President’s, Dean’s Scholars honored at the 74th Biannual Honors Convocation
Alcorn State University’s top scholars were honored for their dedication to academic excellence at the 74th Biannual Honors Convocation.
A total of 511 honor students (366 Dean’s Scholars and 145 President’s Scholars) were recognized at the event Thursday, Oct. 27 in the Oakland Memorial Chapel. Alcorn National Alumni Association President and President of Mission Mississippi Neddie Winters was the keynote speaker for the occasion.
Winters was selected as the 2016-2017 Alcornite of the Year. He is one of the founding members of Hope Credit Union and currently serves as a board member. He was the first executive director of the Mississippi Home Corporation Housing Finance Authority. He is a former pastor with over twenty years of pastoral ministry.
Winters began his speech by encouraging the scholars to reflect on their journeys to academic success. He expressed the importance of them applying their knowledge to initiatives that would position them to make a difference.
“Think about the sacrifices you have made and the challenges you’ve overcome to get to this point,” said Winters. “You have the DNA in you to succeed. Once you achieve academic success, take that knowledge and make a difference in the lives of those who helped you get to this point. You’re here today because someone really loved you.”
Due to the popularity of social media, Winters advised the scholars to use the platform to spread positivity to their peers. He pointed out the importance of proper conduct.
“I believe in your social communication. You have a powerful voice in social media. You have the opportunity to change the conversation and be an example of how things should be. Be careful how you use your voice. Your conversation should represent you in a positive way. Say something that would be a credit to you, your family and friends who see you as a role model.”
In conclusion, Winters expressed the value of love, confidence and creating dreams that will lead to world revolution.
“Be an example in your compassion and love. Society needs to see divine love through us. Be an example in your confidence and faith. I want you to dream big because those dreams will motivate you to go above and beyond your expectations. Dream in a way that would inspire you to change the world.”
Shortly after Winters’ speech, Chairman of the Department of Fine Arts Dr. Larry Konecky announced that Joycelyn Minor, a senior, vocal music education major and President’s Scholar from Woodville, Mississippi, was this year’s Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award recipient. Joycelyn is currently completing her student teaching in Ecuador.
Xavier Bradford, a President’s Scholar and junior majoring in biology, was proud to see his hard work pay off.
“It feels awesome,” said Xavier. “It is a blessing to know that my hard work and dedication to achieving my future goals is producing positive results. I’m honored to represent my University as a model student.”
Dana Stevenson-Saah, a Dean’s Scholar and senior majoring in elementary education, felt proud to have achieved such a great academic accomplishment.
“Becoming a Dean’s Scholar gives me a sense of accomplishment,” said Dana. “My success motivates me to continue to study hard in school.”
President Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr. concluded the program by leaving the students with a quote from Kevin Hart about reaping the benefits of hard work.
“Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to put in the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put in all of the work and eventually, it will pay off.”