Emanuel Barnes Sr. and Jessie Connerly to be inducted into the SWAC Hall of Fame

The “Voice” of Alcorn State University sporting events and a former Braves men’s basketball standout will be enshrined in the Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame for their imprint on the University and conference.

Emanuel Barnes Sr. and Jessie Connerly will be honored Thursday, Dec. 1 at the SWAC Hall of Fame Ceremony in Houston, Texas. The event is one of many leading up to the 2016 SWAC football championship game in NRG Stadium Saturday, Dec. 3.

Barnes, a Meridian, Mississippi native whose voice has been heard by Braves fans for over 30 years, has served as the University’s vice president for Student Affairs since 2014. Prior to his current role, he served as the deputy provost for Student Services, director of Admissions and Recruiting, dean and associate dean of Students, admission counselor and recruiter and residence hall director in the Division of Student Affairs. He started his career at Alcorn in 1975.

Upon hearing the good news, Barnes humbly thanked all of his supporters for the many years of support and motivation.

“I am truly thankful for the honor as well as all of the congratulatory remarks and well wishes because I realize that I did not accomplish this by myself,” said Barnes.

Jessie Connerly, a native of Columbia, Mississippi, played for Alcorn’s men’s basketball team from 1964 to 1968. He later served as the team’s assistant coach from 1968 to 1972. After being on the Xavier University coaching staff, he went on to open his construction company, The Connerly Corporation, in New Orleans, Louisiana, which was once one of the largest minority firms.

The induction made Connerly reflect on his time at Alcorn. He said that attending the University played a huge role in his success.

“I’m excited about being a part of the class of 2016 SWAC Hall of Fame,” said Connerly. “Making the decision to attend Alcorn was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I am so grateful to that fine University for all of the things it did for me. That includes being a student, basketball player and assistant coach.”

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