New Alcorn State president has leukemia

Published 3:51 pm Tuesday, June 5, 2007

JACKSON (AP) — George E. Ross, who was hired in April as the new president of Alcorn State University, is being treated for leukemia, officials with Central Michigan University announced Tuesday.

The state College Board voted unanimously to hire Ross after a round of interviews at the Lorman school. Ross had been Central Michigan’s vice president for finance and administrative services. He was to start at Alcorn State on July 2.

Central Michigan president Michael Rao announced Tuesday that Ross was being treated for acute leukemia.

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Ross was diagnosed this past week and was being treated at University Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., said Steve Smith, director of media at Central Michigan.

Annie Mitchell, spokeswoman for the College Board, said it’s too early to know if Ross’ diagnoses will impact his presidency.

Mississippi Commissioner of Higher Education Thomas C. Meredith said, ‘‘We are deeply distressed about the news concerning Dr. Ross. We join the Central Michigan community in offering our prayers for Dr. Ross and his wife, Elizabeth, for a full recovery.’’

Ross, a native of Utica, was selected to succeed the late Clinton Bristow. Bristow died in August 2006 of a heart attack after 11 years at Alcorn State.

Alcorn State is a historically black college of 3,500 students.