Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first President-Elect of Alcorn State University (ASU), established the historic Alcorn tradition of character-based learning and leadership. 150 years later, the tradition is being upheld by the launching of the Hiram Rhodes Revels Institute for Ethical Leadership.
The Institute ceremony was held in the Oakland Memorial Chapel on Monday, Sep 27th at 10:00 am. Reverend Dr. C. Edward Rhodes II began the program with a warm welcome and introduced himself as the Director for the Hiram Rhodes Revels Institute. Under his direction, the Institute will engage students, faculty, alumni and friends through the creation of academic programs in the School of Arts and Sciences, assist students with cultivating ethical decision making and emotional intelligence, support faculty research of religious, political, educational, and economic issues facing rural and urban communities, and recommend ethically informed decisions to policymakers and civic leaders.
Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson, Alcorn’s School of Arts and Sciences Dean, Dr. Babu Patlolla, and Lawford Domineck, President of the Honors Student Organization followed Reverend Rhodes by bringing greetings to the audience. The ASU Gospel Choir was next with an ensemble of worship songs which lead to the keynote address which was delivered by the President of the General Missionary Baptist State Convention of Mississippi, Reverend Reginald M. Buckley.
Buckley highlighted the significance of ethical leadership throughout his message, which enhanced the duties of the Institute even more. He asked the question, “How desperate is our world for ethical leadership?” Buckley went on to stress the importance of leaders seeking less to lead and more to serve. In addition, he noted that, “the work that the Institute will engage in is indeed necessary.”
“It was very impressive and it meant a lot to hear the keynote speaker as he spoke about ethics and leadership. It helped not only the students, but the faculty and staff as well,” stated Katora Leonard, a Sophomore Biology Pre-Physical Therapy major.
Dr. Tracy Cook, Vice-President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, was a part of the faculty and staff that was impacted by the address.
“It was dynamic to hear the speaker engage upon what requires leadership, which started with Hiram Revels. Ethical leadership, in this day and time, is what we need across the country,” stated Dr. Cook.
Dr. Felecia M. Nave, 20th President of ASU, concluded the program with uplifting and poignant words addressing the audience by stating, “we as a University will continue to support the growth, development and dreams of our students who will be tomorrow’s ethical leaders.”