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Alcorn State and Chamberlain-Hunt to hold joint Founders Day, Haley to Speak

Lorman, Miss. (September 20, 2013) – Alcorn State University and Chamberlain-Hunt Academy will celebrate a joint Founders Day Convocation at 10 a.m. on Friday, September 27 in the historic Oakland Memorial Chapel on Alcorn’s Lorman campus. The speaker for the event is Ambassador George Haley – brother of Alcorn alumnus and Roots author, Alex Haley.

Alcorn and Chamberlain-Hunt annually celebrate their founding and roots to Oakland College. Oakland College founded in 1830 is the progenitor of both institutions – Alcorn in 1871 and Chamberlain-Hunt in 1879. Each year the historic Oakland Memorial Chapel hosts parallel tributes to two academic offspring of that one campus.

“We are delighted to celebrate our shared traditions and history with Alcorn,” says Chamberlain-Hunt Interim President Keith Fraley. “Alcorn is an important part of our history and we appreciate President Brown and the entire Alcorn community for embracing this historic endeavor. We always feel right at home here.”

“Every year there are two Founders Day convocations on this campus, one day apart, with very different racial compositions. A year ago, I said that after 183 years the time had come for the children of Oakland College to celebrate together,” President M. Christopher Brown II said. “Coming together for this joint convocation acknowledges our shared roots and a healing of local history.”

Alcornite Alex Haley will be posthumously awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. His brother Ambassador George Haley will be presented the Alcorn Bravery Award for meritorious public service. Ambassador Haley is the former U.S. Ambassador to Gambia, a policy expert and was a diplomat with service in seven presidential administrations.

The Hiram R. Revels Award for superior achievement will be awarded to prominent civil rights activist and the past president of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Mr. Ozell Sutton. The Levi J. Rowan Heritage Award will be given to urologist Dr. Charlie H. Bridges, a 1974 Alcorn graduate and philanthropist. And the Oakland Memorial Chapel Award in support to higher education will be given to Major General Jefforey A. Smith, commander of the U.S. Army Cadet Command.

Six Presidential Citations for Excellence will be presented to Mr. Joseph Reese, the Rev. Hickman Johnson, Dr. Juanita Sims-Doty, NAACP President Derrick Johnson and Medgar and Myrlie Evers Institute President Reena Evers-Everette, and Chamberlain-Hunt Interim President Keith Fraley. Additionally, Alcorn alumnus John Jones will be awarded a certificate of appreciation for leading the charge to erect a statue of Medgar Evers on the Alcorn campus.

The guest soloist for the Founders Day Convocation will be Sherry L. Hunt of Baltimore, Maryland. Trained by the late Dr. Nathan Carter, Ms. Hunt is described as “a neo-classical mezzo-soprano with a five octave range”. Hunt is highly acclaimed for her rendition of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” which will be presented at Friday’s program with the Alcorn State University Concert Choir.

President Brown added, “This year’s special Founders Day program reminds me of the McCartney and Jackson song from the 1980s. ‘There is good and bad in everyone. We must learn to live and give each other what we need to survive’. Alcorn and Chamberlain-Hunt are like ebony and ivory together in perfect harmony.”

The public is invited to attend the free event. The event can also be viewed at www.alcorn.edu. For more information, call 601.877.6111.

-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.