The Oconee High School National Alumni Association was organized by former students and faculty to preserve the OHS legacy of excellence, spirit, and pride through sponsorship of events and reunions; promoting education through scholarships and training; supporting the welfare of people and communities; providing a presence and voice when needed; and maintaining visibility in the city of Dublin at large. The theme of this year's reunion is "Building on the Trojan Legacy While Embracing Current and Future Challenges."
The theme of Thomas's speech was, "What kind of legacy do you want to leave behind when you die?" "Every life leaves a legacy. If you leave a legacy that is greater than you, and if you want to leave a legacy that will impact generation after generation, and if you live your life to leave something that will be great, all you need is wrapped up in three, profoundly simple yet inspiringly deep, thoughts: I fought the good fight. I finished the race. And, I kept the faith," Thomas asserted.
She called upon the legacy leavers and reminded them, "We are stewards of this world. We should leave this world better than we found it." In reminding those present of their legacy leavers, Thomas said, "We are the legacies of the teachers of Oconee High School. We are the fruits of their labor."
Although Barbara Thomas has enjoyed much success in her business career, she told all, "I don't want to be a legend, I want to live to leave a legacy." In comparing a legacy to a reputation, the Executive Director of the National MBA Foundation said, "A reputation is made in a moment. A legacy is built in a lifetime."
Thomas outlined the steps of determining your legacy; Understand your legacy. Chose your legacy. Focus on your legacy. Establish a life sentence. Live your legacy.
As a child Barbara wanted to be a pastor. Later she wanted to be a great communicator. Now she says, "I want to add value to leaders, leaders who will multiply value to others." She encouraged everyone to take time to learn as much as you can and to pass that knowledge onto your children and their children. "We are the baton passers who pass that information on." Mrs. Thomas concluded.
A special recognition was given to principal Charles W. Manning. Manning, who in 1959 succeeded Lucius D, Bacote, as the second and only other principal of Oconee High School, which opened in 1952 and closed in 1970 when Dublin city schools were integrated.
Awards were presented to those who contributed to the placement of a historical marker on the site of the school. The ceremony took placed earlier in the day as scheduled. Unfortunately, the carrier lost the sign, which will be formally dedicated at a later date.