Scholar students honored at 2017 Honors Convocation

Students who exude knowledge, character and intelligence at Alcorn State University were honored for their academic excellence during the University’s annual celebration of scholars.

Over 600 President’s and Dean’s Scholars were honored at the 76th Biannual Honors Convocation Thursday, Oct. 26 in the Oakland Memorial Chapel. Senator Willie Simmons delivered the event’s keynote speech.

Simmons serves as the Mississippi state senator for District 13, which includes Bolivar, Sunflower and Tallahatchie counties. He is also the manager of Simmons & Associates Consultant Firm and owner of The Senators’ Place Restaurant in Cleveland, Mississippi.

Simmons gave scholars the blueprint for navigating their way to success.

“Your future is bright, although it will be filled with many challenges,” said Simmons. “Your future will take you to many crossroads in which you will have to wisely choose which one to follow. Your will to persevere will allow you to succeed. Your attitude will determine your success in life.”

Simmons concluded his speech by giving credit to the scholars for giving him hope in the future. He encouraged them to go out and change the world for the better.

“Honorees, thank you for restoring my hope. Because of this foundation and your commitment, you will be prepared to make changes in America. You can encourage peace and progress. Build on the foundation that Alcorn has given you.”

After the honorees were presented their certificates and Alcorn cardigans, Dr. Renardo Murray, assistant dean and interim chairman for the Department of Fine Arts, presented O’Neil Jones with this year’s Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award. Jones is a senior, music major and President’s Scholar from Montego Bay, Jamaica. He appreciates his hard work being noticed by his instructors.

“It’s a phenomenal feeling to know that my teachers felt my work was worthy of the award,” said Jones. “I was surprised because I didn’t expect to be selected, but it is an amazing feeling to know that all of my hard work paid off.”

Rashunda Veals, a sophomore mass communication major who was also recognized for being a President’s Scholar, felt proud of her hard work. The achievement motivates her to stay focused on accomplishing her goals at Alcorn.

“I am elated because I put in hard work and dedication during the semester,” said Veals. “I am at Alcorn to achieve many goals, and staying on the President’s Scholar list is one of them.”

President Alfred Rankins concluded the ceremony by motivating the students to continue making good decisions in the classroom and in the corporate world.

“Congratulations for your accomplishments,” said Rankins. “You have demonstrated the ability to be successful in a classroom. You also have to apply those same abilities and determination in life. They are both intertwined. You must make good decisions.”