On March 28, Alcorn State University’s students, faculty and staff gathered in the Medgar Evers Auditorium to witness an event that marks a major achievement for the institution – installation of the Epignosis chapter of Mortar Board National College Senior Honor Society and induction ceremony for 18 new members. Mortar Board’s representatives and its National President Susan Herndon Caples were on hand to participate in the ceremony.
Dr. Thomas Sturgis, director, Office of Pre-Professional and Honors Curriculum Programs, who will serve as Epignosis chapter administrative liaison, presided over the ceremony that opened with a prelude by Tony Gordon, organist and instructor in the Department of Fine Arts. Posting of Colors by the Braves Battalion was followed by an invocation offered by Rev. Dr. Casey Fisher, pastor, Greater Grove Street M.B. Church of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and a musical selection by the ASU Concert Choir.
Dr. Gwendolyn C. Dooley, assistant director of the Honors Curriculum Program and Epignosis chapter administrative liaison, welcomed the audience, “Alcorn is known world-wide for its rich heritage and commitment to education. We are pleased to join over 230 Mortar Board chapters throughout the nation and continue sharing the importance of scholarship, leadership and service on campus, within our local communities, region and the world.”
Dr. Samuel White, executive vice president and provost congratulated the inductees and stated, “Today, we recognize students who have made distinguished contributions to the University and are honored to induct them into the Epignosis chapter at Alcorn State University. Let this be a beginning of a great moment in your life.”
Susan Herndon Caples greeted the university leaders, family members, faculty, supporters, candidates for initiation and the chapter’s advisors on behalf of the Mortar Board National Council. In her address to the inductees, she said, “Your university has petitioned for and been granted a charter of Mortar Board on your campus. You now have the responsibility to carry the torch of Mortar Board at Alcorn State University.”
Herndon Caples called forward Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown II and presented him with the organization’s charter. In his address to the assembly, Dr. Brown stated, “‘Epignosis’ is a Greek word meaning ‘to know perfectly’ or ‘to know completely’. Today, as we induct our first class of the Epignosis chapter, Alcorn knows completely that it makes another bold step in the right direction.”
The program continued with the initiation ceremony conducted by Herndon Caples, two members of the National Council, Dr. Sally Steadman and Mr. Brandon Caten, and Alcorn administrators and advisors. The inductees signed the chapter roll, and received their pins and certificates.
The newly inducted Anastasia Tuset, Epignosis chapter president and business administration major at Alcorn, read “The Torch”, a poem that symbolizes the spirit of the organization that was written in 1925 by Mortar Board member Elizabeth Furry.
The ceremony concluded with the Mortar Board Ode by the ASU Men Chorale and the Alcorn Ode by the ASU Concert Choir.