On March 26, 2013, Alcorn State University recognized the academic achievements of its undergraduate students at the 67th Biannual Honors Convocation. The Convocation, being one of the University’s most significant academic traditions, was held in the historic Oakland Memorial Chapel. This year’s theme was “Recognizing Academic Excellence in Knowledge and Character”.
The Honorable Johnny L. DuPree, Ph.D., mayor of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, served as the keynote speaker and congratulated 113 President’s and 321 Dean’s Scholars.
Dr. Thomas Sturgis, director of Honors Curriculum and Pre-professional Programs, presided over the ceremony which opened with a prelude by organist Tony Gordon, an invocation by Bishop Dr. Stanley B. Searcy Sr., pastor, New Hope Vision Center in Natchez, Mississippi, and a selection by the ASU Concert Choir.
Miss ASU 2012-13 and President’s Scholar Airnecia Mills, and Student Government Association President 2012-13 Marcus Mercy welcomed the audience. Dr. Samuel White, executive vice president and provost, addressed the scholars, “Your achievements serve as a foundation for your future. Continue to strive for excellence and serve as leaders, role models and motivators to your peers.” Dr. White commended Mayor DuPree on Hattiesburg’s successful tornado relief efforts, and thanked Alcorn students who volunteered under the leadership of Student Affairs, and helped clean up the city.
Draven Howard, president of the Honor Student Organization, introduced the keynote speaker, Mayor DuPree, who was elected as the first African-American mayor in 2001 for the city Hattiesburg, and has 25 years of experience in public service.
In his motivational speech, Mayor DePree reminded the honorees that they all are “winners today, and proof that you can achieve anything that you put your mind to.” He encouraged students to “dare to be great in every circumstance of your life.” He said, “Don’t stop moving forward, so no matter how far you go, you've never gone far enough. Natural talent and academic success is great but it’s not everything. Being successful means making tough decisions and sacrifices, it means being selfless and putting the needs of others before your own. Excellence and character is achieved when you can inspire others.”
The program continued with recognition of the honorees by Dr. Gwendolyn C. Dooley, assistant director, Office of Pre-Professional and Honors Curriculum Programs.
Stedman Hurdle, a senior, biochemistry major from Memphis, Tennessee, has been on the Dean’s or President’s list every semester during his tenure at Alcorn. He shared, “I am elated to be recognized for my hard work and dedication. I am almost there! I am planning to graduate in May and continue my education at a dentistry school.”
A Liberty, Mississippi, native, Elshamekia Winding, a sophomore majoring in agricultural economics, stated, “It’s my second time making the President’s list, and being honored today makes my feeling of accomplishment so strong.” A Dean’s scholar Kersten Vanem, a junior, psychology major from Kuressaare, Estonia, agreed with her and exclaimed, “It motivates me to work even harder. I look forward to the next semester so I can make it to the President’s list.” The ceremony concluded with the singing of the Alcorn Ode.
President’s and Dean’s Scholars: if you’d like a press release to be sent to your hometown newspaper, please follow the link www.alcorn.edu/studentreleases to fill out a release form.
Attention students desiring to retrieve their President’s and Dean’s Scholar awards and certificates: please come to the Pre-professional and Honors Curriculum Building between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, contact Dr. Dooley at 601.877.6138 or email at email@example.com .
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