By Janice K. Neal-Vincent,
The National Alumni Association of Alcorn State University broached a subject of significance that brought the 2019-2020 academic year to closure. The virtual 30th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony was held at 1 p.m. Saturday, December 5. The occasion of gratitude and jubilance reflected on support, contributions and achievements of persons who provided exemplary service via commitment, professionalism, citizenship, faithfulness, character and leadership.
Chapters and individual award recipients included: Frank Dobbins Chapter President of the Year Award– Adrian Hall; Ruby S. Lyells Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award – Montgomery – Carroll – Grenada Alumni Chapter to Alcorn National Alumni Leadership and Service Award (accepted by Johnny Shell); John E. Walls, Jr. Outstanding Chapter of the Year Award– Vicksburg Warren Alumni Chapter (accepted by Adrian Hall); Host Chapter Award – Birmingham Alumni Chapter (accepted by Alvin Moore); John F. Rigsby Professional Achievement Award – Dr. LaKeshia Myers; Matthew Thomas Most Outstanding Service Award – Jonas Crenshaw; Luther Alexander Faithful Service Award – Zelmarine Murphy; E. T. Hawkins Outstanding Young Alcornite of the Year Award – Le Darrion Holloway; Thomas Moman, Sr. Meritorious Award (posthumously) – Catherine Jones (accepted by Wilbert Jones); Undergraduate of the Year Award – Keturah Bush.
2020 Hall of Honor inductees were Leland Socrates Garrett (’68); Gloria Williams (’66); Shirley Sims Christian (’66); Paul Johnson (’76); Jacqueline Beasley (’76); and Mildrette Netter White (’72).
National Alumni Association President Neddie Winters inducted the award recipients. To them, he charged: “Success is what you do for yourself. To be significant, you move from success to what you do for others.”
Williams said she was grateful to be an honoree for the month. Christian expressed her love for Alcorn and cherished fond memories. Johnson thanked his wife and family for the support they rendered him.
Garrett commented: “I have done all that I can to try to make my community and this place better. The role models I had were plentiful. I owe all that I have to Alcorn.”
Dr. Josephine McCann Posey (’70) was awarded (posthumously) Impeccable Alcornite of the Year 2020. A Fulbright scholar, she was involved in the development of Alcorn. Posey served 40 years in the educational arena. A Collins, Miss. native, she signed her first teaching contract at age 19.
Posey was Alcorn State historian and administrator who chaired in numerous capacities. Among them were president, Faculty Senate; Teacher Education Process Reviews, and director of the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE).
Ramona Posey presented reflections in Posey’s honor. “She was a quick thinker [who] liked working on a detailed level. She laid out the history of Alcorn in three books. She is so deserving of this honor of Alcornite of the Year. She strongly believed in family, friends and community.
Winters presented a plaque to Posey’s family regarding her life and legacy at Alcorn. “There was no greater Alcorn than Josephine McCann Posey,” he said.
Marcus D. Ward (’60) read the Alcorn State University Resolution. He said to honorees, “You represent who we are: knowledge and character. Dr. Posey gained in wisdom. She was a giant in her community and abroad.”
President of Alcorn State University, Felecia M. Nave, highlighted grit, passion and determination in her remarks. Nave attested: “These individuals have all made significant contributions in their chosen fields. My hope for our current students is that they will feel inspired and turn their passions into lifelong commitment[s]. This is the embodiment of Alcorn State University [and] we will celebrate 100 years at the university and will continue to be a leader in the nation.”
Sebrina Palmer (’98) served as program guide.