Hiram Holton II '95 Scholarship Effort
During their 20th reunion year in 2015, the Class of 1995, in partnership with Holton family and friends, embarked upon an ambitious fundraising effort for the Hiram Holton II '95 Scholarship. The effort raised $17,550. This year, to continue Hiram’s legacy and foster growth of the Scholarship, his classmates have come together again to form a steering committee.
Goal: Raise $25,000 for the Scholarship Fund.
The Committee is running a special effort that will raise money for the Scholarship Fund, bring those who knew Hiram together to remember him, and teach new generations of the community about Hiram's legacy. Currently, Hiram’s endowed scholarship fund distributes approximately $5,000 to the School’s financial assistance program annually. As Hiram’s endowed fund grows, its distribution grows allowing us to further support the financial needs of the scholarship recipient.
When Hiram Holton II '95 died on February 6, the entire Friends School community mourned his passing. Hiram, who had just turned 18, succumbed to a rare form of cancer after a valiant two-year battle with the disease.
Hiram was a scholar-athlete—a National Merit Commendation winner who, despite his relatively short stature, played point guard on the basketball team. "He had an intensity that affected all those who played with him," said his coach, Randy Cooper H '16, in an article about Hiram's death that appeared in The Sun. Hiram had hoped to attend the University of North Carolina and one day play in the NBA.
To honor Hiram’s memory, The Hiram Holton II ’95 Scholarship Fund was established by the Class of 1995, the Black Student Union, and friends of the Holton family. It provides scholarship assistance to an Upper School African-American student.
"Too often the things we want most elude us and so it was with Hiram for, on February 6, 1995, just barely 18 years old, he succumbed to a rare tumor called a Rhabdomyosarcoma. It was Stage 4 at diagnosis and, like Troy Maxwell in Fences, he dared the Grim Reaper and simply refused to go quietly into that good night. Being a joyful, energetic and charismatic boy who loved life and all people, Hiram continued to live fully, gregariously, gloriously, fearlessly and purposefully, asking but one thing: to leave a legacy. He learned not to spend time lamenting or regretting what was not, but to celebrate what was, not lamenting or regretting what he had and lost, but to celebrate what remained."
-Yvonne Holton P’95
"Hiram was a very special little boy who was joyful and loved life. He was obedient to his parents and respectful of others at all times. Hiram had a desire to do well and was driven to excel and succeed. He was a special young man among men." – Godmother Margaret R. Eldridge
"Anyone that knew Hiram, fully and completely knows that he was full of fearless determination. He already knew that he was going to win before he stepped onto the court, and confidence would exude from him with a gentle smile. His dedication and commitment to perfecting his craft enabled him to have a myriad of skills and abilities; from being the star point guard with the presence of mind to dribble the ball down to take the last shot, execute a flawless trick play, or throw the long ball as the quarterback. Looking back now, it's no wonder that we won the JV Championship and made waves on the football field." - Cory A. Brown ’95
"Hiram's character, spirit and his incredible fortitude were all extraordinary, especially to a bunch of 17 and 18 year old kids at the time. To face what he faced, when most of us at the time worried about such trivial things, like cars, girlfriends and video games was unbelievable. Hiram's courage was something that will never be forgotten, and became even more impressive to all of us as we got older, and has had a positive impact on all of our classmate's lives." -Mike Fine ’95
"I can remember watching and listening to Hiram before - and during - Mr. Cooper's 8th grade English classes as he plotted and planned for the varsity basketball season of our senior year. He would dream and map out starting lineups and plays for the season with great enthusiasm and detail. I actually like to tell that story to 8th graders at my school when I go to visit them about the transition to high school. I use it as a chance to talk to them about setting their goals and dreams, and also doing the work to achieve them - which Hiram did." - Pete Gaines ’95
"Hiram was an inspiring person who lived life to the fullest. His exuberance was contagious- he was always smiling, laughing, joking. I have many fond memories of our class dynamics at Friends and Hiram was central to the cohesiveness of our class. He made it easy for us to identify our similarities and celebrate our differences. In addition to his charismatic spirit, he was also known for his strong will and determination. He exhibited this in his daily life on the basketball court and in his last days on the battle ground against his cancer. I vividly remember visiting him in the hospital, when the end was near. We were all terrified for him and for what life would look like in his absence. He could see the pain in our faces. Nonetheless, during that visit he was still smiling and cracking jokes, all in an effort to make it easier for us. That's just the kind of person he was." – Chelsea Stalling Pinnix ’95
"When this little boy walked into my Sunday school classroom I knew immediately that he was someone special. His smile lit up the room and from that time forth I absolutely loved him. He proved to be more than anyone could imagine but God, because Hiram Holton II was a Designer's Original. I truly miss him, but he will forever hold a special place in my heart. He will never be forgotten." - Minister Mary Kennedy
"Thinking back about Hiram ‘Poopie’ Holton, AKA ‘Poo,’ my nephew was close to my heart. Poo was my sister's only son and he had a heart of gold with a personality to match. Poo and my sons, Stretch and Sherman Hughes, had a special relationship, and my wife Karen and I agree that Poo left an empty space in our family that will never be filled. Above all he will never be forgotten. We love you Poo." – Uncle Sonny
"Friends are the family you chose. Hiram was and is my family. We met around 35 years ago, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about my best friend. He taught me the true meaning of friendship and the true importance of family. Hiram was the best of all of us. He taught us the meaning of strength and courage. As Charles Dickens said ‘The pain of parting is nothing to the joy of meeting again.’ Till we meet again Hiram." - Dennis A. Badham
"Hiram demonstrated throughout his fight that how you approach life and treat people is more important than anything else, and is a much greater indicator of success then where you went to school or how much money you make. I swore to myself after he passed that I would remember Hiram whenever I faced adversity in my life to try to keep that perspective." - Wade Shelton ’95
"I always loved his sense of humor. During a basketball game, the ball got knocked back to the backcourt by a teammate. It was headed out of bounds and it would have been the other’s team ball. Hiram alertly called a time-out. The ref looked puzzled because he’d never seen a time-out called at that moment. Looking back, I don’t think that was a legal play but the ref was so caught up in the situation, he allowed the time-out. Hiram also famously said to Mrs. Ventura about the college application process: “I don’t need to worry about that, they’ve already named a college after me, Hiram (a liberal arts school in Ohio)" - Daniel Motz ’95
"I was a senior in high school when Hiram was born, almost old enough to be his mother. In the early years of his life there wasn’t a lot we had in common other than being siblings. As he got older, I would occasionally entertain him and a friend for a movie and a meal as a way of staying connected because building a relationship with my brother was important to me. I always held to the day when we would both be adults and have the opportunity to bridge the gap in years between us. Once he got to high school and his maturity level was developing we began to build a friendship beyond familial bonds and to really know each other as persons. And then Hiram became ill. There was a short duration between the onset of cancer and his transition; for many years I felt cheated by life. In the span of barely 18 years, my brother, Hiram Holton lived a life and planted seeds for a legacy that lives and grows stronger each day. I am grateful to have built relationships today with a few of his classmates from that painful period of life. It gives me perspective on the passage of time, for you see he is still 18 years young in my memory. Legacy is something handed down from the past into the present with the hope of it living well into the future. The Hiram Holton II Scholarship Fund is a tangible legacy of remembering how my brother touched so many people more than 20 years ago and continues to impact lives today in a powerful and meaningful way." - Helen Holton
"Hiram and I spent a lot of special cousin/brother time together bonding, going places, having fun, laughing and talking about everything. On one of our last car rides together on Interstate 795, Hiram used me to speak into the Universe by saying, ‘I do not want to be forgotten.’ I am so pleased that 23 years later, the Universe continues to be super kind in honoring Hiram’s request." - Tiera “Cousin Tee Tee” York Jones
|Cory Brown '95 (Co-Chair)
Ellis Young III '95 (Co-Chair)
Ryan Artis '95
Ryan Bader '94
Marc Broady '98
Tristan Cloyd '95
Trevor Coe '95
Michael Fine '95
Peter Gaines '95
Ethan Goldberg '95
Jane Latshaw Lancaster '95
Dan Motz '95
Daniel Munoz '96
Chelsea Stalling Pinnix '95
Jennifer Lynne Simmons '95
Taylor Smith '95
Shawny Nellums Ungerer '94
Jennifer G. Waldman '95
Stanley Fine P '95, '99
Yvonne Holton P '95