Scholars honored during Alcorn’s 78th Biannual Honor’s Convocation

Elite scholar students at Alcorn State University received praise for their exceptional academic achievement during the University’s biannual celebration.

The Alcorn community gathered Thursday, Oct. 25 to celebrate 494 Dean’s Scholars and 271 President’s Scholars during the 78th Biannual Honors Day Convocation at the James L. Bolden Campus Union Ballroom. Pelicia Hall, who is the first African- American female commissioner for the Mississippi Department of Corrections (MDOC), gave the speech.

Hall has been commissioner of the MDOC since March 2017. She currently manages a $341.5 million budget with slightly more than 2,000 employees in a system with 30-plus facilities, which include three state prisons, three private prisons, 15 regional facilities, ten community work centers, four restitution centers, and two technical violation centers. 

Hall began by acknowledging her family who’ve supported her throughout her life and career. She used that example to remind the honorees to be grateful for their families’ motivation. 

“The support of family is always important no matter where you are because without their support, you would not be here,” said Hall. “You should be appreciative to them for supporting and encouraging you.”

Hall praised the diligence and pursuit of excellence displayed by the scholars. 

“You are a shining example of knowledge and character. You’ve shown your self-discipline, intellect, drive, and aspiration. You’ve shown by your level of achievement that you believe in striving for excellence.”

Hall motivated the students to keep earning high marks that would create avenues of success for them in the future.

“It is imperative that you put forth your best effort no matter what path you pursue. You are building your reputation during this time. Doing your best puts you in the best position for the next opportunity. Always being prepared will get you a seat at the table and will allow you to keep that seat.”

The scholars were excited to experience their educational milestone. Alfred McCaskill, a sophomore majoring in computer networking, feels proud of his accomplishment. He appreciates being acknowledged for his dedication to academics.

“I’ve had some long and sleepless nights studying for exams so that I can keep my grades up, so to become a Dean’s Scholar this semester assures me that my dedication to my studies has paid off thus far,” said McCaskill.   

Rashunda Veals, a junior majoring in mass communication felt overjoyed when she learned of her achievement. 

“I got so excited when I realized that I made the President’s Scholars list,” said Veals. “I put in hard work and dedication during the semester, so to see that my grades reflect my efforts make me feel accomplished. I have many goals set for the future, and having a 4.0 will help me on my path.”

Dr. Donzell Lee, interim president applauded the students for their accomplishments.

“Alcorn is not known for the number of students enrolled or the number of buildings we have, but we will be known for our graduates and their success, said Lee. “You are well on your way to helping us keep that legacy of knowledge and character going.”