IHL's Christy Pickering set to deliver the keynote address at the 2018 Spring Commencement Exercise

One of Mississippi's most notable educational leaders will speak during Alcorn State University's 2018 Spring Commencement Exercise.

Christy Pickering, who serves on the Mississippi Board of Trustees of the State Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), will be this year's keynote speaker during the ceremony in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex Saturday, May 5 at 8:30 a.m. 

Pickering, who earned a bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1983, has substantial financial and accounting expertise due to her 29-year career as a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA). She has owned a CPA practice in Biloxi, Mississippi for 29 years. 

Pickering has served as director for the Mississippi Power Company since 2007. She also served as chair of the Company's Controls and Compliance Committee from 2009-2013.

Pickering is quite familiar with the Alcorn community. Back in January 2017, she hosted the event "Girl, You Deserve Better," which was geared toward informing students about the signs of domestic abuse. The warm welcome she received inspired her to lend her advice during commencement.

"I am honored to be a small part of this ceremony recognizing the achievements of so many bright and talented men and women who will be graduating," said Pickering. "During my visit to campus last year, I met many of the students, faculty, and staff who were so warm and welcoming. I look forward to celebrating their achievements on that day."

Dr. Donzell Lee, provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, looks forward to hearing Pickering's message to the students.

"We are delighted to have Ms. Pickering as our commencement speaker," said Lee. "She deserves our respect for the great work that she has done on the IHL Board of Trustees and expanding higher education access, affordability, and attainment. We hope that this opportunity to speak to our graduates will be viewed as one of the highlights of her great service to higher education in the state."