By Othor Cain,
Thursday, Oct 10, set the tone for what was an amazing homecoming weekend for Jackson State University (JSU).
Deborah Bynum, First Lady of Mississippi’s premiere urban university, hosted her second annual First Lady’s Scholarship Luncheon.
To a sold out crowd, it was announced that the goal for the luncheon was to raise $75K. Upon learning this news, Bynum’s special guest, basketball great and entrepreneur, Ervin Magic Johnson, announced a $100K donation to the university and used some of his time to raise an additional $30K by raffling off two VIP Los Angeles Lakers basketball packages, that includes floor seats, signed jerseys and dinner with the Magic Man. “Cookie (Magic’s wife) and I are always happy to give back and invest into the very schools and communities that have given us so much, ” Johnson said. ”First Lady as long as I’m invited, you’ll get a donation.”
Former College of Business Dean at JSU and current president of Tennessee State University, and International Basileus of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorroity, Inc., Glenda Baskin Glover served as the keynote speaker. Glover, cleverly wove together themes of empowerment, freedom, faith, giving, voting and HBCUs during her near 25-minute presentation. ”Let me encourage you today, we’ve seen struggles before, we’ve faced hard times before, but we made it, ” Glover said to an affirming audience of praise. ”Our best days are ahead of us, so we must keep going…keep giving.”
Bynum, who is one of the first active first lady’s in recent memory at JSU, has several initiatives on campus including the Tiger Career Closet, Food Pantry and Clean Environment Campaigns, was elated at the results of the luncheon. ”I am just in awe, I thank all of you for being here and for what you’ve helped us do, she said to a standing ovation. ”All of the monies raised goes towards helping our students succeed at Jackson State. A grand total of $316,535 was raised today for deserving students.”
The 11th president of JSU, William Bynum, who perhaps has a future career in the ministry, was overtaken by joy with the participation, that during his closing remarks gave a mini sermon. ”Sometimes we are so consumed by the cars in our driveways that get us to and fro that we sometimes forget to thank God, …sometimes we are so consumed by the clothes that adorn our bodies that we sometimes forget to thank God ” he said to an audience that seemingly responded in a call and response type of way that was reminiscent of Sunday morning worship.
See photos Page 5.