The Inaugural Alpha Esquire Beautillion at the Toledo Museum

Alpha Esquire 2024 Beautillion Beaus, Junior Beaus and Belles

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

The Alpha Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. held its inaugural Alpha Esquire Beautillion at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavilion Saturday, April 20. The event served as a rite of passage for the organization’s Alpha Esquires youth group (founded in 2019). The inaugural Class of 2024 Beaus included seniors Ward Barnett Jr. (Jones Leadership Academy of Business), Jaden Bridgett (Rogers High School) and Bryce Burruss (Start High School).

Alpha Esquires is a youth mentoring and leadership development group designed for middle and high school age young men of color. The group serves students in the Greater Toledo area and promotes leadership, communication skills, social awareness, community involvement and other areas of personal growth.

Alpha Beautillion 2024 focuses on the educational and social development of African American youths transitioning from one stage of life to another. The coming-of-age ceremony is the culmination of the Esquires program for high school seniors. Prior to the Beautillion, Alpha Phi Alpha conducts several workshops: financial literacy, public speaking, college readiness, and etiquette among them, to prepare the young men for this rite of passage.

2024 Beaus, Junior Beaus and Belles enjoy dinner at TMA’s Glass Pavillion

Upon completion of the program, Esquires will be better prepared to meet the challenges of college, their future professions and life in general. Alpha Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc., assisted by Epsilon Alpha and Epsilon Theta Chapters at the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University, respectively, is the program sponsor. The program, which serves 6-12th grade students, began in 2019.

The welcome for the event was given by Bro. Rev. John C. Jones, president Alpha Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Following Jones, Jennifer McCary, PhD, Chief Culture and Brand Experience Officer of the Toledo Musuam of Art, gave a welcome on behalf of the museum.

The Mission, Vision and Purpose of The Beautillion and Esquires was given by Bro. Calvin Burney and the invocation by Bro. Elder David Young.

Following dinner, Bro. Keenen Fisher, Beautillion co-chair, introduced the mistress of ceremonies Rhonda B. Sewell who then introduced the 2024 Beaus and Belles.

The 2024 Inaugural Alpha Beautillion Beaus:

Ward Emanuel Barnett Jr. (2024 Beaux)
Parents: Kimberly and Ward Barnett
High School – Jones Leadership Academy of Business

Ward Barnett, Kimmie Barnett and daughter Imani support Ward Barnett, Jr

Ward Emanuel Barnett is currently a Senior at Jones Leadership Academy of Business where he holds 4.1 GPA and has been on the Principal’s List all his high school career. He is also the Valedictorian of his 2024 senior class. Ward has decided to pursue a degree in Psychology at the University of Toledo this fall.

Jaden Derrick-Anthony Bridgett (2024 Beaux)
Parent: Allsha Durham
High School – Rogers High School

Jaden is a senior at Robert S. Rogers High School and dually enrolled as a College Credit Plus student at the University of Toledo where he holds a 3,98 and 3.73 G.P.A. respectively. This fall Jaden will continue his education at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia where he will major in Business and Communications.

Bryce Mandrell Burruss (2024 Beaux)
Parents: Calvin and Audrey Lewis, Royce Burruss
High School –  Roy C. Start High School
Bryce Mandrell Burruss is a Senior currently attending Roy C. Start High School. Bryce has achieved making Honor Roll and has also been nominated for student of the month. Bryce will be graduating this summer and continuing on his life journey as a creative. Bryce is still weighing his options on whether he wants to attend college to major in Business, or acquire his apprenticeship to be an Electrician.

Roxanne Quinn, Montriese Quinn and Robert Royster

The 2024 Inaugural Alpha Beautillion Junior Beaus:

Xavien Bofia – Junior at E.L. Bowsher High School

Carl R. Perkins – Junior at St. John’s Jesuit High School

The 2024 Inaugural Alpha Beautillion Belles:

Courtney Marie Jones – Senior at Roy C. Start High School

Reagan Quinn – Senior at Notre Dame Academy

Malaya Lashay Campbell – Senior at Glass City Academy

The Beaus engaged in a traditional alpha beautillion waltz to “Dirty Orchestra,” Black Violin – Kevin Sylvester & Winter Baptiste. Sewell read the poem “Mother to Son” by Langston Hughes (1922) and the Beaus performed a Mother and Son Dance.

Quinton Riley, Latoya Riley and Carla Ford

Presentation of Awards and Gifts were given by Junior Beaus and Bro. Keenen Fisher with closing remarks by Bro. Nathaniel J. Young, Beautillion Chairman.

2024 Alpha Esquire Beautillion Committee included Nathaniel J, Young, chair; Keenen Fisher, co-chair; Committee Members: JeTahn Avery, Xavier Bishop, Calvin Burney, Christopher Foster, James Jones, Andre’ V. Page.

The Waltz was choregraphed by Gayle E. Martin and decorations by Par Excel Events, LLC (Brenda Pasker-Duhart)

To apply to become an Alpha Esquire or to learn more visit:

The next event hosted by Alpha Xi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. will be the Alpha Derby Day Party at The Bay, Saturday May 4, 4pm-9pm to learn more visit:

Alpha Phi Alpha Brief History:

Attendees at the inaugural Alpha Beautillion held at the Toledo Museum of Art Glass Pavillion

Since its founding December 4, 1906, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. has supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African Americans and people of color around the world. Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African Americans, was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York by seven college men who recognized the need for a strong bond of brotherhood among African descendants in this country.

Locally, Alpha Xi Lambda, an alumni chapter, was chartered November 3, 1928 at the Frederick Douglass Community Center. Alpha Phi Alpha’s college chapters: Epsilon Alpha and Epsilon Theta were chartered May 15, 1954 (University of Toledo) and May 15, 1959 (Bowling Green State University).