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Alcorn annual Heritage Convocation Thursday

Alcorn State, Miss. (February 1, 2013) – Alcorn State University’s 2013 Heritage Convocation honorees demonstrate the university’s commitment to its four pillars of excellence – academic, agricultural, athletic and access – will be held 10:00am on Thursday, February 7, 2013.

“Heritage Convocation presents an opportunity to honor and recognize individuals and organizations whose extraordinary contributions strengthen and insure Alcorn’s legacy,” says President M. Christopher Brown II.

Highlights of the 2013 Convocation:

Marian Wright Edelman, the program’s keynote speaker, will receive the university’s Academic Heritage Award. The first African-American woman admitted to the Mississippi Bar and lifelong civil rights activist, Wright founded the Children’s Defense Fund in 1973 and serves as its CEO. Through the Children’s Defense Fund, Alcorn has operated a Freedom School, an academic program that serves children in Southwestern Mississippi.

Pearlie S. Reed, former assistant secretary for administration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will receive the Agricultural Heritage Award. During his nearly 40-year career with the USDA, Reed served in four states and Washington, D.C., and worked with the agency’s Conservation Service. An Arkansas native, Reed worked with Alcorn over the years and served as its keynote speaker at the Small Farmer’s Conference in 2010.

Alcorn’s legendary basketball coach Davey L. Whitney will be honored with the Athletic Heritage Award. During his tenure with the university, Whitney worked passionately with students, repeatedly demonstrating his commitment to producing and developing scholarly athletes with intellectual acuity, kinesthetic acumen and civic gravitas while exemplifying the university’s tradition of athletic excellence.

Over the years, the Tom Joyner Foundation has helped Alcorn students. Founded in 1998 and named for the famed, nationally syndicated radio host, the foundation has supported more than 25,000 students attending historically black colleges and universities across the country.

Additionally, the University will present a delayed 2012 Founders Day Award –The Hiram R. Revels Achievement Award, the highest award granted, to Harry E. Johnson. Mr. Johnson is President and CEO of the Washington, D.C. Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial Project Foundation. From 2001-2004, Mr. Johnson held the distinction of serving as the 31st National President of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In 2002, the President of the United States and the U.S. Congress charged the Foundation with erecting a memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Under Johnson’s dynamic leadership as President and CEO, the Foundation raised more than $112 million, garnering support from all living U.S. Presidents, Congress, members of the corporate and nonprofit communities, and celebrities.

This year's convocation will also recognize the Alcorn Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite marching band and other significant campus announcements.

The 2013 Heritage Convocation will be held at the historic Oakland Memorial Chapel. Webcast live, the free event is open to the public. For more information, call 601-877-6130 or visit www.alcorn.edu .

-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.