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Saving St. John School and the Rosenwald School Legacy (virtual)

Hosted By Lifetime Learning
Event Details
Speakers: Jody D. Lahendro and Rebecca Bowler Kinney

Virtual Event with Live Captioning

Saving St. John School and the Rosenwald School Legacy

From 1912 to 1932, a collaboration between Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald resulted in more than 5,300 schools constructed for rural African Americans in the South. St. John Rosenwald School was erected in 1923 in Cobham, northeast of Charlottesville, where local Black children were educated until 1954. Rebecca Kinney, St. John School alumna and board president of a local nonprofit driving this effort, and Jody Lahendro, recently retired UVA Historic Preservation Architect, will recount the movement by school alumni and the local community’s determination to save St. John School. They will share the uplifting story of this 11-year effort to take the project to construction.

Speaker Biographies

Jody LahendroJody D. Lahendro , Retired Historic Preservation Architect, University of Virginia

After nearly 17 years, Jody Lahendro, a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (FAIA) retired in 2021 as Historic Preservation Architect at the University of Virginia. His final projects at UVA included managing the Carr’s Hill and Rotunda renovations. Prior to UVA, Lahendro owned an architectural practice in Richmond for 18 years, specializing in historic preservation.

In retirement, Lahendro is now providing pro bono services to nonprofits with historic buildings associated with African Americans. He received a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech and a Master of Architectural History from the University of Virginia.

Rebecca Bowler KinneyRebecca Bowler Kinney, St. John Rosenwald School Alumna

Rebecca Bowler Kinney is a native of Albemarle County, Virginia. She and her three siblings, as well as her mother and her seven siblings, all attended the St. John Rosenwald School. Kinney is a retired senior program manager with 30 years of federal service at the United States Department of Defense and the United States Intelligence Community in planning, programming, budgeting, and execution systems. She is the board president of the St. John Family Life and Fitness Center, which was established as a non-profit in 2011 to adaptively reuse and occupy the historic St. John School. The Center will offer community-based learning programs and activities to improve health, learning, and personal well-being to participants.