Dr. Angie Evans Benham, a 1960 graduate of Van Buren High School, will be inducted into the VBHS Hall of Honor Saturday, Nov. 9.
The Van Buren High School Hall of Honor recognizes distinguished alumni, employees and community leaders for their outstanding achievements, service to the community of Van Buren, Van Buren High School or the Van Buren School District.
Benham was selected for outstanding contributions and outstanding post-high school or professional career achievements.
Benham is a practicing psychologist with Deer Oaks Behavioral Health in San Antonio. She has worked extensively in the clinical and experimental psychology field for the past three decades as a private practitioner, consultant and professor. She has a Ph.D. in general experimental psychology from the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Benham’s nomination was submitted by the staff at Butterfield Junior High School for her significant contribution to progress in Van Buren education with her efforts as a 15-year-old high school student in support of the integration of Van Buren High School.
"Dr. Benham’s courageous stand occurred in the fall of 1958 when a student led strike closed the high school temporarily," the nomination sates. "In the midst of the controversy, she asked to speak at a school board meeting as a representative of the student body in order to share the results of a student poll which indicated that a majority of students favored re-opening the school with African-American students attending."
Her story was featured in a September 1958 Time Magazine article "Courage in Van Buren."
Benham married David, a VBHS classmate, in 1962. They are the parents of three adult children. They grew up in Georgia after spending their early years on the Navajo Reservation in Tuba City, Ariz. They have six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Four of their grandchildren have been VBHS honor graduates.
Benham will be honored Nov. 8 as part of VBHS senior night activities during the Pointer-Siloam Springs football game at Blakemore field.
The formal induction will take place at Van Buren High School Nov. 9, beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Tickets are available and can be purchased for $10 by calling the Van Buren Fine Arts Center at (479) 471-4017 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.