“No matter what the circumstances, we are a family ...”

Back to Article
Back to Article


Alexis Butler, Senior Staff Reporter/Writer

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

Hundreds of students, faculty, and staff filled the Dunn-Oliver Acadome on Thursday, Sept. 19 to listen to the state of the university from Alabama State University’s President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., Ed.D.

Vice President of Student Affairs, Davida Haywood, Ph.D, introduced the occasion by defining the convocation as being “a time for purposefully gathering as students, faculty, staff, alumni, community friends and supporters,” to speak as and become one voice.

President Ross approached the podium and immediately called for a moment of silence in remembrance of the three fallen Hornets who had died during the first three weeks of classes and opened with the comforting words of “together we’ll see this through.”

Ross, referred to the university as a communiversity, a place of family. He encouraged every individual in the audience to stand and embrace their neighbors during this time of hardship. The Acadome became filled with greetings, hugs, and handshakes as each audience member made their way to greet each person around them.

He asked members of the audience to stand and to reach out and embrace the person on their right and left to simply say “I’m thankful for you.”

“No matter what, we are family,” Ross said. “No matter what the circumstances, we are a family here at the Alabama State University. We have survived through trials and tribulations over 152 years. We are survivors. As a community, we will persevere and we will get through this together. Let us pledge to do everything we can to uplift each other and manifest love and respect for each other.”

The university president went on to discuss the current state of the university.

“We have to take personal responsibility in delivering excellence. That’s P.R.I.D.E. Pride is who you are, pride in self-worth, pride in what you’re doing. And that pride stands for personal responsibility in delivering excellence. That’s what we are about here at the Alabama State University.”

Ross, announced that during the Presidential gala there was $3.3 million raised, in efforts to support the university. Which is double the amount of last year’s gala.

Attendees were made aware of the changing student demographics, improvements on campus, exciting partnership opportunities for students, reaffirmation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), fundraising and new University initiatives and growth. They also heard about strategic priorities, values and core principles.

“Alabama State University is moving forward. No matter what the circumstances, we will continue to work daily to ensure we do those things that are student-centered and create opportunities for student success. I encourage students to take advantage of everything ASU has to offer them. Opportunity is here.”

The Acadome and residents of C.J Dunn Towers can be expecting new elevators, soon. “You haven’t seen them… they’re coming from out of the country, but they are on their way,” Ross ensured those residents as a round of applause was created to celebrate.

Ross also assured students that rooms will be fixed soon, including windows. “It is our job to ensure that you have the things to be successful,” he said.

According to university president, after meeting with the Governor there has been a partnership and commitment made to receive funding to help repave parking lots.

Ross also stated that there have been partnerships made for students to intern with the United States Army, Apple, and various federal agencies.

Ross challenged students to persist in their journey and to pursue their dreams despite obstacles.

“The journey you are on is as important as the destination,” Ross said. “And if you find hurdles too much, talk to somebody. We have a staff here who wants to hear about your problems no matter what they are. Don’t internalize thinking you are less than because everybody is worthy. So please check in on one another.”

Audience members were encouraged to come together to maintain the students at the university.

This school year opened up with 1,038 freshmen. The university has also decreased the number of transfers, leaving the university, within the last year and increased the number of transfers coming in.

He concluded his speech by listing ten things that he is thankful for including the university, alumni, faculty and staff, community partners, leadership team, Board of Trustees, beating Tuskegee University, family, and for being the 15th President of the university.