On April 17, 2015 in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex, Alcorn State University celebrated the inauguration of Dr. Alfred Rankins, the 19th president of the University. There were a few events that students, alumni and faculty members were able to engage in such as the Family First Luncheon, the Scholarship Gala, the Breakfast Prayer Service, and the Investiture Ceremony. This is an event that makes Alcorn proud in its tradition, excellence and legacy.
The scheduled events began on Thursday, April 16, 2015 with the Family First Luncheon at Alcorn’s Graduate Business Building located in Natchez, MS. This was followed by a scholarship Gala later that evening at the Vicksburg Convention Center. In attendance were many professionals of various statures, student representatives of Alcorn State University, and special guest speakers. Some of the guest speakers included the Mayor of Natchez, Butch Brown, Reverend Birdon Mitchell of Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church, Mississippi State Senator Albert Butler, Warren County Board of Supervisors William H. Banks Jr. and Vicksburg, MS Mayor George Flaggs Jr. Entertainment was provided by the Russell Thomas Entertainment Group.”It was a very nice event that brought alumni and students together in an effort to make Alcorn State University better as a whole,” said Ariel Walker, a sophomore from Detroit, MI. As a token of appreciation for the continuous support of Dr. Rankins and his family, all who were in attendance were allowed to take a commemorative Alcorn wine glass home with them. The purpose of both of these events were to raise scholarship funds, learn more about Dr. Rankins and bring the Alcorn family together.
The Investiture Ceremony for President Rankins was held on Friday, April 17, 2015 at the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex. It began promptly at 2:00 pm with a processional by members of the University Band. The processional was followed by the Posting of Colors by ROTC members, the entrance of the President and First Lady and the invocation given by Reverend Chauncey L. Jordan. After greetings were given by Miss Alcorn Cortni Cooper and all of the guest speakers spoke, the Inaugural Address was given by Dr. Rankins. He spoke of the importance of educating the youth and keeping the tradition and legacy alive at Alcorn State University. “This event was necessary in order to get him into office so that he may be able to fulfill his duties under the respective oath,” said Simeyon Butler, a senior from Jackson, MS. Following the address, everyone stood and sang the alma mater “The Alcorn Ode”.