Family First Luncheon honors military veterans

The Alcorn State University Presidential Inaugural events began by recognizing our nation’s veterans.

About 300 people gathered at Alcorn’s Graduate Business Building on the Natchez campus Thursday, April 16 for the Family First Luncheon. The purpose of the luncheon, which was the first of four inaugural events, honored this nation’s veterans for their hard work and patriotism. Percy Norwood was the keynote speaker for the event. Norwood retired from the United States Coast Guard in 2000 with the rank of Captain after nearly 30 years of service.

Norwood spoke about the diligence of military families and their ability to overcome the challenges that comes with serving their country.

“Military families are the backbone of our nations soldiers,” said Norwood. “Military families are some of the most creative, resilient and dedicated people in the world. They are willing to move to different locations and start over again. That attitude is part of taking the military oath and successfully dealing with obstacles.”

The crowd expressed their pleasure with the event. Vicksburg, Miss. native Zelmarine Anderson Murphy was thrilled about the luncheon’s outcome.

“I thought it was an excellent program,” said Murphy. “It was done in deluxe fashion and we are proud of Dr. Rankins. This was an excellent way to kick off the inaugural activities.”

Fayette, Miss. native and Superintendent of the Jefferson County School District Tracy Cook enjoyed hearing President Rankins’ vision for Alcorn’s future.

“President Rankins got the chance to express some of his expectations for Alcorn State University,” said Cook. “His vision will not only make Alcorn one of the best universities in the state of Mississippi, but one of the best in the country.”

Oklahoma City, Okla. native Kaelon Walker, a Master of Business Administration student at Alcorn, thought the event was a great way for Alcornites to come together for a good cause.

“This was a great event to fellowship and welcome President Rankins to Alcorn,” said Walker. “I look forward to seeing him advance our University in the near future.”

President Rankins closed the occasion by acknowledging the attending military veterans and showing his appreciation for their dedication to this country.

“I hope that we as a community always remember our military families, not just during times of war, but at all times,” said Rankins. “We should always remember their sacrifice to protect our great country. Our country would not be as strong if it weren’t for our military.”

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