Alcorn celebrates 140th graduation

Published 12:14 am Sunday, May 8, 2011

ERIC SHELTON/THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT — Alcorn State University students look into the crowd for friends and family members during the 140th anniversary commencement ceremonies Saturday morning inside the University’s Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex in Lorman.

LORMAN — Alcorn State University celebrated its 140th commencement exercises Saturday.

More than 3,500 people — including 685 graduates — gathered in the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex to encourage and recognize the Class of 2011.

The graduation ceremony, rich with pomp and tradition, acknowledges the university values, including academic commitment and dignity, leadership, service, research and scholarship.

Email newsletter signup

At the ceremony, the Golden Class of 1961 received their 50-year diplomas from President Christopher Brown and was recognized for giving more than $74,000 to Alcorn State University for student scholarships — the largest amount to date by any class reunion.

Former U.S. House of Representatives Majority Whip and past UNCF President William “Bill” H. Gray III, who serves as current chairman of Gray Loeffler, LLC, drew upon his professional and personal experiences as he shared his passion for helping others and offered messages of hope to the Class of 2011 as the commencement speaker.