New and returning students express excitement for semester’s start in phased return to campus

The students, who are the heartbeat of Alcorn State University, returned to campus to continue their pursuit of scholarship during the University’s first move-in phase.

Students moved into Revels and Burrus Halls Saturday, Aug. 15, during the first weekend of phased residence halls openings. Move-in to campus housing will be phased over the next three weekends by residence hall.

The freshman class of 2024 said goodbye to their parents and loved ones as they set out on their journeys as young adults.

Even amid today’s circumstances due to the pandemic, students still expressed their excitement to begin school. Joshua Jackson, a freshman business administration major from Canton, Mississippi, and the first person in his family to attend a university is motivated about the upcoming year.

“I’m the first person in my immediate family to go to a university,” said Jackson. “I’m excited to start my journey in a new environment. Despite everything that’s happening with COVID-19, my goal remains to become a better person and pursue a career. My mom also motivates me because she didn’t finish college because she had my siblings and me. I want to make her proud.”

Tiffany Nash, Joshua’s mother, is the main reason he has such a strong desire to succeed. A strong woman of faith, Nash is confident that her son will be fine living on Alcorn’s campus. She’s proud of her son and looks forward to seeing what’s in store for his future.

“He’s growing into a young man, and I feel that he’s at the age where he can take care of himself,” said Nash. “Regardless of the pandemic, I trust in the Lord, and I trust that Alcorn has measures in place to keep him safe. Of course, I’m going to miss him, but he has to live and learn for himself. I believe this is a good move for him.”

Tabrika Carter, a freshman from Magnolia, Mississippi, had been waiting for the moment she started college for a while. She’s determined not to let anything distract her from living her dream.

“I’m glad to start college,” said Tabrika. “I believe that Alcorn will keep everything under control so that we can have a safe experience. I know things are different, but I hope that it will be as normal as possible. I believe we will be fine.”

Tabrika’s mother, Ericka Carter, was happy to watch her daughter set out on a new chapter in her young life.

“It’s exciting to see her move in,” said Ericka. “Even though we have to deal with everything that’s happening, I feel that Alcorn has everything set up for her and her peers to be safe.”

Getting a chance to play in Alcorn’s Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Marching band builds Kelvin Frye’s anticipation for the start of school. The freshman from Natchez, Mississippi, who plans to major in agriculture business management, believes his Alcorn experience will be amazing.

“I’m so ready to start school, said Kelvin. “I will be playing the snare drum in the band, so I’m looking forward to that opportunity. I hope that the University works around everything that’s happening so that I can fulfill my dream. I can’t wait.”

Kelvin’s parents, Frederick and Kelia Lane are happy for their son. They are confident that he will make them proud.

“I’m thinking about his safety, but I also know that playing in the band has been his dream for the past six years,” said Kelia. “So, that makes me excited for him to start school and eventually live his dream of playing in the band. It’s going to be different, but I believe he’ll be just fine.”

“It’s good to see him pursue his endeavors,” said Frederick. “I encourage him to stay focused. I wish him the best, and I’m excited for him.”

The students realize that the key to a healthy and productive academic year is following safety guidelines. Canton, Mississippi native Ja’Miliyah Williams, a freshman pre-nursing major, believes that she, along with her peers, can play a significant role in creating a safe space on campus by following social distancing rules.

“This is an experience that I’m looking forward to beginning,” said Williams. “I have confidence that if we wear our masks, sanitize our hands, and social distance, then we will have a safe school year, and no one will get sick.”