Honor student-athletes celebrated during the Braves Scholars Breakfast of Champions

Student-athletes at Alcorn State University were honored for their dedication to their studies at the annual athletic scholar celebration.

The Office of Compliance and Academic Services recognized 160 student-athletes during its annual Breakfast of Champions for Brave Scholars Thursday, April 19 at the Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. Dining Hall Gold Room. The event is designed to honor student-athlete scholars who have earned at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average through the Fall 2017 semester. 

The Department of Athletics has seen a 70% increase of student-athletes that earned a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or above. The departmental GPA of 3.23, caps the 5th consecutive semester with a 3.0 GPA; 25 Fall 2017 graduates (highest in school history); 10 student-athletes with a cumulative 4.0 GPA, 34 student-athletes with a 4.0 term GPA; 176 3.0 or higher term GPA; and 160 cumulative 3.0 or higher GPA.

Emmanuel Arceneaux, a 2009 graduate of Alcorn and Alexandria, Louisiana native, delivered the keynote speech. Arceneaux was a two-sport scholar student-athlete with the Braves football and track teams for four years. Off the field, Arceneaux maintained above a 3.0 GPA and was the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). He was exceptional as a standout wide receiver, hauling in 99 receptions for 1,618 yards and 12 touchdowns. He ranks in the top 10 in career receptions at Alcorn and is one of 15 Braves to record over 1, 500 receiving yards.

Arceneaux encouraged the scholars to take advantage of the many opportunities that Alcorn has to offer. 

"Don't stop believing in yourself," said Arceneaux. "Never let anyone tell you that you can't achieve your goals. You have to make the most of your opportunity. Use your resources and ask for help.  It's like a family here, and there are plenty of professors here who are willing to help you. So take advantage of every opportunity you have."

Arceneaux also motivated the student-athletes to continue their commitment to academics while participating in their sports and other college activities.

"Stay committed to handling your priorities. Never forget that you are a student first. It all comes down to creating a balance between school and leisure, and it's important to remember the primary reason for being in college."

Everyone's playing days are numbered, so Arceneaux advised the student-athletes to look outside of sports for success.

"You can't always rely on sports because it can be taken away from you at any moment. So if you aspire to be anything outside of sports, continue to do a great job in class and earn a degree so you can be successful in other fields."

Alcorn not only made me a better man and football player, but it also made me a better man, and it prepared me for life outside of campus.

Derek Horne, director of Athletics, thanked the scholars for their dominance in class and competition and charged them to keep up the excellent work.

"Congratulations on your academic achievements," said Horne. "I charge you to remain committed to the mission, vision, and goals of the University and Department of Athletics. You understand the importance of utilizing and maximizing the twofold experience of academics and athletics to ensure that you are successful in your matriculation through and graduation from Alcorn State University." 

The ceremony concluded after Jason Cable, assistant vice president for Athletic Compliance and Academic Services, presented Arceneaux and Allstate representative, Steven James, with Alcorn goodie bags for their participation. Mr. Alvin Jackson, an Alcorn alumnus, also gave the ASU Foundation, Inc. with a donation for the betterment of the Department of Athletics.