Graduates from Alcorn’s School of AREAS Reunite for Annual Alumni Day

On September 10, 2016, the Alcorn State University School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences (AREAS) hosted its annual Alumni Day. The purpose of the event was for AREAS alumni to hear unit updates from the dean and director of land-grant programs, Dr. Ivory W. Lyles; as well as updates from each department. The conversation focused on AREAS’ plans for increasing support for students, the school, and the university at large.

The event provided them with a sense of direction as to how AREAS is moving forward and how they can provide assistance in various ways; such as fundraising, recruitment of students and faculty, and offering overall support for Alcorn.

Dr. Donzell Lee, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs along with Janice Gibson, director of development and alumni affairs, greeted the crowd with warm welcomes and words of thanks for their many contributions. “It is always very exciting when alumni respond enthusiastically to the university,” said Gibson.

Departments chairpersons within the School of AREAS were present to discuss what was taking place within their units and asked alumni for their assistance and feedback. “We need you to talk to students because you all are the best ambassadors for Alcorn State University,” said Keith McGee, interim chair, biotechnology. “You know us better than anyone else.”

After recognizing alumni and handing out door prizes, Don Smith, director of development, School of AREAS, presented the gift of giving which encouraged alumni to continue to donate and contribute to the School so that they may increase scholarships, internships, and scholarship endowments. “We want to reach more students and help our students be better,” said Smith.

A pictorial dedication was later presented to honor distinguished Alcorn alumni; such as Dr. William C. Boykins, Sr., Dr. Jesse A. Morris, Sr., Mrs. Eunice M. Davis Powell, and Dr. Kenneth L. Simmons Sr. whose names appear on three buildings within the School. “We didn’t make it alone,” stated Dr. Lyles. “One of our goals is to bring our alumni back home and make sure that they know of the wonderful things happening in the School of AREAS.” Lyles further encouraged alumni to lend their voices and stay connected as well as informed them of the upcoming renovation plans for the Morris-Boykins Agricultural building.

Following Lyles’ closing remarks, alumni and friends continued with making plans for the improvement of AREAS and the university. While delighting in good food, fun and fellowship, the attendees decided to focus their attention on increasing enrollment, lobbying for funds, and gaining more support from fellow alumni.

For additional information, Dr. Gwendolyn L. Gordon at 601.877.6253 or [email protected] or Shea Gray, administrative assistant, at 601.877.6378 or [email protected]

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