Founder’s Day Celebration of Service


Jaelyn Stansbury

President Quinton T. Ross and others, stand to honor former University Presidents,

Jasmine Richardson, University News Reporter/Writer

Alabama State University held “A Tribute to Past Presidents, Icons, and Legendary Service,” at the annual Celebration of Service, in the Ralph David Abernathy Auditorium on Feb. 6, 2020.

Presenters took to the stage to pay tribute to our past presidents and icons by highlighting their university achievements and contributions. Organizations including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and the university’s Dramatic Guild participated in the celebration. 

“I think this program was beneficial to a lot of students, especially those who are just coming in to gain knowledge and the journey in which we are currently here today, to know where we come from,” senior criminal justice major, Desiree Pittman, said,  

Sophomore biology pre-health major, Ariana McKintosh, paid tribute to the university’s second president, William B. Paterson. Paterson was considered one of the most impactful founders. In his honor, we celebrate founder’s day on his birthday, Feb. 9. Paterson served the longest term as president of the university. McKintosh presented historical facts about the university, such as the original college location being the Beulah Baptist church with nine faculty members and the first-class starting on Oct. 3, 1887.

Kendra Angion, secondary education major, gave tribute to the university’s 10th president, William H. Harris, acknowledging his contribution to establishing the university’s first major endowment, generating a 10.5% lead in minority enrollment, ranking as the #1 producer of African American baccalaureate education degrees in the nation for two consecutive years.

Senior rehabilitation services major, Unique Holmes, paid tribute to Levi Watkins, our sixth president. In 1975, he established an independent board of trustees.

The university’s Dramatic Guild performed in tribute to our university and its role in the Civil Rights Movement. The performance emphasized voter suppression, racism and the importance of perseverance.

Students chimed in to speak about their thoughts on the Celebration of Service. Senior theatre arts major, Zaria Hall shared her thoughts saying how well put together the program was despite the unfavorable weather conditions. 

 “It’s so upsetting it had to fall on a day it was raining and students couldn’t attend to learn about the history of Alabama State University and where we came from, starting with our Marion Nine to present time with our current president, Dr. Quinton T. Ross Jr,” she continued expressing her excitement about those who did come saying how happy she was the event took place. “ We prospered, the event prospered and I think the students who were able to come did learn a lot and the program really instilled more pride in our university.”

Agreeing with Hall, junior computer science major, Shawntá Hoo, said, “I thought today’s service was really nice, everybody presented well today and the dramatic team did really good and I’m glad that I came.”