Alcorn State University recognized 111 President’s and 329 Dean’s Scholars at its 65th Biannual Honors Convocation
March 29, 2012 – Honors Convocation is a biannual celebration where undergraduate students are recognized for their distinguished academic achievements. It is one of the University’s most significant academic traditions. Dr. Leonard L. Haynes III, senior director of Institutional Service, Office of Postsecondary Education, Washington, D.C., served as the keynote speaker and congratulated 111 President’s and 329 Dean’s Scholars.
Dr. Thomas Sturgis, director of Honors Curriculum and Pre-professional Programs, presided over the ceremony which opened with a prelude by Anton and Vera Zholondz, senior music majors. The performance was followed by an invocation offered by Rev. Arnita Spencer, pastor, Bethel A.M.E. Church of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and a selection by the ASU Concert Choir under the direction of Donna Schaffer.
Gralon A. Johnson, special assistant to the President for Strategic Initiatives, welcomed the audience and Dr. Samuel White, executive vice president and provost, greeted the honorees. He said, “We gathered here today to recognize the most important members of our academic family – our students.”
Jasmine LaFayette, 1st vice president of the Student Government Association, introduced the keynote speaker, Dr. Leonard L. Haynes III .
“Today, young Americans need more than just a high school diploma to be successful. You no longer can be average and be successful. You need to be excellent to be successful,” said Dr. Haynes in his convocation address. “We need to urge more young people to go to college and be like you. Educated population means good democracy and ignorance poses a threat to our democracy. Your job is to encourage your friends follow your example and get a higher education.”
The program continued with recognition of the honorees and closing remarks by Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown II, “This is an exciting day in life of Alcorn. Today we celebrate our students’ achievements.” He added, “I encourage you to accept the challenge to be excellent without excuse and I ask you to encourage others.”
“The recognition by the University means a lot to me,” said Bryan Campbell, a freshman majoring in math education. Shandreka Brown, senior, majoring in pre-law agreed with him and added, “It’s a big honor and it’s just feels good to be recognized for my hard work.”
“My family couldn’t be here today,” said Alexandr Lidzar, a senior majoring in political science, who came to Alcorn from Almaty, Kazakhstan. “But they tell me all the time that they are proud of me for having excellent grades and succeeding in a foreign country.”
The ceremony concluded with the singing of the Alcorn Ode.