Alcorn track and field named after sports legend, Mildrette Netter White
The track and field at Alcorn State University have been named in honor of one of the university's most celebrated sports legends.
The Mildrette Netter White Track and Field Naming Ceremony was held Friday, Nov. 16 on the green space between the S.A.F.E. Center and McGowan Field.
White, who earned a bachelor's degree from Alcorn in 1978 and a master's degree in 1981, won the gold medal in the 4X100 meter relay in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, Mexico, where she held the third-best 100-meter time in the world. She also became the first and only athlete in 50 years who attended and represented a Mississippi Historically Black College or University (HBCU) in the Olympic games.
Jerry Sims, a 1973 Alcorn graduate and former teammate of Netter, spoke about White's determination to be the best in her sport.
"She worked tirelessly to enhance her performance on the track," said Sims. "Her goal was to be the fastest sprinter in the world. She showed sheer strength and dedication, which led to her winning lots of races all over the country. She's been a great competitor, and we recognize her for all that she has done."
Sims also reflected on their glory years at the university.
"What we had here was love, and we spread that love amongst each other. It was a team who had a strong bond with each other."
Percy Norwood, a 1968 Alcorn graduate, applauded White for being a trailblazer for women's track and field at Alcorn. He also thanked the University for acknowledging White's accolades with the naming of the track and field.
"She was so fast," said Norwood. "By running with the guys, her competition made her better. When she went to the Olympics, she represented the state of Mississippi well. This woman is the mother of Alcorn track for women."
White expressed her appreciation to the university for recognizing her achievements.
"This is one of the most heartfelt and humbling experiences of my life," said White. "I didn't get here alone; I had plenty of help. I thank God that I am a living legend that my children, grandchildren, and current student-athletes can admire. God takes ordinary people and empowers them to do extraordinary things. I am truly thankful."
White ended her speech by expressing her pride in beginning a legacy that continues today. She thanked her alma mater for allowing her the opportunity to flourish.
"I am honored to be a pioneer for women's track and field at Alcorn. The university prepared me to be successful in my career. I hope this day of celebration will inspire others to use their God-given talents to help others along the way. I challenge you always to persevere so that you will reap your season of blessings."
Interim President, Dr. Donzell Lee praised White for her continued dedication to serving the university that prepared her to be successful.
"Alcorn has been blessed because of this outstanding lady," said Lee. "I was humbled by her because she still has a love for this great institution. We served our purpose by showing love to an outstanding woman."