Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) Alumni Inducted into ASD Hall of Fame
Dec 20, 2012 | 3983 views |  0 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Six alumni of the Alabama School for the Deaf (ASD) in Talladega were inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame during the 17th installation ceremony held Saturday, Dec. 8. They are Roxanne Dawes, Stanley Jordan, Larry Potter, Jerry Smith, Charles Thorn and Tommy White.

Roxanne Dawes

Roxanne Dawes was born in Huntsville to deaf parents, Richard and the late Rozelle Dawes. Both of her parents graduated from the Florida School for the Deaf where her mother was a basketball star. Her father Richard is the founder and the former executive director of the ASD Hall of Fame.

When Roxanne enrolled at ASD in 1978 the school had not fielded a girls basketball team in more than 35 years. Over her six-year run, Roxanne led the Lady Warriors in scoring every year with over 1600 total points, a new school record at the time. As a freshman, she was named to the All-American first team for the deaf preps in the nation and repeated the honor in 1983. Highlights of her ASD career included assisting her team along with another Hall of Fame guard Pam Estes in capturing ASD’s first ever Mason-Dixon basketball championship under coaching of ASD Hall of Famer Kay Hill.

Roxanne graduated from ASD in 1984 and attended Gallaudet University where she participated in varsity basketball and softball. In 1988, Roxanne was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, but continued playing basketball and softball for a deaf club in Austin, Texas for several years. She was an employee of the Texas School for the Deaf for 20 years.

Stanley Jordan

Stanley Jordan was born in Sweetwater and enrolled at ASD in 1965. His older brother Leonard Jordan graduated from ASD in 1969 and encouraged Stanley to follow in his footsteps, wearing the same jersey number.

Stanley played football at ASD from 1974 to 1977, starting as an offensive center and defensive lineman for three years. He was selected as a First Team All-American and All-County in 1976 and 1977 and led the nation’s schools for the deaf in the most total tackles in 1977.

Involved in Boy Scouts and Indian Dancing, Stanley became an Eagle Scout in 1978. He and Teresa, his wife of 33 years, live in Sweetwater.

Larry Potter

Larry Potter was born in Anniston and became deaf at a young age due to spinal meningitis. He began his formal education at ASD in 1944.

Larry played on the junior varsity and varsity basketball teams under famed coach Harry Baynes.At 6 foot 4 inches, Larry became a premiere strong forward averaging 15 points per game.He was named to the Deaf All-American Second Team in 1958 and had a great performance at the 1957-58 Mason-Dixon Basketball Tournament. He was voted to the All-Tournament Team twice and to the All-District Basketball Tournament Team. Larry also excelled in football as a tight end under famed Coach Moran Colburn.

Larry graduated from ASD in 1959. He married to Claudia Foster and had two children.

Jerry Smith

Jerry Smith was born deaf, along with two of his brothers. After visiting ASD and giving their decision much thought, Jerry’s parents decided to enroll all three — Jerry enrolled in 1962.

During his two-year football career as a starting end, he scored 10 touchdowns and 10 two-point conversions for a total of 80 points. He earned a Deaf All-American honorable mention in 1972.

Jerry enjoyed being with other friends who were deaf and was involved in many events like school trips, Boy Scouts and Saturday movies. His life at ASD helped him become confident and proud of who he is, which served him well during his 36-year career at Parker Fitting Company.

Saturday, Jerry enjoys wood-crafting, farming and babysitting his grandchildren. He is an active member of the Alabama Association for the Deaf Inc., Huntsville Chapter AAD and Alabama School for the Deaf Alumni Association. He has been married to Carol (Grizzard) Smith for 38 years, and they have two children and three granddaughters.

Charles Thorn

Charles William Thorn was born in Itawamba County, Miss., and lost his hearing at the age of 4 when he contracted meningitis. He enrolled at ASD at age 7.

Charles played football for four years and was one of the greatest nose guards ever to play for the Silent Warriors. In spite of his small stature, he earned All-Southern First Team and All-American First Team honors in defense in 1951. He was outstanding in linotype and while he qualified for admission to Gallaudet University, he chose to begin a career in printing. He married Geneva Knight Deloach and worked at The Birmingham News until his retirement. Charles passed away in 2002.

Tommy White

A. Thomas White was born in Union, S.C., with a hearing loss. Tommy enrolled at ASD in 1964 when his family moved to Alabama. Although never before exposed to communicating with the deaf, Tommy soon learned and the teachers and staff at ASD quickly became his life.

As a star basketball player, Tommy was a leading scorer and rebounder averaging almost 25 points a game. He was named to the Deaf All-American First Team in 1966 and 1968, All-County Team in 1968 and the Mason-Dixon All-Tournament Team three times. He also joined the football team and was a good quarterback.

He left school in 1968 and Saturday lives in South Carolina. Tommy is married and has one daughter and three grandchildren.

The Alabama School for the Deaf is a component of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind established in 1858. It serves deaf and hard of hearing individuals from all 67 counties of the state. ASD is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Conference of Educational Administrators Serving the Deaf.
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