Alcorn foundation kicks in more money for needy students

Published 12:30 am Saturday, March 29, 2014

Alcorn State University National Alumni Association Foundation vice chairman Matt Thomas, right, shakes hands with student Cortni Cooper, left, as director of Development and Alumni Affairs Janice Gibson watches Thursday afternoon at the Vicksburg campus. The Alcorn State University National Alumni Association Foundation donated $10,000 to the university.

Alcorn State University National Alumni Association Foundation vice chairman Matt Thomas, right, shakes hands with student Cortni Cooper, left, as director of Development and Alumni Affairs Janice Gibson watches Thursday afternoon at the Vicksburg campus. The Alcorn State University National Alumni Association Foundation donated $10,000 to the university.

Another round of scholarships for Alcorn State University students came available Thursday with a $10,000 gift from the institution’s National Alumni Foundation at the satellite campus at Vicksburg Mall.

A few students on scholarship this semester were brought along to talk about the importance of having an extra revenue source to pay for college.

Condrea Collins, a long-distance runner on the ASU women’s track team who graduates in May, sees her foundation scholarship as a backup to the aid she had already secured.

 

The Alcorn State University National Alumni Association Foundation donated $10,000 to Alcorn State Thursday afternoon at the Vicksburg campus. From left are director of Development and Alumni Affairs Janice Gibson, university president Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., students Jessie Hayden, Cortni Cooper, National Alumni Association Foundation vice chairman Matt Thomas, students Cierra Smith and Condrea Collins and National Alumni Association Foundation chairman Dr. John Walls.

The Alcorn State University National Alumni Association Foundation donated $10,000 to Alcorn State Thursday afternoon at the Vicksburg campus. From left are director of Development and Alumni Affairs Janice Gibson, university president Dr. Alfred Rankins Jr., students Jessie Hayden, Cortni Cooper, National Alumni Association Foundation vice chairman Matt Thomas, students Cierra Smith and Condrea Collins and National Alumni Association Foundation chairman Dr. John Walls.

“It was important I received (the foundation scholarship) helped me not have to take out as many loans or depend on my athletic scholarship.”

Cortni Cooper, a political science major and Miss Alcorn State University 2014, said the scholarships are a hand-up of sorts to students of modest means.

“Finances are vital and we should all give back to our university and foundation,” Cooper said. “We are minority students and some of us have come from broken homes, so you have that help and assistance.”

The Endowed Alumni Scholarship is among the more liberally applied of the 111 scholarship programs listed on ASU’s website for prospective and continuing students. The Alcorn National Alumni Association awards the scholarships to students on the basis of scholarly performance, need, and area of specialization. No specific GPA or income level is listed. Preference is given to those students whose specialization is deemed a critical manpower area.

“We try to make sure the money is given to the university and they have the necessary resources to find a needy child,” said Matt Thomas, vice-chair of the foundation. “We have no restrictions on it. It’s just if the child is there, with the applicable grades and they want to continue their education.”

“Any little bit helps,” said Cierra Smith, a nursing major who’ll graduate in May 2016.

The scholarships are not restricted to any one part of the state, said Dr. John Walls Jr., a former assistant superintendent of the Vicksburg Warren School District and chairman of the foundation.

“I’m among the only students that actually donates to the alumni foundation,” said Jessie Hayden, an agricultural economics major on track to graduate in May 2015. “I probably donate $20 every month.”

University officials laud the money as a way to expand education for students in need.

“We’re certainly appreciative of our alumni who give back to the institution,” said university president Dr. Alfred Rankins. “For many of our students, the ability to pay for college is a limitation. What these funds to is give them the opportunity to have higher education and improve their lives.”

“Private support from our alumni is very important for these students to continue their education,” said Janice Cooper, director of development and alumni affairs. “There’s a lot of deserving students at the university.”

To apply for any of Alcorn’s scholarships, visit www.alcorn.edu/scholarships.