Honoring Academic Excellence
SINCE 1992 THE ALLIANCE HAS PRESENTED THE WATKINS AWARD TO PROMOTE ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AMONG YOUNG AFRICAN-AMERICAN MALES.
Franklin D. Watkins
Mr. Franklin D. Watkins was born on January 8, 1945, in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the son of the late Deacon and Mrs. Leroy (Beatrice Harris) Watkins. On Saturday, August 24, 1991, he departed this earthly life in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
At an early age, he joined the Ridgewood Baptist Church and later became affiliated with Harris A.M.E. Zion Church in Harrisburg, PA.
He was a graduate of C. A. Johnson High School, and he later attended Allen University of Columbia, South Carolina. He received his Associate Degree from Harrisburg Community College in Pennsylvania.
The United States Navy employed him in the Ship Parts Control Center in Mechanicsburg, PA, for nineteen years. He was a Master Sergeant in the United States Army Reserve. Mr. Watkins was honored with many awards and citations from his employment and the United States Army Reserve.
“Frank,” as he was affectionately called, was very active in the community and civic affairs, particularly those that involved young people. He was a little league basketball coach for many years. At the time of his death, he was a coach with YMCA Youth Basketball League in Harrisburg, PA.
Mr. Franklin D. Watkins leaves precious memories in the hearts of many, his loving wife, Mrs. Thomasina Alston Watkins of Harrisburg, PA; three sons, Mr. Dearaney S. Watkins of Harrisburg, PA, Mr. Cedrick Watkins of Philadelphia, PA, and Mr. Paul Dreher of San Francisco, CA; one granddaughter; Ms. Kianna Watkins of Harrisburg, PA and one grandson Mr. Jamir Dreher of San Francisco, CA; three sisters, the late Mrs. Barbara W. Samuels, Ms. Beverly Watkins of Columbia, SC, and the late Elizabeth Tucker of Columbia, SC. Messrs. the late Leroy Watkins Jr., Charles E., Romeo, and Willie L. Watkins, all of Columbia, SC; father and mother-in-law, Mr. And Mrs. Isiah Alston of North Charleston, SC; aunts, uncles, brothers-in-law; sisters-in-law; nieces, nephews, and a host of other relatives and friends, all of whom will miss him dearly.
"We are thankful for the things you are; And for the things you’ve done. To make one world a better place; Our lives happier. We are hoping you will understand; We are very proud and glad; To have someone as wonderful as; You to call our DAD" - Cedrick Watkins and Dearaney Watkins.
Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Trophy
The Franklin D. Watkins Memorial Trophy Award was initiated in 1992 to promote academic excellence among young African-American males. Since 1992, high school seniors have been honored with the title “Premiere African-American Male Scholar-Athlete.” The real significance of the Watkins Trophy Award can be captured in one word- “EXPECTATION.” Watkins Trophy Award finalists are expected to be leaders in efforts to empower and improve disadvantaged communities. It brings young men to face to face with the reality that they have an opportunity and an obligation to do more for their communities through sports. What they do and say will transcend sports and have a significant impact on society.
The Watkins Award has become the preeminent award bestowed on the top High School Scholar-Athlete in the Nation. The finalists are chosen based on their:
Unweighted grade point average
Letters of recommendation