Luther H. Foster High School, located on Highway 460, one mile from Nottoway Courthouse in Nottoway County, Va., was completed in 1950 at a cost of approximately $680,000.00. The building contained 18 classrooms, a complete Home Economic Department (five rooms and bath), Industrial Arts and Agriculture Shops, a science laboratory. The auditorium seated 650 and had a motion picture booth. The library had a special conference room and a work room. There were special rooms for music, art, and visual aids. The school had a cafeteria and a clinic.

The school was dedicated on June 6, 1950. It was named the Luther H. Foster High School in memory of Dr. Luther Hilton Foster, deceased, former President of Virginia State College at Petersburg, Virginia. Dr. Foster served the college as president from 1943 to 1949. Before his appointment as president, he served as business manager for many years. At the dedication exercises, Mrs. Foster spoke to the assembly and Dr. R.P. Daniels, President of Virginia State College delivered the major address.

On June 6, 1950, the first commencement exercises were held in the school auditorium, even though the building was still incomplete. The last graduating class of the old Nottoway Training School was the first to march down the aisles of the auditorium. There were 64 graduates. This class planted the maple tree outside of the home economics department.

In September of 1950, the first class met in the building. There was a teaching staff of 17 including Mr. James B. Woodson, Principal, John L. Collins, Physical Education; Marie Goodman, Music; Mrs. Elizabeth Barbour, English; Mrs. Doris Williams (Strode), English and Dramatics; Rufus M. Gant, Industrial Arts; Alan Thornhill, Business; Mrs. Alice H. Birckhead, Home Economics; Miss Ruth M. Johns (Pegram), Home Economics; Margaret Bizzell, Science, Theresa Taylor (Oliver), Math; Emma Sykes (Davis), Librarian; Mr. W.L. Carter, Agriculture; Mrs. Grace Womack, English; Mrs. Blanche Newkirk (Penn), French; Mrs. Almaida Lomax (Smith), Chemistry. Approximately 350 pupils were enrolled. The first Parent-Teacher Association was organized and Miss Almaida Lomax served as president. The first Cadet Teachers were Miss Princess Kelsaw and Miss Eliza Ann Fisher. Miss Fisher later joined the staff.

In June of 1951, the first graduating class of Luther H. Foster High School held its commencement exercises in the auditorium. There were 72 graduates; Anna Jones was valedictorian and Martha Carter, salutatorian.

An increased enrollment in the elementary school of the county made it necessary to move the seventh grade pupils to Foster in September, 1952. At this time, four elementary teachers and three high school teachers were added to the teaching staff. Enrollment increased to 457 pupils.

In 1951, the 5th year was added to all four year high schools in Virginia. All pupils entering high school in September of 1951 and there after, would spend five years instead of four at the Luther Foster High School. As a result, there was no graduating class in 1955, , but a diploma was awarded to Mr. Henry (Chick) Townes of Crewe, who had returned from the Armed Forces.

Through the years, many changes occurred. The first clinic room was changed into a private office for the principal and the second one was later changed to the guidance office; the conference room of the library was converted to a bookstore; the art room used for physical education. The drafting room of the Industrial Arts Department became the agriculture classroom; the former agriculture classroom was used for boys physical education classes. The teaching staff grew from 18 to 27 and for the first time, in the year 1965-66, Miss Martha Singleton was appointed as a full time guidance counselor. The enrollment increased from 350 to 549. There were 64 graduates in 1951--there were 90 graduates in 1965.

In 1958, Mr. J. B. Woodson resigned to become principal of Walker-Grant High School in Fredericksburg, Va. and Mr. Joseph B. Pervall, former principal of the Luther P. Jackson High School in Cumberland, Va. became principal of Luther H. Foster.

Today, the old Luther H. Foster High School building is still in use and is being utilized for the Nottoway Intermediate School.

School Colors and Team Name

The school colors "maroon and white" were adopted 1950-51. Mr. David Maynard of Burlington, N.C. succeeded Mr. J.L. Collins as coach in 1951. He began the search for a name for the athletic teams. The faculty and students liked the sound of "The Bulldogs" and The "Foster Bulldogs" came into being.

School Annual

The class of 1954, the last four year graduates, were the first to request a yearbook. Time did not permit them to publish one. However, the final edition of the Foster Star (the school paper) was dedicated to this class and carried a picture of each graduate. (The Foster Star was published from 1950-1959 under the sponsorship of Mrs. Theresa Taylor Oliver). Among the graduates at that time were: Miss Rose Marie Chatmon, Miss Emily Williams and Mr. Norris Johnson who later became faculty members.

The first edition of the Bulldog, the school yearbook was published in 1956. It was dedicated to the principal and the faculty. Barbara Lewis and Clarence Williams were co-editors. The sponsors were Mrs. Elizabeth Barbour, Miss Mary E. Griffin (Mrs. West) and Mrs. Bernice Woodson. Luther H. Foster High School existed until 1970.

Written by Mrs. Alice H. Birckhead for the Luther H. Foster High School Alumni Association in 1995.

Song of Luther H. Foster High School

"Hail Foster High" was composed in 1951 by Miss Florence Marie Goodman, the first teacher of music at Luther H. Foster. It was sung to the tune of "Danny Boy" or the "Londonderry Air". Miss Goodman (Mrs. Charles Hunter) is a native of Richmond, Va. and a 1950 graduate of Virginia State College. Hail Foster High

Hail Foster High!

We pledge our lasting love to thee,

Our voices raised; we'll ever sing your praise,

With open minds, we'll learn, we'll know no other,

Thy name alone; we'll proudly cheer and raise.

Hail Foster High!

Your portals stand so steadfast,

True to humanity and brotherhood

We'll stand with you, forever and forever,

Your cause is just so kind, so so true and so good.

Hail Foster High!

Erect with structure bold and great,

Your beauty, we will always keep preserved,

You stand in tribute to the welfare of mankind,

It's us dear school; it's us you've nobly served.

Composed by Mrs. Marie Goodman Hunter - 1951


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