Alcorn scholars honored during annual Honors Convocation

High achieving students at Alcorn State University were applauded for their excellent academic performances during the University’s annual recognition of scholars.

Over 600 President’s Scholars and nearly 1,000 Dean’s Scholars were celebrated during Alcorn’s 83rd annual Honors Convocation Thursday, March 24, at the Davey L. Whitney Complex. The program honored scholars from the Spring 2022 and Fall 2021 semesters for their commitment to academic excellence.

Alumnus Dr. Corey Wiggins gave the ceremonial address. President Joe Biden recently appointed Wiggins to serve as federal co-chairman of the Delta Regional Authority. Wiggins previously served as the executive director for the Mississippi State Conference NAACP. He earned a bachelor’s degree in biology/pre-medicine from Alcorn in 2003 before earning both master’s (health policy) and doctorate (health education/promotion) degrees from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2005 and 2011.

Serving the community was the theme of Wiggins's message. He encouraged scholars to understand what it means to be good leaders.

“I encourage you all to lead in a way that allows you to serve,” said Wiggins. “Also, lead in a way that allows you to listen and understand what’s going on in your communities, homes, and on this campus. Then ask yourself how you could serve.”

Wiggins spoke to the students about understanding their value and how their talents could create a positive shift in the world.

“Value yourself. You have all the ability in the world. You must believe in yourself and know that you create value in every room you enter. Struggles will be a part of your journey, but it’s important to have something to lean on that will anchor you and help you respond during those struggles.”

To be their best, Wiggins told the students to abandon fear.

“Don’t be afraid to pursue your dreams. Your family and community cannot afford for you to be afraid. People are waiting on all of you to arrive. People are waiting for you to showcase your leadership, intelligence, and all that makes who you are in the world.”

Students expressed pride in accomplishing their educational milestones. President’s Scholar Ronnie Davis, a junior computer science major from Collins, Mississippi, reflected on his path to becoming a scholar student.

“Being a President’s Scholar is an amazing feeling because it shows how far I have come on my educational path,” said Davis. “This accomplishment is a testament to my hard work and dedication. I owe my success to my family and friends because they push me to be my best.”

Dean’s Scholar Raylynn Thompson, a junior with a double major in biology and biochemistry, says that the recognition further inspires her to accomplish her goals.

“I don’t take being a Dean’s Scholar lightly,” said Thompson, a Muskogee, Oklahoma native. “I’m committed to my studies because I have younger and older family members looking up to me. The studies can be challenging, but this recognition reminds me of my purpose. I have more schooling ahead of me before I achieve my dream job, so this honor gives me the motivation to keep going.”

Alcorn President Felecia M. Nave encouraged the students to stay focused and remember those close to them.

“Because of your commitment, you sit here today for us to celebrate your proud moment,” said Nave. “Remember to stay grounded and remember the connections you have because they will propel you into your future.