On Thursday, September 23rd, Alcorn State University (ASU) held its Sesquicentennial Founders’ Day Convocation in the Oakland Memorial Chapel. The Convocation themed ‘Dare to Celebrate Our Legacy’ honored the 150th anniversary of ASU.
Tony Gordon, the University’s organist, opened the Founders’ Day Convocation with the song “Passacagilia” by G.F. Handel. After the prelude, the posting of the colors were done by the Alcorn Brave Battalion. The audience then sang the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing”. Xavian Lewis, a Senior Business Administration major, delivered the invocation and Jaquerious Howard, 2021-2022 Student Government Association President, welcomed the audience to the Founders’ Day celebration. The occasion was given by DayJasia Wright, a Junior Elementary Education major. The ASU Chamber Singers, directed by Dr. Alona Alexander, performed “Striving After God” which was arranged by Undine Smith Moore.
The Convocation featured two speakers discussing the past and present perspectives of ASU. The first speaker, Dr. Malvin A. Williams, Sr., is a 1962 graduate of Alcorn and was the Interim President for ASU for the 2006-2007 academic year. Throughout his speech, he recognized several historical events at ASU. “As we come to 150 years, it has to be more about past and present perspectives. It has to be about a time when the University examines itself to ensure the next 150 years are guaranteed,” Dr. Williams said.
The second speaker was Fallon Echols, a fifth generation Alcornite from Southaven, Mississippi. Currently, Echols is a Freshman Biological Sciences major and a 2021-2022 cheerleader. In her speech, she explained her perspective of being a legacy of Alcorn. “Even though my journey has just begun, I am excited and I can see the possibilities Alcorn has to offer. . . I am glad to be a part of this legacy,” Echols said.
Afterwards, the ASU Concert Choir, directed by Dr. Alona Alexander, performed “I Don’t Feel No Ways Tired” which was arranged by Stacey V. Gibbs. To conclude the Convocation, Dr. Felecia M. Nave, 20th President at ASU, gave the closing remarks.
“I really enjoyed the Sesquicentennial Founders’ Day Convocation. It was a blessing to hear the Institution’s transformation over the course of 150 years. . . The atmosphere was great, the content was great, and it was a very nice program,” said Gregory Richards, Senior Food Nutrition and Community Health Sciences major.