Ben Hurt celebrated his 99th birthday Oct. 27 in the company of adoring former students at The Lodge at Old Trail. Hurt was born in Farmville and has lived in Crozet since 1961.
He came to Albemarle for a teaching job at Greenwood High School. From there he went to serve as a tank commander in World War II in Africa and Europe. When Albemarle High School opened in 1953 Hurt was assistant principal for the first year and principal for 30 years thereafter. Hurt’s trademark is that he remembers every one’s name.
The Albemarle High School Alumni Association was organized in 2008 and Hurt was inducted in their Hall of Fame at the first “A Night To Remember” program in 2011 attended by an estimated 700. To honor Hurt, the association published a book, Mr. Hurt’s 10,000 Memories, representing the number of Albemarle graduates during his tenure. The association has made it an annual event for members to send birthday cards to Hurt, and he said he receives 400 to 500 cards each year.