On Friday, October 19th, at 10:00 am, Alcorn State University (ASU) hosted a ribbon cutting for the reveal of their newest edition to the sport’s world on campus, the S.A.F.E. Center.
The Student Athlete and Family Enhancement (S.A.F.E.) Center is dedicated to all athletes at the institution. ASU not only takes pride in its team’s success on the field, but they also want them to succeed mentally, spiritually, financially, and educationally. Alumni, current students, government officials, and more gathered Friday morning to welcome this facility to the campus. The goal of this center is to enhance the athlete’s experience at Alcorn and allow them to partner with the school to ensure that they will be successful in their career paths after graduation.
In the past, this facility has been used as a locker room and a financial aid building. It has now been transformed to an oasis of resources that can be used by many to brighten their futures. This is not only going to be used as a rehab and relaxation location for athletes, but also an educational spot outside of the classroom for them to stay on top of their work. The S.A.F.E. Center includes various computer labs, a health center where nutritious drinks and meals are provided, a clothing store, and tutoring rooms. The building will be going through phase two of construction in the near future which will be implementing new rehab rooms, counseling centers and more resources that can be used for those transitioning from college to professional leagues and from college to the workforce.
One thing that is promoted by Alcorn is shared support. Once a student graduates, they’re encouraged to continue to support the school, whether that be financially or through networking by giving back to the university that gave to them. ASU has partnered with many individuals from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) who believe that coming back to give or work with the university once you have graduated is not only celebrated, but appreciated because it can show those still pushing through their college years that it is possible to achieve their dreams and encourage others to do the same. One of Alcorn’s main goals is to see its students grow and come back to support the next generation and this is one of the ways they are setting people on the right path to do so.
Many athletes that attend Alcorn are from out of state or from overseas. To ensure that they are able to have the same opportunities as their fellow teammates, efforts have been taken to place everyone on an equal playing field regardless of where they live. Dr. Donzell Lee, Interim President of Alcorn State University, stated, “We want our athletes to not only be motivated to win in sports, but also to be motivated in the classroom. We also want the parents to be involved in this process of growth with the student throughout their journey in college.” By doing so, this center will provide additional study sessions and instructors to help athletes improve their grades. Alcorn graduated 75 athletes in the Spring of 2018 and their collective grade point average was a 4.0. Having educational aspects included in this facility is vital to the university and the athlete’s success.
The student athletes present showed their gratitude and expressed their excitement for having a facility to call their home away from home. As of now, the athletes will be able to take advantage of this center 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. ASU is excited to see how far this new edition will take its students and are proud that they could better the lives of their students.