Award- winning musical powerhouse Charlie Wilson to perform at Alcorn’s Sesquicentennial Gala
Alcorn State University will host its Sesquicentennial Gala to celebrate 150 years of excellence. The gala is set for 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 1, 2022, at the Jackson Convention Complex. An invite-only VIP reception will kick off the event at 6:00 p.m.
As the nation’s oldest historically Black public land-grant institution, the event will close 15 months of celebratory events and activities.
Funds from the gala will benefit students, faculty, and staff with much-needed support for scholarships, research, and programming to strengthen Alcorn’s legacy for many years.
“For over 150 years, Alcorn State University has been a beacon of opportunity that has produced legendary graduates who excel in every field imaginable,” said Dr. Felecia M. Nave, president of Alcorn State University. “The support of Alcorn’s friends and donors is vitally important to the university’s ability to continue to serve the 21st-century needs of the community, state, nation, and world.”
Alcorn has stood the test of time while elevating its prominence as a leader among the nation’s best higher education institutions. Throughout the years, the university has expanded its offerings to nearly 50 majors housed in five schools — Agriculture and Applied Sciences, Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Psychology, and Nursing.
Its Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers Policy Research Center, authorized by the 2014 Farm Bill, serves as a voice for socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers and ensure data-driven information is available for Congress and other stakeholders.
The University is home to champions and scholars amassing a stellar championship record in sports, having captured the 2021-22 SWAC Regular Season title with the Braves Men’s Basketball team. It was the first championship title for the Alcorn Men’s Basketball program since 2002.
Lady Braves received its first championship title in program history, finishing first at the 2021 Women’s Cross Country Championships with 68 points.
Alcorn clinched the SWAC East Division crown and appeared in the SWAC Football Championship game in all six seasons in which the team participated, taking home the conference title four times (2014, 2015, 2018, 2019).
In women’s tennis, Alcorn won the SWAC Championship in 2016 and appeared in the title match in back-to-back years (2018, 2019).
Another evening highlight will be the Women of Courage honor, which is presented to women who have demonstrated courage in overcoming challenges and obstacles and positively influenced the communities they serve. This year’s awardees are Carla Kirkland, CEO of the Kirkland Group; Dr. Josephine Posey (posthumously), Alcorn administrator and historian; and Iris Kyle, a professional bodybuilder.
Guests are in for a musical treat as Charlie Wilson and his band provide the closing entertainment of the evening.
To say that Charlie Wilson is an “Icon,” does not truly describe the musical powerhouse whose vocal prowess began as a founding member and lead singer of the legendary GAP Band (“You Dropped the Bomb on Me,” “Outstanding,” “Party Train,” and “Burn Rubber on Me.”)
As a solo artist Wilson has topped the R&B charts with 13 number one singles, 13 Grammy nominations, a New York Times and Washington Post best-selling memoir, “I Am Charlie Wilson,” a BET Lifetime Achievement Award, a Soul Train Icon Award, a Soul Train Certified Soul Award, and a NAACP Music Makes a Difference Award. He was also honored with a star on the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame in 2022 and will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2023.
He was twice named Billboard’s Top Adult Male R&B Artist (2009, 2020) and named Billboard’s Top Adult R&B Male Artist with the most #1s in three decades. Wilson was honored this year with a star on the Black Music & Entertainment Walk of Fame and will receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2023.
In the years between the GAP Band and his solo success, Wilson survived drug and alcohol addiction, homelessness, and prostate cancer. Sober now for 24 years, the singer says, “I wouldn’t have believed I’d be where I am right now. That’s why I shout every night because I thank God for allowing me to be here.”
Other events hosted during the 150th year celebration include a Kick-Off Celebration, Founders’ Week Convocation, and Author’s Series.
Tickets and sponsorships are available at www.alcorn.edu/gala150.