Alcorn president speaker at annual alumni scholarship banquet

The president of the nation's oldest public land-grant Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) will be the keynote speaker at a scholarship banquet sponsored by a local alumni chapter of the university.

Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., the 19th president of Alcorn State University, will be the honored speaker at the annual Purple and Gold Scholarship Banquet sponsored by the Meridian/Lauderdale County Alumni Chapter of Alcorn State University. The banquet is the alumni's primary fundraiser for its scholarship fund.

"Each year, we award first-generation college students scholarships," chapter president Wilbert Jones said. "We try to present at least 10 college scholarships yearly."

“Honor, Pride & Dignity Since 1871” is the theme for this year's banquet, which, according to Jones, is an indication of local alumni chapter's commitment to the university.

"We are extremely excited about this year’s scholarship banquet, and we greatly appreciate community support in this endeavor," Jones said. "Alcorn State University

continues to move forward by enhancing knowledge and building character into student leaders which benefits the communities, state, nation, and the world. It is with this goal in mind that the Meridian/Lauderdale Chapter strives to provide total support to our great university."

As president, Rankins oversees Alcorn’s sprawling 1,700-acre Lorman campus and branch locations in Natchez and Vicksburg, including more than 120 buildings totaling nearly 2 million square feet, and a $110 million operating budget.

Prior to his appointment at Alcorn, Rankins served as deputy commissioner for Academic and Student Affairs for the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL). As the IHL system’s chief academic and student affairs officer, he advised the IHL Board of Trustees and Commissioner of higher education on all matters pertaining to academic programs, policy, and planning; student access, readiness, and success; and faculty affairs.

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