Alcorn State University Celebrates 144 Years of Excellence


Alcorn State University celebrated its annual Founders Day on Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 12:30 p.m. in the Oakland Memorial Chapel in Lorman, MS. Celebrating Founders Day provided an opportunity for Alcorn to reflect on its history and the sacrifices that all Alcornites have made to ensure that Alcorn keeps moving forward and contributes to a productive society.

The program began with a prelude by Mr. Tony Gordon, University Organist, and was followed by the processional of platform guests. A selection by the Alcorn State University Concert Choir grasped the attention of many attendees. The posting of the colors was piloted by the Alcorn Braves Battalion. The invocation was given by Reverend C. Edward Rhodes II, Director of Student Religious Life. The occasion was led by Amber King, Miss Alcorn State University, and Adrian McLain, Student Government Association President. Dr. Donzell Lee, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, introduced the speaker and moderator of the hour Dr. Robert Tatum and Dr. Troy Stewart Sr.

Dr. Tatum, M.D., is a native of Oxford, Mississippi. He graduated from Alcorn State University in 1990. Dr. Stewart Sr., Professor Emeritus, Alcorn State University, is also a native Mississippian from Hazlehurst, Mississippi. He graduated from Alcorn in 1971.

The speakers gave much insight, advice and guidance to current students, faculty, staff, and alumni. They also commented on the history of Alcorn as well as their time here and its significance to their success in life.  Dr. Stewart stated, “If I did it, so can you. Everything that I had, I gave it to Alcorn. My life is that of an Alcornite. I owe it all to Alcorn.” Dr. Tatum also recalled his time at Alcorn as well as life after he graduated. “Alcornites treat you like you’ve never been treated before,” he said. “That is family, you can’t beat that.” Dr. Tatum informed the audience that in order to be successful, they had to realize that it’s not about what they’ve done or haven’t done in life, but it’s more about what they’re willing to do. “As a student, do your work first, then play,” he stressed. “Alcorn will always stand as long as we have educated people who are willing to move it forward.”

Closing remarks of the program were given by Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., 19th President of Alcorn State University. In his annotations, Dr. Rankins stated, “Regardless of your credentials to dear Alcorn, if you don’t feel good about Alcorn, something must be wrong with you.” He ended his message with thanks, saying, “Thank you all for supporting this event. May God bless each and every one of you, and may God bless Alcorn State University.”

The program was concluded with the benediction, Alcorn Ode, retiring of the colors, and the recessional of platform guests.

For more information about this event or upcoming events, visit or contact the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs at 1000 ASU Drive #569, Lorman, MS 39096, or phone (601)877-6140.