: Master of Arts in Teaching (History)
With an associate's degree in secondary education, a bachelor's in history and government and a master's in administrative management, Clarence Johnson plans to retire from his position as a program analyst after 34 years working at the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology, to teach social studies. "I always wanted to teach and I have a love for history . . . I've traveled a lot on my job . . . to Norway, Germany, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, and gained an appreciation of different cultures. I believe teaching is a perfect fit for me."
Name: Darnell Henson
Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland
Major/Concentration: Bachelor of Science in Communications (Public Relations)
After high school, Darnell Henson decided to attend an Historically Black University so that he could experience the rich culture and history. Looking back on the past four years at Bowie State, he says "the smaller classes gave me an opportunity to have more interaction with my teachers who seemed like they cared about us (students) and not just that we get a degree but get a good job also." Henson wants to work for a public relations firm and have a successful career as well as give back to Bowie State and the community by mentoring and encouraging students to value their education."
Name: Carlyn Payton
Hometown: Washington, D.C.
Major/Concentration: Master of Arts in Organizational Communications
Carlyn Payton served in AmeriCorps and as a graduate assistant to help pay her tuition at Bowie State. After graduating this December, she looks forward to starting a PhD program at the University of Maryland Baltimore County in 2011. She describes her approach to school this way: "I have always been determined to learn, understand and regurgitate all that I could, even if it meant doing extra."
Name: Antoinette Emefa Attipoe
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Major/Concentration: Master of Science in Management Information Systems
Antoinette Emefa Attipoe always wanted to attend a small school where the teachers can give students one-on-one personal attention. "I found that at Bowie State," she says. Attipoe also adds she is no stranger to hard work. "Throughout my academic career, I received several awards for community service and academic achievements. I was also a member of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society. Even though some may call it being a perfectionist, I like to do excellent, quality work. I believe in hard work. I am always eager to learn new things and I enjoy challenging work; work that pushes me to the limit."
Name: Loilette Loderick
Hometown: Trelawny, Jamaica
Major/Concentration: Master of Science in Management Information Systems
Loilette Loderick transferred from a college in London, England, to Bowie State where she began her undergraduate studies. She explains, "I chose Bowie State University because it was not as expensive as other colleges and closer to home; the professors are warm, welcoming and understanding. During my (first) visit to the University I met with a few professors which understood my position as a working single parent. They all encouraged and gave me the confidence that I could be a success story and I definitely could achieve an undergraduate and now a graduate degree."
Name: Andrea Michelle McLean
Hometown: Landover, Maryland
Major/Concentration: Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Andrea Michelle McLean graduated with a 4.0 while working a full-time job at the U.S. State Department. She is the oldest of four children and the first college graduate in her family. Her advice to other students who want to graduate with a 4.0 is "Study hard, pay attention in class and get to know your teachers." A member of two honor societies, Alpha Chi and Psi Chi, McClean's only regret about her undergraduate experience at Bowie State is that she didn't attend more events.
Name: Brenda James
Hometown: Fayetteville, West Virginia
Major/Concentration: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration
Brenda James has a passion to teach at a college or a university which comes from attending college later in life and interacting with younger students. "I hope that I caninspire students young and old and make learning fun," says James. "I also hope that I can bring real world experience into the classroom to enhance my teaching style, as I prepare students for their careers."
Name: Edward O'Neal Ryans
Hometown: East Cleveland, Ohio
Major/Concentration: Doctor of Education in Education Leadership
Bowie State's only doctoral graduate during the Winter 2009 ceremony, Edward O'Neal Ryans is a principal at Friendly High School in Prince George's County, a husband and father. He says, "I chose Bowie State University because of its commitment to urban public school education, and preparing leaders to serve in those jurisdictions. . . . I value hard work and perseverance so I try to model these traits consistently."
Winter 2009 Commencement Committee Members
Dr. Roosevelt Newson, General Chair
Dr. Freddie T. Vaughns, Co-Chair
Ms. Vera Diane Chesley, Co-Chair
Ms. Kelechi Anynwu, President, GSA
Ms. Maya Newman, President, Senior Class
Dr. Shirelle Briscoe
Dr. Monika Gross
Dr. Marymal Holmes
Dr. Otis Thomas
Prof. Renee Charlow
Prof. Adolph Wright
Ms. Patricia Mitchell
Ms. Jacqueline Jackson-Palmer
Ms. Cynthia Coleman
Chief Ernest Waiters
Acting Sgt. Lashelle Powell
Ms. Dorothy Holland
Ms. Doris Gillard
Ms. Dale O'Neal
Ms. Tammi L. Thomas
Mr. Darren Swain
Ms. Aurora Burke
Commencement Overflow Areas
- Center for Learning and Technology Building, Room 102
- Martin Luther King Jr. Communication Arts Center, Myers Auditorium
Click here to download campus map