Alcorn holds annual Necrology Assembly, remembers deceased loved ones

Alcorn holds annual Necrology Assembly, remembers deceased loved ones

It has become an Alcorn family tradition to gather at the end of the year in the historic Oakland Memorial Chapel to remember and cherish the memories of our loved ones during the annual Necrology Assembly.

The ceremony held December 4, 2013, opened with a prelude “Say Amen” by Tony Gordon, organist. Executive Vice President and Provost Dr. Samuel White presided over the program. “Today, we remember our deceased loved ones – students, faculty, staff, retirees and alumni.”

Reverend C. Edward Rhodes II, rector of the Oakland Memorial Chapel, offered an invitation of reflection, inviting the audience to “once again look behind the curtain” and to remember those who exchanged “the shade of giant trees for the tree of everlasting life”.

The program continued with movements of memories performed by Kimberly Washington, coordinator of Band Operations, followed by a reading of the 2013 Necrology report and a song of celebration “Hebrews 4:9 – A Rest” by the ASU Gospel Choir. A special reading from “An Appointment in Samara” was offered by Dr. Carl Cunningham Jr., vice president for Student Success and Enrollment Management, followed by a video of remembrance. Clara Ross Stamps, vice president for Media and University Relations, recited a poem of hope “Because I Could Not Stop for Death” by Emily Dickinson, and Myra Washington of Natchez, Mississippi, performed a powerful song of reality “When the Gates Swing Open”.

President M. Christopher Brown II offered words of comfort to the family members and friends of the deceased Alcornites. Brown centered his address around the metaphor of comparing the transitioning of loved ones to a “cliffhanger”. He said, “A cliffhanger is a brief interruption in the story of our lives but it is to be continued. We pause when we encounter something unknown, but no matter how dark the hour, how difficult the moment, the storyline is to be continued. You must be careful not to put a period where a comma belongs.”

President Brown and his Council members presented each family with a token of remembrance of their loved ones while Eva Smith, catalog librarian, sang “You Can Make It”.

As a closing wish, Dr. Derek Greenfield, director of Educational Equity and Inclusion, read excerpts from the Gaelic Blessings.

The program concluded with a postlude by Mr. Tony Gordon “God is in Control.”