Alcorn State University welcomes freshmen

Edwards, Mississippi native Jasmine Barnes’ chose Alcorn State University because she wanted to experience life at a historical black institution.

“I really wanted to attend one of the historically black colleges and universities because they teach you about your culture,” said Jasmine, who plans to major in applied sciences.

Her father, Willie Barnes, watched his daughter begin her new journey with pride.

“This is a proud moment because every father wants to see their children progress in life,” said Barnes.

Hundreds of new students from across the state and nation completed their first step as college students when they moved onto campus Friday, August 21. Michael Williams, a St. Joseph, Louisiana native and first generation college attendee in his family, appreciates the chance to earn a college degree.

“It feels good to start college and venture out on my own,” said Michael. “Some people don’t get the opportunity to attend college so I’m grateful to have this opportunity.

His parents, Thomas and Emma Jean Williams, expressed how happy they were of their son’s decision to pursue his college dreams.

“I’m so excited for Michael,” said his mother. “I just want him to do his best and strive for excellence. I want him to go as far in his education that he can possibly go.”

“He’s the first in our family to go to college so I am glad that he’s getting the opportunity that I didn’t get,” said his father.

Devon Key, a Florida native who plans to major in biology with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy, is looking forward to new beginnings at Alcorn.

“I’m excited. I’ve come a long way from my home to attend college, so I can’t wait to start something new and experience life at an HBCU,” said Devon, who will be a member of Alcorn’s baseball team. “I think being a part of the HBCU culture will be fun.”

Woodville, Mississippi native Jenedria Price showed many emotions about starting college and being away from her mother.

“I’m excited and scared because I don’t want to be away from my mom, but I know that being a part of the Brave nation will be a fun experience,” said Jenedria.

After a long day of registration and moving, the students attended the Fall 2015 New Student Orientation in the James L. Bolden Campus Union – Ballroom. Alcorn President Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. thanked the parents of the students for encouraging them to attend Alcorn.

“I want to thank all of the parents for entrusting your young adults with Alcorn State University,” said Rankins. “We’re going to take care of them here and prepare them for the next phase of their lives.”

Rankins encouraged them to be responsible and hard working.

“We expect you to be adults. You’re not children anymore, so it is incumbent on you to be responsible. Your parents won’t be here to make sure you handle your responsibilities. You’ll have to do that on your own. If you want to be successful, you must work hard and be disciplined. If you’re willing to put in the work, you can be successful here at Alcorn.”

Rankins spoke to the students about staying true to themselves and avoiding trouble.

“Always remember who you are and your principles. Don’t let people influence your decisions. Remember the values that your parents taught you so that you can make good choices.”

  • Pres. Rankins speaking to freshmen resized.jpg