Houston Honors a success during SWAC Championship weekend
Along with being honored for their success in business, philanthropy and professional achievement, esteemed Alcorn State University alumni donated funds to a worthy cause in Houston, Texas.
Several Alcorn alum and various corporations were presented awards for their contributions to the university at the 2014 Houston Honors Ceremony and Fundraising Reception Friday, Dec. 5 at the Sheraton Suites Galleria Ballroom. Funds were collected from alumni, friends, corporations and foundations to aid Alcorn’s student athletes and athletic programs.
Canadian Football League (CFL) wide receiver and former Alcorn State football standout Emmanuel Arceneaux served as master of ceremony. As he reflected on his time as a student athlete at Alcorn, he remembered how important it was, and is today, that people support the athletic department.
“As a former student athlete, I understand the challenges we face not only as one of many Historically Black College and Universities (HBCU), but as a program in the South. It is encouraging and heartwarming to see Alcorn stepping up and donating so that our programs can be successful,” said Arceneaux.
Executive Director of The Alcorn State University Foundation, Inc. Marcus D. Ward spoke highly of the Houston alumni and praised them for their generous support of their university.
“We have some great people that have done great things for Alcorn. Once we clinched our birth in the championship game, we felt that Houston was the best place to honor those individuals who have done tremendous things on behalf of our university,” said Ward.
Alcorn Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Derek Horne emphasized the importance of keeping Alcorn alumni informed about the challenges the university faces regarding athletics.
“We have to educate Alcorn alumni about the needs of the university. We’re going to need your help to make sure that we can do what is best for our student athletes and university,” said Horne.
Some of the Houston honorees were given the opportunity to speak words of appreciation at the special occasion. Attorney Ollie Ruth Jefferson, who graduated from Alcorn in 1977 and later became an immigration attorney, remembered her time at Alcorn as some of the best years of her life.
“Going to Alcorn was the best educational experience of my life,” said Jefferson. “Alcorn prepared me for what was to come in my career. Alcorn was academically sound, diverse and it was a good and loving environment. I am sure that Alcorn is still the same today.”
Dr. Renwick Chestang, a 1998 Alcorn graduate who went on to become a pharmacist, expressed his eagerness to help Alcorn in every way possible.
“I thank Alcorn for the knowledge it gave me during my time out there,” said Chestang. “My parents and grandparents attended Alcorn, so I grew up around campus. I love giving back to my university because it prepared me for life as I know it today.”