July 2, 2012 – A great occasion marked the beginning of the 4th of July week at Alcorn: its distinguished alumnus Stephen E. Kent ’90 was pinned as a Colonel in the United States Army on the Lorman campus, on Sunday, July 1. Kent’s family, friends, fellow Alcornites and Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown II gathered in the Gold Room of the Dr. Clinton Bristow Dining Hall for the promotion celebration.
“This is a great day for Alcornites,” says President Brown proudly. “We celebrate the achievements of our graduates and thank Colonel Kent for his service to our nation and the world. Alcorn is here for him and wish him well in his next assignment.”
Kent’s brother LTC Patrick F. Kent ’93 presided over the ceremony. “Stephen was my role model and the reason I came to Alcorn and joined ROTC. He is truly a big brother and mentor to me. Stephen was the first in our family to become an officer and today, I couldn’t be more proud of him.”
Kent was pinned by his former high school ROTC instructor MG(R) John H. Bailey ’83, his wife Monica Perkins Kent and sons Corey and Jared.
“Only three out of 100 second lieutenants are commissioned colonels,” proclaimed General Bailey. “But I am not surprised that Stephen achieved this high rank. Even back then, in high school, he possessed the qualities necessary to succeed in the Army. He was an exceptional cadet. Congratulations Colonel Stephen E. Kent!”
“It is an amazing day for Stephen, for our family and for the entire community,” said Kent’s first cousin Brenda Buck, Jefferson County administrator. “It’s an honor for him to come to the place of his humble beginnings, Alcorn, to celebrate and share his success with us.”
During his remarks, Colonel Kent thanked his mother, wife, sons, his Alcorn family and everyone who helped educate and support him during his journey to success. “I feel so blessed and honored to have attained the rank of Colonel. Your efforts and your love has made me the person that I am. Iron sharpens iron - all of you who have sent up prayers on my behalf - thank you for blessing me. We made Colonel today.”
A Fayette, Mississippi native Kent added, “I grew up in Jefferson County, one of the poorest parts of the country, and I hope that my example has shown to young people that you can make the best out of any circumstances. It takes hard work, dedication, good attitude, and professionalism to succeed. Nobody says it’s easy, but what I achieved is not a miracle. You all can do it.”
Kent is a 1987 graduate of Jefferson County High School and was commissioned a distinguished military graduate in 1990 by the Army ROTC Program at Alcorn where he also received his bachelor’s degree in business administration. Kent recently served as chief of the Plans & Operations Division (G8), for the Unites States Army Central (USARCENT) at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.