Home Invites Members Groups Events Careers Videos News Photos Blogs Polls Singles Forums Chat
Home > News > Post Content

Alcorn State University's founding president honored on 150th anniversary of his election to the Senate (396 hits)

The legacy and triumphant political success of one of Alcorn State University's most historical figures were honored during a celebratory gathering on the university’s Lorman campus.

The Sesquicentennial Celebration of the U.S. Senate Seating of the Honorable Hiram Rhodes Revels was held Monday, Feb. 24, in the Oakland Memorial Chapel. This year marks 150 years since Revels, Alcorn’s first president, became the first African-American elected to serve in Congress as a U.S. Senator in February 1870. Mayor Darryl Grennell, the city of Natchez, delivered the keynote address for the occasion.

In his remarks, Grennell drew parallels between Revels’ path to the U.S. Senate and his journey to achieving success in academics and politics. He started by speaking on how both had struggled to endure and overcome to achieve success.

“Both of us had to overcome struggle to find success,” said Grennell. “I was an introvert that had a speech impediment as a child. I had a different style of learning also, but none of these obstacles deterred me from pursuing a biology degree. I met friends and professors that helped me overcome my struggles. My professors told me to endure and overcome the struggle because once I got into the real world, I would have to roll up my sleeves and work hard.”

In politics, Grennell said that he prefers for people to see him as a statesman rather than a politician. He believes that Revels shared the same outlook and applied it to his leadership approach.

“We are both elected officials. Like myself, I imagine Senator Revels viewed himself as a statesman and not a politician. I’m not the type of person to only seek help from others when I need their vote. The reason why the people of Natchez elected me was that they knew that I would do the right thing and represent them well. It’s important to keep it simple and do what's necessary for the advancement of the people.”

The final commonality that Grennell spoke about was Revels’ ability to see the need of people and not their standing in society.

“I believe that Senator Revels was a statesman instead of a politician. I also believe that he wanted to help his fellow man, no matter their race. I feel the same way because it's all about helping your neighbor, no matter their race, socioeconomic status, or s*xual orientation. I don’t see circumstances; I only see people.”

Grennell encouraged the student attendees to take heed to the lessons being learned during their years as a student so that they lead to success in the future.

“My charge to you is the struggles you face will prepare you to achieve your professional goals in life. You have a promise to keep, and that is to continue the legacy of Alcorn by scoring high achievements in life.”

Two history majors at Alcorn took the podium to present insights into Revels’ journey as a political leader. Dominique Varnado and Lucas Wisner, both seniors spoke about Revels' time in Natchez, Mississippi where he served as an alderman, his one-year stint in the senate, life as a man free from slavery, and how he became a renowned political figure in United States politics.

President of Rust College, Dr. David Beckley, spoke about Revels’ time as pastor of Asbury United Methodist Church in 1866, which was the first African-American church in Holly Springs, Mississippi. Beckley also spoke about Revels’ return to Rust College to be a professor of religion after retiring from Alcorn.

The Rev. Dr. Neddie Winters, president of the Alcorn National Alumni Association highly regarded his alma mater for producing legendary icons such as Revels.
“When I look at Alcorn, I don’t look at it as an institution, I look at it as a family and producer of legends,” said Winters. “To matriculate at Alcorn is like a right of passage into the real world.”

President Felecia M. Nave closed the event by thanking everyone that attended. She expressed her gratitude for officiating the program.

“It is an honor and privilege to host such a special event to celebrate this remarkable man,” said Nave. “Several individuals shared their insights and highlights to recognize this monumental occasion.”

A tree-planting ceremony in honor of Revels was held following the event.


Alcorn State University is a premier comprehensive land-grant university that develops diverse students into globally competitive leaders, and applies scientific research through collaborative partnerships that benefit the surrounding communities, state, nation, and world.
Posted By: Reggie Culpepper
Tuesday, February 25th 2020 at 8:19PM
You can also click here to view all posts by this author...

Report obscenity | post comment
Share |
Please Login To Post Comments...

More From This Author
President Leslie Pollard Remembers the Ministry of Richard "Little Richard" Penniman
Alcorn State University plans to offer in-person classes this fall
Fireside chat with Brian Hamilton & Harry Williams - President and CEO of TMCF
Oakwood University Announces Plans to Open Its Doors in August 2020
Alcorn State University announces plans for distribution of CARES Act funds to students
Alcorn State University recognizes class of 2020 with virtual commencement ceremony
HBCUConnect Congratulates Seven (7) Graduates of the 2020 Verizon adFellows Fellowship Program
Alabama State University's Alumni Fight for COVID-19 Testing Sites in Black Belt
Forward This Article Entry!
News Home

(Advertise Here)
Who's Online
>> more | invite 
Black America Resources
100 Black Men of America

Black America's Political Action Committee (BAMPAC)

Black America Study

Black America Web

CNN Black In America Special

NUL State of Black America Report

Most Popular Bloggers
deacon ron gray has logged 169183 blog subscribers!
tanisha laverne grant has logged 28924 blog subscribers!
harry watley has logged 14100 blog subscribers!
gregory boulware, esq. has logged 10052 blog subscribers!
agnes levine has logged 8794 blog subscribers!
>> more | add 
Latest Jobs
Neuromuscular Physical Therapy Faculty - University of Pittsburgh with University of Pittsburgh in Pittsburgh, PA.
Wells Fargo Corporate & Investment Banking (CIB) 2021 Summer Analyst Programs with Wells Fargo in Charlotte, NC.
Diversity & Inclusion Associate with NYS Teachers' Retirement System in Albany, NY.
Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach with Missouri State University in Springfield, MO.
Empowerment Coordinator with American Promise in Cambridge, MA or Remote, MA.
>> more | add