Vicksburg alumni chapter welcomes President Rankins

For Vicksburg Warren Alumni Chapter President Lakesha Batty, assisting Alcorn’s new president is a top priority.

“It’s important that our president knows that he has the full support of the Alcorn chapter in Warren County. We’re excited to provide him with our help. We’re ready for him to call us so we can see how we can help. We are very confident in what he brings to the university,” said Batty.

About 80 Vicksburg residents and Alcorn alumni gathered on Monday at the Alcorn Vicksburg Expansion Center for a welcome reception for the school’s new president, Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. The program was organized by the Alcorn State University National Alumni Association’s Vicksburg Warren Chapter. Vicksburg elected officials such as the president of the Warren County Board of Supervisors Bill Lauderdale and Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr came to show their support.

“Without a doubt, Alcorn has outdone itself. He is a great man who will do really well locally, statewide and nationally for the university. He has the ability to make a difference at Alcorn,” said Mayor Flaggs.

Organizer of the ceremony and Alcorn alum Dr. John Walls Jr shared kind words about President Rankins and his vision for the university.

“He has traveled the same path that we all have and knows the challenges we all face. He loves Alcorn State University and he plans to lead the school forward to achieve more prestige for the university,” said Walls.

The ceremony ended with remarks from President Rankins, who showed appreciation to the Vicksburg branch for giving him such a warm embrace.

“I’m really thankful for this event. I also appreciate the local leaders in this great city for coming out to support me at Alcorn State University,” said Rankins.

President Rankins was adamant about his desire to help the school’s adjacent communities to prosper economically.

“My vision for the school is economic development. Alcorn wants to be a part of the solution. Alcorn is a tremendous economic engine and we want to work with surrounding communities to attract industries and jobs to southwest Mississippi.”

Rankins also listed a few more of his priorities for the university that include a better quality of life for the student body and more state- of- the- art buildings on the main campus.

“We will be a student friendly university. We will provide the kind of customer service that will make our students feel at home. We’re striving to get all of our students to not only graduate, but to do it in four years. We’re going to have more first class facilities at Alcorn. My top facility priorities are faculty and staff housing on campus, a new classroom building and a new student union.”

Rankins spoke proudly about the confidence the Alcorn community has in its university.

“We may be a small, regional institution, but we think big. Whenever you meet an Alcornite, they don’t sound like a small alumnus. They talk big about Alcorn because we are a great university.”

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