On Thursday, March 25th, Alcorn State University (ASU) held its 82nd Annual Honors Convocation in the Davey L. Whitney Complex in Lorman, Mississippi. The Convocation themed ‘Braving Challenging Times with Flexibility and Accountability’, honored Presidential and Dean’s List scholars for the Spring and Fall semesters of 2020. The Spring 2020 semester recognized 350 Presidential Scholars and 654 Dean’s Scholars whereas the Fall 2020 semester recognized 341 Presidential Scholars and 553 Dean’s Scholars.
Tony Gordon, Assistant Professor of Music, opened the Convocation with a song entitled, “Paris Angelicus” by Cesar Frank. The Prelude was followed by the Posting of Colors by the Braves’ Battalion and the Invocation was delivered by Reverend Dr. C. Edward Rhodes II, Director of Student Religious Life. Afterwards, Antoin Marshall, Junior Music major, performed “I’ll Walk with God” by Nicholas Brodsky. The Convocation also featured Ashley Gaye Palmer, Senior Music major, performing “Fix Me Jesus” by Uzee Brown Jr.
Taea Jackson, Miss Alcorn State University 2020-2021, and Patrick Mason, Student Government Association (SGA) President 2020-2021, gave the Welcome to scholars, staff, and visitors followed by the Occasion delivered by Dr. Sheren Sanders, Director for Honors Curriculum Programs.
Dr. Zackeus Johnson, Executive Director for First and Second Year Experience and Academic Advisor at Southern University and A&M College, delivered the keynote speech. Dr. Johnson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Business Management from Alcorn State University where he also served as the SGA President from 2014-2015. He opened the speech commending students for achieving academic success while undergoing all of the challenges 2020 brought. “Focus your attention and energy on the possibilities. Focus on being a forward thinker. I challenge you to embody and normalize being proactive,” Dr. Johnson said.
After Dr. Johnson’s speech, students were awarded for their academic success. Presidential and Dean’s scholars were awarded certificates, medallions, or sweaters. All students achieving a grade point average of 3.5 within a single semester earned the distinction of being a Dean’s Scholar and any student achieving a 4.0 within a single semester is considered a President’s Scholar. President’s Scholars that earn a 4.0 grade point average in two consecutive terms as a Junior or Senior and has a 3.5 overall grade point average will receive a certificate and a medal. In addition, students earning a 4.0 for the third consecutive term will receive a certificate and a medal.
“I am so thankful to Alcorn for still having the Honors Convocation even amidst a pandemic. It was well organized and made students feel appreciated,” stated Angel Bernaird, a Senior Music Education major.