Inspired by Alcorn’s impact on her life, Vivian Smith (‘08) gives back to her alma mater by establishing scholarship for student success

Over the years, scholarships awarded by the Alcorn State University Foundation, Inc. (ASUF) have provided countless students with funds to further their education. One of those former recipients is alumna Vivian Smith’ 08, a scientific researcher for Battelle Memorial Institute in Ohio.

When no other school would reward her for the excellence she displayed in high school, Alcorn realized her potential, equipped her for her journey, and welcomed her with open arms.

“The summer before my freshman year, I hadn’t chosen a school because no universities had offered me scholarships,” said Smith. “I was worried about accepting student loans until I met Mrs. Gertude Young, an Alcornite, who introduced me to the director of the Foundation in 2004. The director looked over my credentials and determined I was more than qualified for Foundation scholarships. I received multiple Foundation scholarships, and they helped confirm my decision to attend Alcorn.”

Inspired by the support she received at Alcorn, Smith has established the P.A.S.S. (Passion + Assertiveness = Successful Scholars) Scholarship with the Foundation. Students who have and can maintain a 3.2 GPA, score a 21 on the ACT, or 1080 on the SAT are eligible for the scholarship. The scholarship is geared toward students majoring in science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematics, education, or nursing. The recipient must be a resident of Mississippi.

From the moment Smith realized that Alcorn was the place for her, she vowed to give back in the future.

“When I was a student at Alcorn, I promised myself that I would give back to the beautiful HBCU that taught me so much and enriched my life in so many ways. The idea for a scholarship came from my desire to provide a direct benefit to Alcorn scholars.”

Influential alumni like Smith push the university into the future. She believes that a simple donation can be the asset a student needs to pursue a quality education. She hopes to inspire others to donate their time, resources, and money to the university so that it could reach its goals, exceed expectations, and prepare students for a bright future.

“It is crucial for alumni to give back and support the next generation of Alcornites. Given the issues we are facing with the lack of funding for HBCUs, it is important now more than ever. An alumni donation can be the difference between a student attending college or not.”

There are many ways alumni can donate to the university other than establishing and continue a scholarship endowment. Smith encourages her peers that just a small monetary donation or time dedicated to promoting the university can work wonders for its progress.

“Many alumni cannot establish and maintain a scholarship, so they may feel confused about how they can give back. However, alumni can donate directly to the ASU Foundation to help support in aiding the university in promoting educational and cultural welfare, developing and expanding facilities, and facilitating studies, research, and other academic pursuits.”

Visit the ASU Foundation, Inc. page on Alcorn’s website for more information.