Alcorn State University recognizes 108 President’s and 284 Dean’s Scholars at its 68th Biannual Honors Convocation

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Lorman, Miss. (October 25, 2013) – On October 24, 2013, Alcorn State University recognized the academic achievements of its undergraduate students at the 68th Biannual Honors Convocation. The Convocation, being one of the University’s most significant academic traditions, was held in the historic Oakland Memorial Chapel. This year’s theme was “Celebrating Academic Excellence of Future Global Leaders”.

Charles Hamilton Houston III. Esq., assistant general counsel at ABM Industries, Inc., Sugar Land, Texas, served as the keynote speaker and congratulated 108 President’s and 284 Dean’s Scholars.

Dr. Thomas Sturgis, director of Honors Curriculum and Pre-professional Programs, presided over the ceremony which opened with a prelude by organist Tony Gordon, an invocation by Bishop Dr. Stanley B. Searcy Sr., pastor, New Hope Vision Center in Natchez, Mississippi, and a selection by the ASU Concert Choir.

Miss ASU 2013-14 Carmen Gibson and Student Government Association President 2013-14 Avery Ford welcomed the audience. Dr. Samuel White, executive vice president and provost, reflected on the University’s latest achievements and said addressing the honorees, “We applaud you for your academic success and encourage you to continue to build on the legacy of Alcorn and expand our brand across the state, nation and the world.”

Anastasia Tuset, Epignosis Mortar Board Chapter president, introduced the keynote speaker, Charles Hamilton Houston III. Esq., a corporate attorney with more than a decade of experience in complex commercial litigation, and grandson of Charles Hamilton Houston, prominent African-American lawyer, who played a significant role in dismantling the Jim Crow laws.

In his motivational speech, Houston shared his family history and personal journey and emphasized the significance of education. He said, “Through education you create opportunities for yourself and for future generations.” Houston reminded students that their “college experience is about finding yourselves, studying what love and discovering what you are good at”. He encouraged students to “think not only of today and tomorrow but 10 and 15 years from now. What is your legacy going to be, what mark are you going to leave? As you go through your college career, do everything you can to learn, absorb, expand your experiences and create opportunities for yourself and others.”

The program continued with recognition of the spring 2013 Dean’s and President’s scholars by Dr. Gwendolyn C. Dooley, assistant director, Office of Pre-Professional and Honors Curriculum Programs. Dr. Lawrence Konecky, chair of the Fine Arts Department, presented the annual Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award and a check for $4,400 to this year’s recipient Emily Nichole Lewis-Johnson, an outstanding student majoring in instrumental music education.

AT&T Foundation’s Executive Director of External Affairs Michael Walker presented Alcorn President M. Christopher Brown II with a check for $15,000 to support the University’s Leadership Lecture Series.

In his closing remarks, President Brown expressed gratitude to AT&T and stated that “Alcorn has a unique opportunity to influence and empower our students to change the world. Today our students are studying to become the global engineers of tomorrow. They will become teachers, preachers, doctors, lawyers, designers, and res