In 1993, all of the 22 Councill Training School graduating classes reunited for the first school-wide reunion. Subsequently, all-school reunions were held in 2003, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2017. The Reunion Planning Committee has morphed into forming a CTS Alumni Association.
1993 Reunion. The reunion opened on Friday evening, June 26, with an evening of class parties at the Huntsville Hilton with 1,000 participants attending. A reunion picnic was held on Saturday, June 27, at Redstone Arsenal’s recreational area, with more than 2,500 former students, families and friends participating. The reunion climaxed on Saturday evening with a banquet and dance at the Von Braun Civic Center with about 1,000 alumni in attendance. On Sunday, June 28, schoolmates worshipped at churches of their choice. During this unforgettable weekend, alumni had the opportunity to reflect on the “Good Ole Days” at Councill Training, riding the bus for hours to school each day, the school quartet, and the heated rivalry with Councill High School – Huntsville City’s black public school in those days. The stories shared brought much fun and laughter.
2003 Reunion. In 2003, all 22 of the Councill Training graduating classes reunited for the second school-wide reunion. The celebration followed a similar pattern to that in 1992, beginning with class parties at the Huntsville Hilton and other sites on Friday evening. On Saturday morning, August 23rd, more than 800 alumni gathered at the Ernest Knight Center on the campus of Alabama A&M University for a reunion brunch and a tour of the old Councill Training School building. They were intrigued by a video developing the reunion theme: “Rekindling the Councill Spirit,” and featuring pictures of students and activities from the 22-year existence of Councill Training School. The video evoked fond memories. The reunion climaxed with a banquet and dance at the Von Braun Center on Saturday evening with approximately 1,000 alumni and guests in attendance. Schoolmates again worshipped at churches of their choice on Sunday morning. Like the first school-wide reunion, the gathering in 2003 rekindled the Councill Spirit.
2008 Reunion. When a third all-school reunion was held in 2008, 769 former students attended. Activities were structured as in previous reunions: class parties at the Holiday Inn Downtown on Friday evening, a Saturday picnic and a Saturday evening banquet followed by a dance at the Von Braun Center. Highly successful, that reunion caused class leaders to agree to plan another gathering for 2011.
2011 Reunion. The fourth all-school reunion was held August 26-28, 2011 and was a joyous occasion featuring class parties, brunch, a banquet and informal gatherings. More than 700 Councillites attended and decided to gather again in 2014. Again, Councillites enjoyed planning the reunion. As usual, each class sent representatives to the Steering Committee to plan for more than a year. This time the committee established an Endowed Councill Training School Scholarship within the Alabama A & M University Foundation. The goal of the scholarship is to pass on the CTS legacy to deserving students.
2014 Reunion. August 22-24, 2014 were the dates of the fifth all-school reunion. More than 560 former students and guests attended. Headquarters for that gathering was the Embassy Suites Hotel and Spa, and the Marriott Hotel at the Space Center was the site of class gatherings. As usual, Saturday activities were held at the Von Braun Center. By then posing for photographs had become an important part of the reunion festivities. Class pictures are not only valuable keepsakes but they also document attendance, allowing each attendee to be identified in the next reunion program. The Reunion Committee presented its first Endowed Scholarship in 2017. The recipient was Deja J. Morris, a biology major at Alabama A&M University, from Childersburg, Alabama.
2017 Reunion. This reunion was held August 25-27, 2017 as the sixth all school reunion. Headquartered at the Von Braun Center, Huntsville, Alabama, more than 500 Councillites attended. Activities include the similar pattern as prior all-school reunions and gatherings. The Embassy Suites Hotel was the guest hotel for the event where registration took place and some out of town alumni lodged there. The Alabama A&M University board of trustees approved a master plan in 2013 calling for the demolition of the Councill Training School building along with more than a dozen other campus facilities. Currently, plans to demolish the building have been taken off the table and the building has been designated to house the Virginia Caples Lifelong Learning Institute (VCLLI). The VCLLI will be a state-of-the art center for meeting the needs of older adults and preparing them to age well. The proposal calls for collaborative fundraising between the institute and Councillites over the next three years to renovate the building. Councillites will have space for meetings and archives in the facility. This change shifted emphasis on forming the CTS Alumni Association that entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Alabama A&M to assist in securing funds to remodel the old CTS building that will house the VCLLI. Such collaboration drove the 2017 Reunion theme: “Proud to Celebrate and preserve Our CTS Roots”.
Between reunions, classes meet and plan activities. One such activity was the dedication of a historical marker at Councill Training School on May 5, 2002. The class of 1957, the 1992 School Reunion Committee, the Councill Training School Historical Marker committee, benefactors, and the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society collaborated to achieve the momentous feat.