Alcorn officially names Honors Program after civil rights giant, Myrlie Evers-Williams during Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

The Honors Curriculum Program at Alcorn State University is officially named after one of the University’s most exemplary honorary alumni.

The Naming Dedication for the Myrlie Evers-Williams Honors Program was held Friday, Oct. 21, at The Honors Curriculum Building. Evers-Williams is a civil rights leader, author, and journalist who spent over three decades seeking justice for the 1963 murder of her former husband, the late Medgar Evers.

Reena Evers-Everette, the daughter of Myrlie and Medgar, shared how she and her mother were overtaken by emotions when accepting the nomination.

“I teared up when I was asked to nominate my mother as a candidate for this honor,” said Evers-Everette. “When I talked to her about it, she cried out of gratitude because she felt that she and my father were being honored properly. This Program will provide excellence in many forms not only for students but also for everyone in the Alcorn family.”

Evers-Everette applauded the University for the dedication, as it further expresses Alcorn’s appreciation for what Evers-Williams has contributed to society.

“Alcorn is a place that empowers and provides excellence. This is an honor for my family, and we will always be with Alcorn. This is not just a campus program but a program that will go around the state and possibly the nation. Who knew the impact that my parents would have on everyone on campus and around the world? This is our legacy, and we will continue it with excellence.”

The Rev. Dr. C. Edward Rhodes, interim director for the Honors Program, explained the Program’s mission and how it strives to prepare young Alcornites to make a difference in the world.

“The Honors Program adopts its posture of intelligent service to social justice advocacy, helping Alcorn scholars to solve issues like food and medical apartheid in southwest Mississippi or the water crisis in Jackson,” said Rhodes. “Our mission is to cultivate intellectually curious and socially conscious scholars. We envision this Program providing a life-changing academic and extracurricular experience for scholars that will help solve complex social issues.”

Collins, Mississippi native Ronnie Davis, a senior computer science major, Honors Program member, and Ronald E. McNair Scholar,  credited the Honors Program for giving him the inspiration needed to succeed.

“My time at Alcorn has allowed me to become a better version of myself, especially with the help of the Honors Program,” said Davis. “None of my accomplishments would have been possible had it not been for the Honors Program pushing me to be extraordinary.”

Dr. Ontario Wooden, provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, reflected on his early learnings of Medgar and Myrlie’s push for civil rights and the impact the two made with their actions.

“Being a boy from Georgia and hearing the stories of the civil rights movement, the work that Medgar and Myrlie did was remarkable and has been transformative to the state and the nation,” said Wooden.

President Dr. Felecia M. Nave spoke about the significance of the ceremony and how it provides an example for students of the great things that Alcornites could accomplish.

“Myrlie is an extraordinary legend of Alcorn State University,” said Nave. “It is our effort to acknowledge and honor those from the Alcorn family who have done amazing things not only on campus but also around the world. This renaming allows us to instill within our students what it means to be an Alcornite, to walk these hallowed grounds, and be given the knowledge and character that would help them become a blessing to those around the world.”