Alumnus Harvey Lee Gordon Sr. inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame

An Alcorn State University alumnus's legacy lives on as he was posthumously recognized for providing life-changing services to the youth.

The late Harvey Lee Gordon Sr. '76 was recently inducted into the 4-H Hall of Fame Class of 2022 during the National 4-H Hall of Fame Ceremony in Washington D. C. The Program also celebrated 20 years of service during the Ceremony. Gordon is the first Mississippi 4-H Program member to enter the Hall of Fame since Harry Dendy in 2011.

Gordon, a native of Leland, Mississippi, served as an extension instructor and 4-H youth state specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service from 1997 until he retired in 2014. Gordon held previous positions with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service in Little Rock, Arkansas, beginning in 1976 after receiving a bachelor's degree in agronomy from Alcorn.

The Ceremony recognizes those who have significantly impacted the 4-H Program through their time, energy, financial resources, and more. The Program is America's largest youth development organization that empowers nearly six million young people with leadership skills. Through 4-H programs, children have taken on critical societal issues, including addressing community health inequities, engaging in civil discourse, and advocating for equity and inclusion.

Ruby Gordon, Harvey's wife of 41 years, shed light on her husband's drive to help others reach their potential.

"He was always such a humble person, and his whole being was intent on how he could help another person become a better person," said Ruby. "The content of his character mattered more to him than any honor he might receive."

Ruby highlighted Harvey's upbringing and becoming a man of God for his character.

"Being a young Black man growing up in a small community with limited resources and becoming a Sunday School teacher made him want to help others become better. That is the mission behind 4-H, to make the best better. He always believed that getting and digesting information could make you a better person."

Larry Alexander, who served as an MSU Extension 4-H youth state specialist with Gordon, remembered Harvey as a motivational figure for the youth.

"He was all about trying to find the best in people," said Alexander. "He motivated youth to step outside their comfort zones and do things they would not have done had he not coached them.