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The Always Alcorn Annual Fund Campaign kicks off new expectations

President Brown 2011

ASU President M. Christopher Brown II.

An enthusiastic crowd gathered on the Campus Plaza at Alcorn State University on April 28, 2011, at 12 noon to launch the Always Alcorn Annual Fund Campaign. This year’s campaign marks the start of new expectations for students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University.

Alcorn State University 18th President M. Christopher Brown II reiterated the importance of financially supporting the University. “We {Alcorn State University} are engaging possibilities and pursuing excellence. Philanthropy must be an institutional priority. At the start of this academic semester, 78 students could not pay their final tuition balance– every Alcorn student deserves to graduate. Giving to the annual fund helps us seize educational opportunities and achieve excellence.”

President Brown has set the overall campaign goal at $1.1 million. Last fiscal year, which ended June 30, the annual fund closed with $1,090,836, a record-breaking increase of 18.3 percent over the previous year. SGA President Corey Cooper understands that the campaign provides the chance for all to contribute to Alcorn at any giving level. “I only have $5 in my pocket and today, I proudly give it to my University. Every dollar makes a real difference in the life of a student.”

Dr. Alpha L. Morris, honorary chairperson says, “I came to Alcorn with my late husband, Dr. Jesse Morris and graduated in 1952. I have worked as an assistant and associate professor and now serve as the chair of the Department of Social Sciences. This is not about me – it is about Alcorn. Every graduate must give back to the University that has given us so much. Let us stand behind our young and energetic, new president – give today.”

Public gifts and pledges were made during the kickoff with several attendees giving $1000, including the Always Alcorn Annual Fund General Chairperson Ms. Exie T. Griggs Williamson ’55, Rev. Edgar Lewis ’09, Judge Cedric Bush ’03, and Dr. Cassandra Vaughn ’84 who encouraged fellow employees to use her method of giving to the University through payroll deductions, “Have your gift deducted from your check monthly!”

“I am so grateful to Alcorn and I made a promise 50 years ago that I would always give back,” says Rev. Joseph Bartee Sr. ’65. “And I have – giving back to Alcorn is a part of my bill paying process. For the last three years, I have sent $500 every month to my alma mater. Today, I am proud to submit my May gift of $500 and invite you all to join me – send a check to Alcorn every month.”

Coach Willie “Rat” McGowan ’61 and his wife, Dr. Doris E. McGowan ’60 made a $10,000 gift to President Brown during his first week on the job in January 2011. “Today, my wife and I present President Brown with another $10,000 gift. President Brown, we believe in you and your ability to lead Alcorn State University. You understand the rhythm of Alcorn and we are optimistic about Alcorn’s future under your leadership.”

Several friends and county supervisors from Jefferson, Franklin and Adams counties attended the kickoff celebration. Vice President Stephen L. McDaniel held an orientation for the Always Alcorn Volunteer Leadership Team, which consists of the Honorary Chairperson Dr. Alpha L. Morris ’52; General Chairperson Ms. Exie T. Griggs Williamson ’55; Retired Faculty Chairperson Mr. Willie E. “Rat” McGowan Sr. ’61; Student Chairperson Mr. Brandon Rook ’12; Alumni Clubs & Organizations Mr. Jamie Smith ’04; Small Vendor Chairpersons Ms. Rosemary Howard ’91; Staff Chairpersons Ms. Donna Hayden ’88, Ms. Zandra Lowe ’91, Ms. Gloria Chatman ’08 and Ms. Patricia Carroll ’05; Faculty Chairperson Dr. Dickson Idusuyi; Faith Base Chairpersons Rev. Melvin White, Rev. Joseph Bartee Sr. ’65, Rev. J.L. Hammitte ’91; Rev. Edgar Lewis ’10 and Rev. Neddie Winters ’72; Alumni Co-Chairpersons Judge Cedric Bush ’03 and Mr. Robert Simmons ’78; and Parent Chairperson Dr. Cassandra Vaughn ’84.

“The generosity of the Alcorn community of alumni, parents, students, faculty, staff and friends make all the difference each year,” says Mr. McDaniel. “Their gifts provide invaluable support for the school’s most important priorities.”

Gifts to the annual fund this year are designated to support student scholarships, the development of a statue to honor the legacy of Medgar Wiley Evers and to purchase new buses for safely transporting students.

To volunteer or make a gift to the Always Alcorn Annual Fund Campaign, please call 601.877.6693 or visit www.alcorn.edu .