A fighters’ spirit, unconventional path leads Lamont Williams to Alcorn degree

Ask Lamont Williams what he thinks of his journey to Alcorn State University and he will humbly admit it was one worth taking.

The Compton, California native received an associate’s degree from Palo Verde Community College before setting out on a boxing career. Williams recently earned his bachelor's degree in clinical psychology from Alcorn.

The experience and training that Williams received as a prizefighter helped him build character. With the long days and nights of running, sparring, and hitting the punching bags, he was able to strengthen his work ethic.

"Being a professional boxer is truly an experience," said Williams. "One must possess discipline, and your attention to detail and work ethic will be challenged. Those who cut corners in training were exposed in the ring. Things like maintaining your weight and jogging were mandatory."

After a while, Williams began to lose his passion for the sport, which was primarily due to the mismanagement of business.

"I realized that boxing is nothing to take lightly. It's necessary to give your best effort in training, and having proper management is important. On the business side, you will need the right people in your corner who care about your future. I didn't have that component."

The end of his boxing career was imminent; so Williams hung up his gloves and decided to give education a second try. He desired to study psychology so that he could help others. With the help of Alcorn alumnus Eugene Spencer and his family, Williams connected with officials at the university.

"I ran the course of my boxing experience and was given the opportunity to finish what I started years ago, which was pursuing an education in psychology. Growing up, I was shy and had an empathetic disposition. I found myself developing listening skills and a desire to help people."

It didn't take long for Williams to fall in love with Alcorn. Its location, friendly community and low tuition all are reasons why Williams decided to make the university his educational home.

"The small community and excluded location of the campus is ideal for anyone serious about academic success. Alcorn's affordable tuition costs and the sentimental value to the Spencer family were all factors for me enrolling here. I realized that degrees and qualifications support income opportunities along with networking."

Now that Williams has reached his goal of earning a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology, he reflected on his time at Alcorn. He described his time as one he will always cherish.

"This has been a quality experience. Being eligible for graduation is humbling. I have a lot of gratitude and pride in my calm and easygoing demeanor. I've learned what it means to hope and be determined. This experience continues to prove it's not about what you know, but how you treat people. The staff is the best and has brought the best out of me."

In August 2019, Williams plans to attend graduate school at Alcorn, which he credits for giving him the tools to be successful.