Jan. 13, 2013

Dozens of people attended, and even more contributed, to Sunday’s successful launch of the Sarah and Sammy Stevenson Endowed Scholarship Fund at Johnson C. Smith University.

AME Zion Church Bishop George E. Battle Jr. said Sunday that Sarah Stevenson had long held the dream of creating a scholarship to honor her fourth son Sammy, who grew up in Charlotte and became an internationally known opera singer.

Dr. Ronald L. Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith, accepted the roughly  $20,000 in donations that will lay the groundwork for a fund that will one day assist a JCSU student with college costs.

Bishop Battle, who was chair of the CMS Board of Education when Sarah Stevenson served on the board as its first African-American female member from 1980 to 1988, donated the concert venue costs at the Varick Renaissance Center so that all other donors’ contributions would go directly toward the scholarship fund.

Videos from the event are inserted in the program text below.




Steve Crump, master of ceremonies and WBTV reporter



Rev. Robert Hull, pastor, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church


Musical Selection

Quartet of Stanley Graham, William McLeoud, Darrel Payton and Michael Porter



Bishop George E. Battle Jr., presiding prelate of the Piedmont Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church


Reflections Tribute

Mrs. Sally Robinson, Family Friend


Refreshments and Attendees

Open Buffet



Accompanying: Ms. Ellen Robinson and William McLeoud

Mrs. Teresa Moore Mitchell


Mrs. Linda Straite Lynch


Dr. Thomas Moore



Endowment Presentation

Mrs. Sarah Mingo Stevenson


Remarks and Closing Prayer

Dr. Ronald L. Carter, President, Johnson C. Smith University


Closing Song

How Great Thou Art, All Family and Friends






Bishop and Mrs. George E. and Iris Battle, Jr.

Attorney and Mrs. Russell and Sally Robinson

CLEF – $2,000

Mr. and Mrs. Stoney and Tonya Sellars

WHOLE NOTE – $1,000

Mr. Rennie Cuthbertson

Mr. and Mrs. Harvey and Cindy Gantt

Mr. and Mrs. Peter and Anne Gilchrist

Mr. and Mrs. Arthur and Alicia Griffin

Myers Park United Methodist Church

Attorney T. Michael Todd

The Honorable Melvin L. Watt



HALF NOTE – $500

Mr. and Mrs. Jim and Mary Lou Babb, Jr.

Mrs. Johnnie Collins

Ms. Natheley McElrath

Mr. James ‘Smuggie’ Mitchell

Mr. and Mrs. Harry and Rebecca Jones

Genesis Project I


Mr. and Mrs. Frank Theodore and Carol M. Gaither

Mr. and Mrs. Richard and Jackie McElrath

Mr. and Mrs. Richard “Stick” and Teresa Williams


Mr. and Dr. William and Carlether Burwell

Dr. and Mrs. Bryant and Elma N. Clancy

Mrs. Sarah M. Coleman

Mrs. Patricia Cotham

Mrs. Geraldine Brisbane Crooks

Rev. Gwen Curry

Mrs. Diane English

Mrs. Claire Fallon

Attorney Trevor Fuller

Mr. and Mrs. William T. and Annie Gillespie

Mrs. Roberta M. Harris

Mrs. Anna M. Hood

Mrs. Carlenia Ivory

Mrs. Pamela Jefsen

Ms. Tammy Johnson

Mr. Steve Johnston

Mr. and Mrs. Grover and Mildred M. Kirkland

Dr. Vilma Leake

Mrs. Laura McClettie

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas and Izetta Massey

Mr. and Mrs. Samuel and Kerry Miller

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E and Helen Stevenson

Mrs. Claire K. Tate

Mrs. Ann Davis Thomas

Dr. Joyce Davis Waddell

Mrs. Jackie Edwards Walton

Mrs. Vivian Williams

Special Thanks

Bishop and Mrs. George E. and Iris Battle, Jr.

Mr. Steve Crump

Dr. James Howell

Rev. Robert Hull

Johnson C. Smith University

Myers Park United Methodist Church

Ms. Ellen Robinson



121111Portrait“Every day when my feet hit the floor, I try to think about all I have to be thankful for: my friends, my family and all the people who never gave up on me and love me. It brings me to tears to even think of it.

“My life has been a blessing and therefore I want to establish a scholarship endowment fund, leave a legacy, and also honor the life of my late son, Samuel Clark Stevenson, a devoted children’s advocate and local and international accomplished opera singer.”