Alcorn supporter, Mrs. Lavada Shannon, spreads love through giving

Alcorn State University has an influential group of alumni and supporters across the state of Mississippi and beyond. One of those supporters is 88-year-old Lavada Shannon, a two-time cancer survivor from Plantersville, Mississippi. 

For years, Shannon has consistently donated to the ASU Foundation, Inc. to aid students as they strive for greatness through education. Back in 2011, she was one of the contributors to the Medgar Wiley Evers Statue Campaign. Uplifting others is a passion for Shannon, and she makes it a priority to give back to the university that has given to her family in the form of education.

"I like to help people," said Shannon. "Every year, I try the best I can to donate because I felt that Alcorn has helped my family and I. So I decided to give the little that I do give because of what they've done for me and others."

Although Shannon isn't an Alcorn alumna, she was informed about the university through her cousin who earned a degree from the university. It was her cousin's testimony that led her and her daughter to send her grandson, Sandrick Shannon, to the reservation in the late 1990s.

 "I had a cousin to attend Alcorn years ago who studied to be a teacher. Because she turned out so good, that helped us decide to send my grandson there. His mother and I felt that Alcorn was the best place for him to attend college because it was a good fit."

Alcorn's family-oriented atmosphere is another reason why Shannon fell in love with the university.

"I admired their togetherness. I remember everyone getting along with each other and working together. The students, faculty, and staff were very friendly, which is why I feel Alcorn is a good place to be."

Shannon's offerings to Alcorn have not gone unnoticed. John Jones, a 1971 Alcorn graduate and one of Shannon's friends, applauds her for being dedicated to the university. 

"I thought that it was special for her to show her support for Alcorn," said Jones. "She's always been a strong supporter of the university. Earlier this year, she sang two songs, free of charge, at the Mid-Winter Conference. She did an excellent job."

Through Shannon's charity, Jones has faith that others will see her efforts and join her in helping Alcorn's progression.

"I believe that her commitment is worth acknowledging, and it will serve as an inspiration to alumni across the nation."

The love for Alcorn has been passed down to Shannon's great-granddaughter, Brieyonna Shannon, a sophomore nursing major. Brieyonna appreciates the kind and motivating words she receives from her great-grandmother. Her encouragement inspires Brieyonna to strive for the best.

"She always encourages me to do my best and to treat others with respect," said Brieyonna. "She's always supportive of me and my goals. My great-grandmother is a lovely person, and she has a huge heart."

You too can be a contributor to Alcorn’s success. Head over to and donate to the university. While you’re there, don’t forget to contribute to the ASU Foundation’s $1 Million Brave Strong Challenge. Click here to donate.