Retired Brigadier General Robert Crear keynotes Alcorn’s Honors Convocation

Retired Brigadier General Robert Crear keynotes Alcorn’s Honors Convocation

The Alcorn State University family nearly filled the historic Oakland Memorial Chapel to capacity Thursday, March 27, to celebrate the academic achievements of its students. Retired brigadier General Robert Crear, of Vicksburg, Mississippi, served as the keynote speaker and delivered words of celebration and encouragement to 132 President’s and 365 Dean’s scholars.

General Crear addressed the audience concerning the importance of hard work and listening to individuals who possess wisdom.

“Continue to work hard and know that education is your way out,” said General Crear as he congratulated Alcorn scholars. “You must have values. Do what is required and then some.”

Dr. Thomas Sturgis, director of Honors Curriculum and Pre-professional Programs, presided over the ceremony which opened with a prelude by organist Tony Gordon, and an invocation by Rector C. Edward Rhodes II.

Miss Alcorn 2013-14 Carmen Gibson welcomed the audience. Dr. Samuel White, executive vice president and provost, prior to giving the occasion, acknowledged that this ceremony was President Alfred Rankins Jr.’s first official event and the audience responded with an esteemed round of applause.

Theavis Cooper, Honors Student Organization vice president, introduced General Crear, who has served worldwide, commanded and led soldiers and civilians at every level while serving with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Crear is very involved in community service, making time to speak and mentor young people at schools throughout the nation. Presently, he is president and CEO of a business development and governmental relations consulting firm located in Vicksburg.

Crear told Alcorn students that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. marched so that President Barack Obama could run and now it’s your time to fly. “Be the best at whatever you decide to do. It was never my goal to be the first. It was always my goal to do my best.”

The Alcorn State University Concert Choir and the Alcorn State University Men Chorale both delivered excellent performances throughout the ceremony.
The program continued with recognition of the fall 2013 Dean’s and President’s scholars by Dr. Gwendolyn C. Dooley, assistant director, Office of Pre-Professional and Honors Curriculum Programs.

For President Rankins, Honors Convocation is his second favorite ceremony with students—graduation being at the top of his list. “Hard works pays off,” said President Rankins. “I can recall learning the tools and habits of examining issues from a variety of viewpoints and being honored for my success in the Chapel too.”

In his closing remarks, President Rankins voiced his concern to Alcorn students. “You have a responsibility to each other—don’t leave your fellow classmate behind in bed asleep—get them out of bed and in the classroom with you. Stay focused on your goal of graduation.”

Honors Convocation is a celebration of academic and leadership excellence. For students, who did not retrieve their award, please stop by the Pre-professional and Honors Curriculum office. 


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Pictured: General Crear.