President Brown holds University Assembly, announces new student scholarship  

Alcorn’s 18th President M. Christopher Brown II, the youngest leader in the institution’s history, held his first University assembly today, which was broadcast live on the University’s Web site.  

The program started with the Alcorn family honoring the memory of student Marvin McCray who died in a tragic car accident on January 14 with a moment of silence. The president’s positive message resonated among the attentive audience who shared his enthusiasm for a fresh, new start for Alcorn State University. A new student scholarship, administrative changes, and the upcoming presidential inauguration inspired questions from faculty, staff and students who filled the James L. Bolden Campus Union. 

 “We are all about being positive and moving Alcorn forward,” stated Staff Senate President Donna Hayden ’88. “And now, we have a leader with the vision, the charisma, the compassion, and most of all, the people skills, to launch us into the next level of greatness.”   

“He answered all questions with great detail – like any great president would.  President Brown is putting his support in action for students by creating a new student scholarship named All for Alcorn – citing a $1000 award that will be given to any current student who recruits and enrolls a new, first time student for the fall 2011 class,” said Arielle Buchmann, sophomore majoring in mass communication. 

President Brown did not skirt around questions concerning upcoming administrative restructuring stating the University priorities will be to streamline operations and do essential work more efficiently, inexpensively and effectively. “Alcorn like the cellular phone must evolve—same technology, leaner body, faster processing, and more attractive options.” 

Dr. Brown spoke to the departure of the 17 president and commended the leadership during the interim period. The president said he “looked forward to working with the entire Alcorn family, the state of Mississippi and alumni located all over the nation and the world,” commenting that working together for the common good of Alcorn would help take the nation’s oldest land grant institution to new levels of contribution and achievement. “Core areas include strengthening the University brand, the importance of cultivating the University’s culture, turning threats into opportunities and enhancing fundraising activities.” 

“From the alumni perspective I can say that we are impressed with Dr. Brown’s leadership style, principles, transparency, and the intellect,” stated Percy Norwood Jr.’68. “We will support our president any way we can.” 

The crowd applauded when the president announced his inauguration April 15-17, 2011, which will include all three campuses with the investiture on the main campus April 16. The theme for the 18th Presidential Inauguration is ALCORN BRAVERY: ENGAGING POSSIBILITIES, PURSUING EXCELLENCE.   

 The members of the presidential Search Advisory Committee including Vicksburg Mayor Paul Winfield reflected on the search process. 

Prior to the conclusion of the program, Dr. Brown introduced members of his administration: Karen Shedrick, administrative assistant to the president; Dr. Gerald Peoples, vice president for Student Affairs; Carolyn Hinton, interim vice president for Finance and Administrative Services; Stephen L. McDaniel, vice president for Development and Marketing; Dr. Samuel White, vice president for Academic Affairs; Dr. Josephine Posey, special assistant to the president; Marcus Ward, chief of staff; Melvin Maxwell, chief of public safety; Brenda Square, director of Athletics; Permy Thuha, director of internal audit; Patricia Smith, director of Human Resources; Dr. Edward Vaughn, director of College for Excellence; Dr. Donzell Lee, dean of the School of Graduate Studies; Dr. Linda Godley, dean of the School of Nursing; Dr. Blanche Sanders, dean of the University libraries; Dr. Barry Bequette, dean of the School of Agriculture, Research and Applied Sciences; Dr. Vivek Bhargava, interim dean of the School of Business; Dr. Robert Carr, dean, School of Education and Psychology; Dr. Norris Allen Edney, acting dean of the School of Arts and Sciences.  

With the standing room ovation President Brown closed the program to the sounds of Luther Vandross’ Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now.