Alcorn State University joins the fight against ALS

For sophomore De’Onqua Isaac, calling out Alcorn State University President Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., to accept the #Alcorn4ALS ice bucket challenge was easy. The hardest part was actually asking Dr. Rankins to take the icy shower.

“With him being the new president, I wasn’t sure if he would be as open to the idea of having water poured over his head. But after speaking with him, he showed interest in working with us,” said Isaac.

Nearly 7,000 people watched President Rankins get drenched in support of raising funds for the ALS association at halftime of Saturday’s [Sept. 13] football game against Louisiana College.

The Alcorn family proved to be generous in their giving, with donation totals of over $5,000. Alcorn students raised more than $600 for the ALS Association LA-MS Chapter. Alcorn alumni came together and along with a $500 gift from the Alcorn State University National Alumni Association contributed more than $1000 to the inaugural Jerry Brooks Scholarship fund.

The #Braves4Jerry movement, headed by Alcorn employees with donations from game spectators, made a gift of $2,500 to the family of alumnus Jerry Brooks ’93, who is living with ALS, to assist with his medical expenses.

The national ALS challenge has raised over $100 million and counting worldwide.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body.

Vice President for Media and University Relations Clara Ross Stamps was pleased with the outcome of the event and her students’ servant hearts and leadership abilities.

“Instead of simply challenging President Rankins to pour a bucket of ice cold water over his head to increase awareness, our student volunteers really took ownership and shaped the #Alcorn4ALS and #Braves4Jerry into a meaningful event,” said Stamps proudly.

Sitting with pride in sweatpants and an Alcorn purple shirt, President Rankins encouraged Alcorn students and provoked the crowd to enthusiasm as he welcomed the bucket of ice cold water for a good cause.

“The Alcorn family support of the challenge meant a lot to our students and it was truly an honor to join the cause,” said President Rankins as he acknowledged everyone’s hard work will not only benefit those who are battling Lou Gehrig’s disease and their families, but it will also sponsor necessary research.

Mrs. Brooks was more than happy with the love that Alcorn showed her family.

“It’s always great to come home to Alcorn,” said Angela Brooks. “President Rankins was a great sport and his support of Jerry and our family means so much. Words can not truly describe what the love and support means to our family. We are so grateful for the continuous love from our Alcorn family.”

Alcornites and friends can make contributions to the Jerry Brooks Scholarship Fund by contacting the ASU Foundation at 601.877.6693.

Click here to watch President Rankins get #IceCold.

  • ALS (1).jpg