Notable Alcorn alumni pay tribute to 148 years of progress at the 2019 Founders Day Convocation

One hundred and forty-eight years of growth and success at Alcorn State University was celebrated at the university’s annual program to recognize its founding.

The 2019 Founders Day Convocation was held Thursday, Sept. 26 in the Oakland Memorial Chapel. Students, faculty, staff, and alumni gathered to commemorate educational, societal, local, and national accomplishments that the university has gained over its storied history.

Wiley Jones ’64, Charles Mock ’74, and Cora Peavie ’84, three esteemed Alcornites and accomplished business professionals, delivered speeches filled with encouragement and triumph.

Staying committed to accomplishing goals was the theme of Jones' speech. He encouraged the audience to keep moving forward in their pursuit of finding career success.

"You have to be committed to what you want to do," said Jones. "If you want something, work hard at it. Never give up on something you want, and never let someone discourage you from giving up on pursuing your dreams. Listen to sound advice from your instructors, study hard, and surround yourself with positive people who know just as much or more than you do. These steps will benefit you in the future."

In Mock's lecture, he encouraged the crowd to be conscious of their decision making. He spoke about how making the best decisions will lead to positive outcomes.

"As you progress through your lives and education, remember to make good decisions with the information that is available to you at the time," said Mock. "You want to make decisions that give you confidence. Remember to stay connected to Alcorn because it's providing you with a foundation that will carry you throughout your life and career."

Preparation is critical to being ready when opportunities come. Peavie expounded on the importance of being adequately equipped for life's significant moments.

"To accomplish my goals, I had to be prepared for opportunities as they arrived," said Peavie. "I had to be meek and learn from others. I had to learn how to listen to and not always be heard. I was taught that whatever playground you land on, be prepared. Understand that the playground may not always be level. Struggles will be present but know that you have an excellent academic foundation that will help you exceed challenges and take advantage of all opportunities. Exceed all expectations."

In closing, Dr. John Igwebuike, interim provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs, reminded the audience of Alcorn's humble beginnings and recognized how far the university has come.

"Nearly a century and a half ago, we began our mission in this sacred place that is the amazing chapel," said Igwebuike. "In 1871, on the first floor of the chapel with 187 students, we began with our first class of Braves. From that day until this day, Alcorn has been about the business of educating minds, transforming lives, and changing family trees. The university has served as an economic engine for southwest Mississippi, our nation, and the world."