Alcorn celebrates fine students at Honors Convocation

The intelligence and academic achievements of Alcorn State University’s students were celebrated at this year’s 72nd Biannual Honors Convocation.

The event, which was held Thursday, Oct. 22 in the Oakland Memorial Chapel, recognized 111 President’s Scholars and 360 Dean’s Scholars. Former Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Mike Espy was the keynote speaker for the event. Espy, who owns the law and consulting firms Mike Espy PLLC and AE Agritrade, Inc., works as a private sector attorney. Prior to his historic election as the first African-American United States Congressman from Mississippi since the Reconstruction era, Espy served as a Mississippi assistant attorney general and assistant secretary of state.

Espy began his speech by encouraging students to use their abilities to strengthen the state of Mississippi.

“I want to encourage the students today to stay in Mississippi because success can be attained here,” said Espy. “We often recognize those who stayed such as a Medgar Evans and Fannie Lou Hamer. They stayed because they wanted to take on the challenge of making Mississippi a better place. They paved the way for the students who will receive their certificates today.”

Espy acknowledged the intelligence of the students and told them that there are worldwide opportunities for them to flourish.

“This room is filled with some really smart people. No mater the challenge, have confidence in yourself. The world needs great minds from Alcorn. The world is waiting on people like you to embrace the challenge and make the best of your opportunity.”

After Espy’s speech, Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts Dr. Larry Konecky presented Caleb Slack, a senior, music education major and President’s Scholar, with the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award. Along with receiving a certificate, Slack was also awarded a check for $4, 4000. Slack humbly accepted his award.

“I feel blessed and honored,” said Slack. “I’m really proud that I was able to achieving this award.”

Dean’s Scholar and business administration major Donnika Chatman-Queen was proud that her hard work in the classroom earned her the achievement.

“It feels great to have reached this point in my college journey,” said Queen. “It feels great to be recognized for my hard work.”

Alcorn’s President Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. ended the occasion with some wise words and thanked the students for their commitment to their studies.

“To the honorees, I am grateful that you have displayed the discipline necessary to exercise your intellectual muscle,” said Rankins. “Thank you for being brave enough to strive for excellence.”

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