LORMAN, MS – Alcon State University has announced the launch of its 150th anniversary celebrations at noon Thursday, May 13, kicking off more than a year of activities that will honor the nation’s oldest public historically Black land-grant institution.

Less than a month after the investiture of Alcorn’s 20th president, Dr. Felecia M. Nave, the vibrant ceremony featuring national and local luminaries will capture the university’s history – including its ability to defy the odds and transcend expectations over its first 150 years – and the bold strategies it has set in place to define its next 150 years.

About the event

Oakland Memorial Chapel on Alcorn State University Lorman Main Campus. Photo courtesy of the Division of Communications & Marketing/HBCU Campaign Fund.

Hosted by alumnus and Mississippi’s Fox 40 News anchor Melissa Faith Payne, the event will be live and streamed from the Historic Oakland Memorial Chapel on the Lorman campus. The May 13 event will honor the history of Alcorn State University, with brief panel discussions of its academic and athletic excellence, a mini-documentary narrated by Emmy Award-winning actress Aunjaune Ellis show casting the evolving campus life and powerful legacy, and appearances from national and local celebrities, including U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, and Dr. Jacqueline Walters.

To kick off the Sesquicentennial celebrations, the event will bring together current and former students, faculty, staff, and supporters of Alcorn State University, highlighting Alcorn’s impact on the world and feature a variety of tributes, including the renowned Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Marching Band and the Golden Girls, and the University’s Concert Choir.

For more information about the upcoming Sesquicentennial events, please visit www.alcorn.edu/150.

About the moment

Born in 1871 from the embers of the Civil War, Alcorn was both Mississippi’s first public college for Black youth and the country’s first historically Black land-grant college. The University’s founders includes the first Black U.S. senator, Hiram Revels, and Alcorn students followed his lead, blazing new paths in academics, athletics, civil rights, government, medicine, and other domains; Alex Haley, Medgar Evers, and Steve McNair stand as just three distinguished Alcornities who dared to make indelible marks with their fields.

Photo courtesy of the Division of Communications & Marketing/HBCU Campaign Fund.

“For 150 years, Alcornities have excelled and defied odds while remaining humble and supportive of one another,” said Felecia M. Nave, President of Alcorn State University, an alumnus of the university and its first female president. “We lean deeply into our storied past and look forward to our bright future. I am truly honored to lead Alcorn into the next 150 years doing just – celebrating our roots while running full steam ahead into our future.”

Alcorn today enrolls more than 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students from Mississippi and around the globe. These students come to Alcorn for the excellence and affordability of its academic programs, the vibrancy of its campus life, and the legendary NCAA Division l athletic program. Still deeply connected to its land-grant mission, the university operates its Extension Program from three locations serving local farming and ranching needs in 15 southwest Mississippi counties while empowering citizens across the state.

“Alcorn State University plays an unparalleled role in Mississippi history,” said Robert D. Gage IV, ASU Foundation Chair and the chief executive of Rivers Hills Bank. “Today, we honor the University’s legacy while paying tribute to all that is contributing to the future of our state and our nation.”

About Alcorn State University

Alcorn State University is the nation’s first public historically Black, Morrill land-grant university. Alcorn State offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 50 top-degree programs. Located on 1700 acres in Lorman, Mississippi, with branches in Vicksburg and Natchez, the University is celebrating 150 years of academic excellence. In addition to its generous scholarship opportunities, Alcorn has earned nationwide recognition in nursing, biology, music, technology, agricultural research, and the liberal arts. Outside of the classrooms, students are involved in NCAA Division I athletics as well as more than 85 organizations and clubs, including student-run radio and television stations, study abroad, and the 200-strong Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Marching Band featuring the Golden Girls. For more information, visit www.alcorn.edu.

What is missing from the piece of a long record of historically black college and university (HBCU) credentials is the hidden history of Saints Industrial and Literary School. The campus remains still stands present in Lexington, Mississippi. It all started when the founder and first president, Dr. Arenia Cornelia Mallory, was invited by Charles Harrison Mason to serve as a music teacher at a local religious school for black students in Lexington, Mississippi.

Pictured above is Dr. Mallory’s “Jubilee Harmonizers”. She is seen in the center of the photo; eventually male voices were added to the group.

Later, she organized five singers and toured them to raise money for the school. She then developed a larger school chorus, named the Jubilee Harmonizers, who traveled and became nationally famous. They eventually performed at the White House for President Franklin D. and Eleanor Roosevelt. Their touring helped to raise funding for what become known as the Saints Industrial and Literary School. The institution was a secondary private school for students in grades 1-12. It was later renamed and called Saints Academy. She educated an estimated of 20,000 students through Saints.

The affiliation of the school is with the Pentecostal Church of God in Christ (COGIC); Mallory served as its president from 1926 until 1977. In 1975, she was recognized as the only black college woman president. The campus was developed to have classrooms and dormitories, and a junior college department was produced before 1963. Mallory’s intention was to established high standards for Christian behavior and education. Through the decades, she led the students by integrating public schools and the broadening role for blacks after the passage of civil rights legislation. Mallory helped developed many African-American leaders through her mission.

Historic marker placed outside the campus of the historic Saints Industrial and Literary School in Lexington, Mississippi. Photo courtesy of the Communications and Marketing team at the HBCU Campaign Fund.

The institution was once notable for its inclusion in a landmark federal case, Coffey v. State Educational Finance Commission (1969) that challenged the state of Mississippi’s tuition grant program for segregated schools. Saint was the only private school to receive state aid for black children. Grants covered 80% of Saint’s tuition cost in the 1967-1968 school year.

Mallory was a charter member of the NCNW, which national leader and school president Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune founded. Because of their relationship, Mallory had open access to the White House. She extended the opportunity to present her work with Saints Industrial School to President Eleanor Roosevelt and the first lady, singing for them. In 1963, she was appointed to serve in President John F. Kennedy’s administration.

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune and Dr. Arenia C. Mallory.

Through her status with Saints Industrial and with her civic activities, Mallory promoted her advocacy for the Black and poor sharecroppers in Mississippi and for the Civil Rights Movement. In 1968, she was the first woman and person of color to be elected to the Holmes County Board of Education. In 1974, she was elected to a second term.

Mallory was an active member of the Church of God in Christ Women’s Department, where she was a church leader. She cemented her significance to the Women’s Department and made the outreaches that were crucial for the next generations. Mallory’s friendship with Mary Bethune brought in new ideas to the Women’s Department. She served from 1952-1955 on the board of directors of the Regional Council of Negro Leadership, a pro-self help civil rights organization led by T. R. M. Howard from Mound Bayou, Mississippi.

Mallory’s leadership and work were featured in the May 1963 issue of The Crisis Magazine with the front page article written about her entitled “Mississippi Mud”. The Crisis article lauded her citing “Florida has its Mary McLeod Bethune, North Carolina has its Charlotte Hawkins Brown, and Mississippi has its Arenia Corenia Mallory, who, out of Mississippi mud has made it possible for children born, or yet unborn, to have a better heritage then chopping cotton.”

Anne Bailey Hall, Saints Industrial and Literary School – College Women’s Dormitory.

After Mallory’s retirement and death, followers tried to keep the school going, but the Delta’s population had declined as many families moved north or to larger cities. They were unable to succeed, and the school closed in 2006. In 2018, the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) invested in reopening the Saints campus. The campus was reopened, and its mission to train saints who will impact the world. Over $500,000 in renovations have been completed on the campus, and it is now a state-of-the-art facility where saints of all ages are welcome.

Saints’ history falls back as late as 1926 and typically qualifies for the designation of HBCU status. However, the institution’s accreditation is questionable as to why it may be jeopardized from receiving such status. HBCUs were established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans, and that is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency or association determined by the Secretary of Education to be reliable authority as to the quality of training offered or is, according to such an agency or association, making reasonable progress toward accreditation.



WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) announced on August 6, 2020, the award of more than $3.5 million to 11 Mississippi universities and community colleges for student support services. This award includes three historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).

The Mississippi institutions were eligible to take advantage of an extended U.S. Department of Education application deadline offered to schools located within federal disaster areas. The Student Support Services (SSS) Program awards represent first year funding of an anticipated five-year grant program.

“The Student Support Services Program funding gives these Mississippi schools resources to help students navigate post-secondary education requirements, which will be further complicated by the coronavirus pandemic over the next few semesters,” said Hyde-Smith, who serve on the Senate appropriation subcommittee with jurisdiction over federal education programs.

“I’m grateful our universities and community colleges affected by disasters, like flooding and severe storms, were giving additional time to quality for and win these grants,” she said.

The SSS, one of eight federal TRIO Programs, works to increase the college retention and graduation rates through programs to help students meet basic college requirements. The assistance may include grant aid to current SSS participants receiving federal Pell Grants.

The Mississippi schools receiving FY2020 SSS Program grants include:

  • Alcorn State University – $392,322
  • Copiah-Lincoln Community College – $338,971
  • Hinds Community College – $329,897
  • Holmes Community College – $337,287
  • Jackson State University (two grants) – $523,776
  • Mississippi State University – $292,898
  • Mississippi Valley State University – $305,957
  • Northwest Mississippi Community College – $334,571
  • Pearl River Community College – $372,972
  • University of Southern Mississippi – $306,037


Fannie Lou Hamer

ITTA BENA, MS – After months of intense planning, a group from Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) has received approval to proceed with a project that will erect the first historical marker commemorating the historic stance taken by Fannie Lou Hamer to ensure voting rights for all Americans, according to the University.

MVSU Associate Professor of History Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed and students in her Public History course, led by Nigerian native Brian Diyaolu, have been given the greenlight by the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors to place a maker at the Sunflower County Courthouse in Indianola to commemorate Hamer’s legacy.

The historic marker will be unveiled on the Sunflower County Courthouse steps in March during the 2020 Women’s History Month celebration. The date and time will be announced soon.

“At MVSU, we pride ourselves by putting students first, and Dr. Turnipseed is truly a faculty member who does just that. I congratulate her and the students on this outstanding accomplishments,” said Dr. Jerryl Briggs, MVSU President. “Understanding the significance of our nation’s history is extremely important because through this knowledge we can build stronger communities today.”

Civil rights activist Charles McLaurin of Indianola accompanied the MVSU team to present a case to the Sunflower County Board detailing Hamer’s significance to Sunflower County and the implementation of the historical marker.

McLaurin, along with several other members of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), escorted Hamer in 1962 as she made her first attempt to register to vote at the Sunflower County Courthouse.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Voting Rights Act due in large measure to Hamer’s advocacy.

Dr. C. Sade Turnipseed

Turnipseed said she’s appealing to the public to support this worthy cause and commemorate this true American heroine.

“My students have a set goal of $5,500 for the completion of this historical marker project,” said Turnipseed. “We hope to achieve this goal by January 30, 2020. Thus far, we have received $3,000 commitment from the Sunflower County Board of Supervisors. We’re giving a special appeal to local churches, social groups, educational institutions and individuals to get involved by making a contribution for the remaining balance.”

The complete list of donors will be listed and acknowledged during the unveiling ceremony, Turnipseed said.

According to Turnipseed, the marker will also ensure that visitors of the courthouse are aware of its historical significance for years to come.

“At MVSU we sincerely care about historical figures in American history. We want to make sure these cherished and important individuals are remembered in the sands of time,” she said. “Mrs. Hamer falls in this category of people, so we make it our sacred duty to honor her contributions, so that she is not forgotten.”

Turnipseed said the project was also a great opportunity for MVSU students to learn about Hamer’s significance to American history. 

“MVSU is committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond,” she said. “This endeavor allows MVSU students to reach new heights by demonstrating their appreciation for the contributions that Mrs. Hamer and her contemporaries made to America.”

Hamer was born in Montgomery County, MS on Oct. 6, 1917—the 20th and final child of Lou Ella and James Townsend. 

Her parents were sharecroppers, and Hamer began working in the fields picking cotton when she was only 6-years-old. She learned to read and write and became one of the most important, passionate, and powerful voices of the civil and voting rights movements and a leader in the efforts for greater economic opportunities for African Americans, particularly for women. 

Hamer was internationally acclaimed for her uncompromising fight to combat white supremacy, whilst being subjected to attacks and assassination attempts. Her work with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and her testimony at the 1964 National Democratic Party’s Convention on behalf of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) helped change the nation’s perspective on the true meaning of democracy in America. 

For more information, or to support the Fannie Lou Hamer historical marker project, contact Turnipseed at (662) 347-8198 or cassie.turnipseed@mvsu.edu.


About Mississippi Valley State University

Mississippi Valley State University, as a Carnegie Classified Master’s University, provides comprehensive undergraduate and graduate programs in education, the arts and sciences, and professional studies. The University is driven by its commitment to excellence in teaching, learning, service, and research–a commitment resulting in a learner-centered environment that prepares critical thinkers, exceptional communicators, and service-oriented, engaged, and productive citizens. MVSU is fundamentally committed to positively impacting the quality of life and creating extraordinary educational opportunities for the Mississippi Delta and beyond. For more information, visit www.mvsu.edu.

Dr. Felecia M. Nave

ALCORN, MS – In April, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning announced the unanimous decision to name Dr. Felecia M. Nave as the President of Alcorn State University. Dr. Nave currently served as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for North Carolina Central University in Durham, N.C.

“Dr. Nave has many years of experience as a leader in higher education,” said Trustees Shane Hooper, President of the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning and Chair of the Board Search Committee for the Alcorn State University Presidential Search. “Through positions of progressive responsibility, Dr Nave has provided leadership in every facet of the university, including academic program offerings, research activity, budget management, fundraising activities, and students services, including recruitment, financial aid and student success. We are very pleased to welcome her back to Alcorn.”

Dr. Nave graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Alcorn State University in 1996, she holds a master’s degree in chemical and environment engineering and a doctorate in engineering, both from the University of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio.

In her role as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for North Carolina Central University, she serves as the university’s chief academic officer, developing, managing and providing oversight for all academic degree programs at the university. The university includes seven colleges and schools, including a law school. The university enrolls more than 8,000 students and has more than 564 full-time and part-time faculty, and more than 450 professional and administrative staff.

In addition, Dr. Nave provides leadership of the existing inventory of degree programs, development of new degree programs and fully online programs, ensuring academic rigor and integrity and overseeing program and accreditation reviews, both regional and specialized. She also oversees scholarships and key research activity for the university in collaboration with the Associate Vice Chancellor for Research and Sponsored Programs.

Dr. Nave’s responsibilities include fundraising activities, expanding external partnerships and growing alumni relations. She also manages all student services functions, including recruitment, admission, registrar, financial aid, academic engagement and student success.

Prior to joining North Carolina Central University, Dr. Nave served in various academic and administrative roles at Prairie View A&M University in Prairie View, Texas from 2003 until 2018. These roles included tenure-track Assistant Professor, tenured Associated Professor, tenured Professor of Chemical Engineering, Interim Assistant Dean of the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering, Associate Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, and Director of Special Initiative for Faculty Development.

Some of Dr. Nave’s awards include University of Toldeo Department of Chemical Engineering Outstanding Alumna Award, 2019; AICHE MAC Eminent Scholars Award 2017; Top 30 Influential Women of Houston Award, 2015; Who’s Who in Black Houston, 2015; and Diverse Issues Emerging Scholars Under 40, 2013.

Dr. Nave will begin serving as President of Alcorn State University on July 1.


About Alcorn State University

Alcorn State University, a Historically Black College and University, is a comprehensive land-grant institution that celebrates a rich heritage with a diverse student and faculty population. The University emphasizes intellectual development and lifelong learning through the integration of diverse pedagogies, applied and basic research, cultural and professional programs, public service and outreach, while providing access to globally competitive academic and research programs. Alcorn strives to globally competitive academic and research programs. Alcorn strives to prepare graduates to be well-rounded future leaders of high character and to be successful in the global marketplace of the 21st century. For more information, visit www.alcorn.edu.

The campus of Jackson State University. Photo by Demetrius Johnson, Jr.

JACKSON, MS – Jackson State University’s out-of-state fees will be “significantly reduced” to $500 per semester starting in fall 2019 after approval from the Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL).

Associate Vice President and Dean of Enrollment Management Warren B. Johnson said JSU’s flat fee amounts to $1,000 per year. Previously, the out-of-state fee was $11,228 per year, and then students had to apply for a possible fee wavier.

Johnson said, “Because there is a flat fee, our out of state students will be charged $500 per semester. There is no application or wavier process anymore. The reduced amount will be automatically address for all out-of-state incoming and returning students – grads and undergrads – beginning in fall 2019.”

Other officials at JSU say admitted out-of-state students will now be able to persist through graduation, with the goal that many of those graduate will reside in Mississippi to help boost economic and workforce development initiatives by filling professional jobs.

Meanwhile, JSU hopes the new fee will help mitigate financial issues with affordability by reducing financial impediments and help the institution retain more students.

JSU students who enroll in summer classes in May and June will not receive the reduced fee since the new change won’t take effect until fall 2019.

In addition, the reduced fee does not apply to JSU Online program participants, since they are not charged the out-of-state fee.

About Jackson State University

A Historically Black Carnegie Doctoral/Research Intensive public institution of higher learning located in the metropolitan area of Jackson, Mississippi, Jackson State University educates a diverse student population from Mississippi, most other states and many foreign countries by providing a broad range of baccalaureate programs and a variety of masters and doctoral programs in its six Colleges: Business; Education and Human Development; Liberal Arts; Lifelong Learning; Public Service; and Science, Engineering and Technology. The learning process at Jackson State is enhance through experiential learning in urban and rural areas throughout the city, state, nation, and global communities. Jackson State is a learning community for highly capable, as well as capable but under prepared students who require a nurturing academic environment.

For more information about Jackson State University, visit www.jsums.edu.


Dr. Carmen J. Walters

JACKSON, MS – The Board of Trustees of Tougaloo College is pleased to announce the selection of Dr. Carmen J. Walters as the 14th President of the historic institution.

As the college celebrates its Sesquicentennial Anniversary and embraces what lies ahead in the new era of higher education, Dr. Walters brings a depth of executive-level leadership and knowledge in such vital areas as strategic planning in enrollment facilities management, grant and budget management, workforce development, community and diversity relations and athletics management.

According to a press release by the University, Dr. Walters succeeds Dr. Beverly Wade Hogan, who is retiring June 30. Dr. Hogan has served as Tougaloo’s president since May 2002. She is the first woman and 13th president to lead Tougaloo.

“This position is a dream come true for me,” said Dr. Walters. “Tougaloo has such a rich and powerful history. You can feel it when you arrive on the campus and walk these hallowed grounds. It’s a great challenge and opportunity for me to help preserve that wonderful history but also carry Tougaloo forward so that it’s here another 150 years.”

Walters has served more than 24 years in Community College education. She spent the past six years at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College in Perkinston, where she is Executive Vice President for Enrollment Management, Student Success and Institutional Relations. Prior to that she worked 18 years at Delgado Community College in New Orleans.

Dr. Hogan said: “I am tremendously excited about the selection of Dr. Walters, and it will be my privilege to pass the baton of leadership to her. She brings a combined level of experiences, commitment and mature judgement that are useful in any leadership role. Her understanding and appreciation of the college’s history and mission, as well as her demonstrated commitment to faculty and student success, will be impactful in moving the college into its best years.”

Dr. Walters received her Bachelor of Science in accounting and business administration from Southern University in 1984, a Mater of Arts degree in post secondary counseling from Xavier College in New Orleans in 1990 and her Ph.D. in Community College leadership from Mississippi State University in 2009.


JACKSON, MS – Tougaloo College welcomes two (2) presidential candidate finalists to campus on February 11 and 12.

Melva Williams, PhD – Monday, February 11, 2019

Carmen Walters, PhD – Tuesday, February 12, 2019

In a letter written to the Tougaloo College community from Edmond Hughes, Chair of the Presidential Search Committee, the visit purpose is centered to enable individuals to know the candidates better. There will be open forums during the visits held at the Bennie G. Thompson Academic Complex on campus. The meeting with faculty will be held each day at 2:00 p.m. and the meeting with the staff, students and others will be held at 3:00 p.m.

About Melva Williams, PhD

Dr. Melva Williams is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Management at Southern University at Shreveport. Dr. Williams has over 17 years of experience in HBCU leadership. She has executive-level experience in Chancellor’s Office, Business Affairs, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Fundraising. She has demonstrated experience as a senior level administrator in sculpting budgets from static resources; creating sound community and developing partnerships; ensuring a student-centered campus environment; managing and redesigning curriculum to meet the needs of millennial students; and fostering collaboration with faculty and staff. She also serves on the SACSCOC advisory committee. Dr. Williams is well versed in program and curriculum development; faculty and staff development; student counseling and advising; and faculty and staff conflict resolution. Additionally, Dr. Williams has extensive professional development in strategic planning, strategic enrollment management planning, fundraising, human resources and organizational management

Dr. Williams earned her bachelor’s of arts in Mass Communication from Grambling State University; a masters of arts in Public Administration from Grambling State University; and a doctor of philosophy in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University.

Her path of progression and professional experience in higher education began as a Program Advisor at Grambling State University. She transitioned to Southern University at Shreveport and advanced from the position of Director of Student Activities and Services to Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. From there she was promoted to Chief of Staff for the Southern University System and again advanced through the ranks to become Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs for the Southern University System. Dr. Williams returned to Southern University to Shreveport to serve as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. When offered a new opportunity, Dr. Williams left to become the Associate Dean of Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport. Following her tenure there, she again returned to Southern University at Shreveport as Executive Associate to the Chancellor and then was promoted to her current position as Vice Chancellor.

Dr. Williams has been recognized for her leadership including being a Board member for Centenary College of Louisiana and many other honors. She has supported a number of special projects including Board member for the Christus Shumpert Hospital in Shreveport. Dr. Williams has and continues to serve the community including serving as a founding board member and board vice-president for the Magnolia School of Excellence. She is affiliated with a number of professional associations. She is co-founder of the Higher Education Leadership Foundation.

About Carmen Walters, PhD

Dr. Carmen Walters is the Executive Vice President of Enrollment Management, Student Success and Institutional Relations at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, District Office, Perkinston, MS. Dr. Walter has over 24 years of experience in community college leadership. She has executive-level experience in the Chancellor’s Office, Business Affairs, Academic Affairs, Student Affairs and Workforce Development. She has demonstrated experience in university and community college policy and procedures; grant management; budget management; diversity relations; and athletics management. Dr. Walters is well versed in program and curriculum development; faculty and staff development; student counseling and advising; and faculty and staff conflict resolution. Additionally, Dr. Walters has extensive professional development in strategic planning, strategic enrollment management planning; facilities planning; human resources; and organizational management.

Dr. Walters earned her bachelors of science in Accounting & Business Administration from Southern University at New Orleans, Louisiana; a masters of Arts plus 30 in Post-Secondary Counseling from Xavier University, New Orleans, Louisiana; and a doctor of philosophy in Community College Leadership from Mississippi State University, Starkville, Mississippi

Her path of progression and professional leading to her current position started as a high school teacher at Landry High School in New Orleans. She followed that assignment by serving as the case management supervisor in the Jefferson Parrish Department of Employment & Training. She transitioned to Delgado Community College where she rose from the position of Job Placement Counselor; to Academic Support Service/ Carl Perkins Coordinator; to Assistant to the Vice Chancellor, Academic and Student Affairs, College Provost, Carl Perkins Coordinator, SACS Liaison; to Executive Assistant to the Chancellor, Carl Perkins Coordinator, EAEO Officer, ADA Compliance Officer; to Assistant Vice Chancellor, Human Resources, Delegated Appointing Authority. Dr. Walters than transitioned to Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County Campus, Gautier, Mississippi where she started as Campus Vice-President and now serves in her current position as Executive Vice President, Enrollment Management, Student Success and Instructional Relations.

Dr. Walters has been recognized for her leadership including being a member of Leadership Mississippi, Mississippi Economic Council, Class of 2015 and many other awards. She has supported a number of special projects including Team Member, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Scholarship Gala. Dr. Walters has and continues to serve the community including serving as a Board member of Jackson County United Way. She is affiliated with a number of professional associations. She currently serves as Chair of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Student Services Council.


About Tougaloo College

Tougaloo College prepares its students to be lifelong learners who are committed to leadership and service in a global society through its diverse undergraduate and graduate programs. The college is accessible to all persons while making students aware of its rich history as an independent, historically black liberal arts institution, affiliated with the United Church of Christ and Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). For more information, visit www.tougaloo.edu.

ITTA BENA – A Mississippi Valley State University alumnus recently teamed up with his employer to present the institution with a $5,000 grant.

According to a press release by the university, Itta Bena native Kortney Haymore, a 2017 graduate of MVSU’s Environmental Health program, currently serves as an industrial hygienist with Gobbell Hays Partners (GHP), Inc. in San Antonio.

The company recently awarded its inaugural $5,000 community grant to MVSU by way of a nomination made by Haymore.

“When GHP first announced the contest, I knew I wanted to nominate MVSU – particularly the Environmental Science program. Valley is the only school in the Mississippi Delta with an Environmental Health program and that makes it unique,” said Haymone.

In a post announcing MVSU as the recipient of the award, GHP stated, “Thank you, MVSU for equipping bright minds like Kortney to improve environment health in Mississippi and across the world.”

Dameon Shaw, MVSU’s interim vice president for university advancement, said that the grant will help equip more students with skills to make a different in a global society.

“We are thankful to GHP for being visionaries in giving back. We are also excited that one of our alums, Mr. Kortney Haymore, has found a place in this amazing company,” said Shaw. “Korney’s love for the University motivated him to nominate MVSU for the company’s first-ever community grant, which will enable us to touch the lives of more students and improve our capacity to serve our community.”

For Haymore, Valley has been a beacon of light and having the chance to give back means a great deal to him.

“The professors poured so much knowledge into me and countless others assisted me throughout my matriculation at MVSU, so now to be able to reach out and help another student means everything to me,” he added.

GHP specializes in the fields of Architecture, Forensic Architecture, Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), LEED/Sustainability and Project Management in Healthcare, Hospitality, Historic Renovation, Multi-Family, Government, Laboratories, Commercial and Education. This firm is one of the first to successfully integrate architectural design with environmental and industrial hygiene consultation.

To learn more about GHP visit, www.ghp1.com.

To learn more about MVSU’s Environment Health program, call (662) 254-3377 or visit www.mvsu.edu.

Dr. Annie Rene Harris Slaughter is a JSU alum and Yazoo County native who now lives in Atlanta. She wants to make sure every student has an opportunity to succeed. Her endowment aims to help undergraduates with college expenses.

JACKSON, MS – Dr. Annie Rene Harris Slaughter earned three degrees from Jackson State University, and now she established a $100,000 endowment in memory of her mother – also an alum – to help undergraduates pursue their academic dreams at their alma mater. Funds will be matched by Title III, according to a press released by the university.

Harris Slaughter, a native of Yazoo County, currently resides in Atlanta. She said Rosetta Tolbert Harris Endowed Scholarships would help defray expenses for eligible candidates. Funds will pay for tuition, textbooks, supplies and other fees included in the cost of education.

“My mother started teaching around 1928. She liked school a lot. She felt that you should have a college education even if you don’t use it for anything but to fall back on. She was particularly concerned about children who lived in rural areas, where she chose to teach,” said Harris Slaughter, who recalled a doctor’s attempted to persuade her grandmother to keep her daughter (Harris Slaughter’s mother) from going back to school.

“He told my grandmother that going to school was the reason my mother head kept hurting,” said Harris Slaughter. “But my mother preserved.” Her grandmother would eventually support her daughter’s decision to go back to school.

Harris Slaughter earned her bachelor’s, master’s and specialist degree from JSU and her doctorate from Indiana University in elementary and early childhood education. She was a longtime elementary teacher in Jackson and taught briefly at IU, Kentucky State and Western Kentucky University. She retired from Atlanta Public School in 2004. She said the endowment is a fitting tribute because her mother “loved helping children and parents in rural areas that other neglected. She was “no nonsense,” but some of her students were household names because her mother spoke about them so often.

Early on, Harris Slaughter described JSU as the “best state school in Mississippi.” She said, “JSU laid the foundation for everything that I w as to become.” She added, “At this point in my life, I want to assist some high school graduates who would not otherwise consider college an an option. I want to make sure young people have an opportunity.”

Also, she said, “When they become actively involved in campus life they will be more apt to go out in the world and become leaders.”

She said her life can be summed up in the words of a song by gospel singer Mahalia Jackson: “If I can help somebody… my living shall not be in vain.”

To be eligible, scholarship candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • Be an undergraduate student attending Jackson State University
  • Reside in a residence hall on campus
  • Participate in one or more campus-life organizations
  • Maintain a 2.00 GPA or above
  • Be an African-American first-generation college student
  • Be a resident of Yazoo County in Mississippi (priority will be given to students who attended Linwood Elementary School)

Harris Slaughter’s desire now is to see more people support JSU through endowments and scholarships – especially since many African-American leaders graduated from HBCUs.

“People don’t need a handout as much as they need a hand-up,” she said.