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Alcorn President sends condolences to the Ayers family

Alcorn State, Miss. (March 25, 2013) – President M. Christopher Brown II on behalf of Alcorn State University sends its deepest sympathy to the family of Lillie B. Ayers as they mourn her passing. Mrs. Ayers transitioned at her home in Glen Allan in Washington County on Sunday at the age of 85.

"Alcorn mourns the loss of a beloved Mississippian and determined woman," said President Brown as he remembered her courage and strength after the death of her husband in the continuation of the lawsuit originally filed in 1975 to provide more equitable funding for Alcorn and the state’s other historically black institutions.

Both President Brown’s Ph.D. dissertation and his first book -- “The Quest to Define Collegiate Desegregation: Black Colleges, Title VI Compliance, and Post-Adams Litigation" -- highlighted the Ayers litigation, which was settled in 2004 in Mississippi. Alcorn has expanded campus facilities, academic degree offerings, and increased both student and staff diversity as a result of the Ayers Settlement.

“Mrs. Ayers was indeed a great individual who believed in fair funding for each of the eight public institutions in the state. Alcorn recognizes and appreciates the sacrifices she and her husband made on behalf of the families of Mississippi. The Alcorn family proffers our sympathy, prayers, and most positive thoughts to her surviving family members and loved ones. May they be strengthened and comforted by the knowledge that her legacy will live on in our graduates, staff, and infrastructure.”

President Brown honored Jake Ayers Sr. posthumously at Alcorn’s 2011 Founders Day with the Presidential Citation Award.

-ALCORN-

Alcorn State University is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally-competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation, and world.