HBCU Corner

Charlotte Dunston

The Greater Roanoke Chapter of Virginia State University Alumni Association recognizes one of its distinguished alumni, Charlotte Simms Dunston.

Dunston attended Roanoke County Training School from first through third grade. She then attended G.W. Carver, a one building school built for Black children shared by elementary and high school students. Mrs. Dunston attended the school beginning in the fourth grade and graduated high school there in 1948. While attending Carver, teachers talked to the students about attending college. Some teachers had attended Virginia State.

Mrs. Dunston, who was salutatorian of her graduating class decided to attend Virginia State due to a scholarship she received.

While at Virginia State she was homesick, but stayed there and majored in Elementary Education. She also played alto saxophone for four years in the Virginia State College Marching Band where there were many things she experienced while traveling with the band. She road on a ferry to visited colleges in the Tidewater area. She was inducted into the Alpha Eta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority in 1951. In 1952 she graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education and is grateful to all of the teachers and professors for their guidance, patience and kindness.

Her first teaching position was in King George County, Virginia. She later returned to Roanoke County and taught at G. W. Carver until it’s closing in 1966 and was the only Black teacher there. She was a reading teacher after integration and returned to Carver in the early eighties and retired from Roanoke County Public Schools in 1988.

Mrs. Dunston is a member of First Baptist Church, Salem, VA where she has been a member since age eight. She is a Life Member of the NAACP, a Life Member of the National Education Association, a member of the Roanoke County Teachers Association, a member of Fidelity Chapter #54 and a PGWM (Past Grand Worthy Matron) Order of the Eastern Star of VA, PHA (Prince Hall Affiliate).

Mrs. Dunston states that she gives God all of the praise and the honor for the accomplishments at she has achieved in her lifetime, and thanks Him for blessing her to have been able to celebrate 90 years thus far.

The Greater Roanoke Chapter of Virginia State University Alumni Association thanks you, Mrs. Dunston and give you a Huge Hail State!