Hundreds of excited Alcorn State University students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community supporters turned out to graciously welcome the university's 20th and first female president onto campus.
The university honored President Felecia Nave with a President's Welcome Reception Tuesday, July 2 in the Dr. Clinton Bristow Jr. Dining Hall – Gold Room. Proud Alcornites who have anticipated her arrival greeted Nave as they helped usher in her tenure as their next leader.
The overflowing support from her alma mater brought Nave to tears as she addressed the crowd of proud Alcornites. She applauded them for being a robust support system.
"To see you all and to experience the love and outpouring of support since being appointed has been overwhelming," said Nave. "Alcorn has the best fans, alumni, and people in the entire world. It is such an honor and privilege to be here."
Although Alcorn's name is continuously synonymous with success, Nave has confidence that the university can climb to even higher levels of achievement. She believes in Alcorn's ability to keep striving for the best.
"Alcorn is in magnificent shape, and we have a lot to be proud of. It's going to be joyous to continue in this legacy because there is so much more we can do. We will continue to do great things and elevate to an even higher level because we have talent, alumni support, dynamic faculty and staff, and exceptional students. We will continue to be that shining star that illuminates greatness."
Seeing a woman take the helm at the university inspires Alexandra Johnson, a junior majoring in biology/pre-medicine. She has faith that Nave will successfully lead Alcorn into a bright future.
"This is the year of the woman, so I am very excited about Dr. Nave's appointment as president," said Johnson. "She's an Alcornite, so she understands the atmosphere of the university and what it needs to succeed. I believe that she will live up to high expectations."
After listening to Nave's opening remarks, Dr. Tabitha Smith, assistant professor in the School of Education and Psychology, was moved by Nave's appreciation for Alcorn's role in the community.
"I am excited that Dr. Nave agreed to serve as our next president," said Smith. "I loved her introductory remarks because she highlighted her appreciation for the role that the university play in the lives of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and surrounding areas. I know that she will continue Alcorn's tradition of creating innovative ideas that would lead the university into the future."
While witnessing the historic moment, Ronnie Brooks, an alumnus and assistant director of Admissions and Recruitment, expressed how grateful he is to watch Nave and the abundance of love she's received.
"It's great to see another Alcorn graduate come in as our president," said Brooks. "Her energy and the energy surrounding her appointment is nothing short of exciting. We, here at Alcorn, support her, and I am glad to be a part of this historic moment."
The university's future is bright. Dr. John Igwebuike, interim provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, believes that Nave's presence will bring more attention to Alcorn's upcoming celebrations.
"This represents a high watermark for the university," said Igwebuike. "It's a new day for faculty, staff, student, and alumni success at Alcorn. The university will soon celebrate 150 years of existence, and this will be a banner celebration because of Dr. Nave's presence."