“No Limit Administration” formally sworn into office

Members+of+the+%22No+Limit%22+Executive+Branch+of+the+Student+Government+Association+pose+as+a+group+after+their+formal+installation.++%28L-R%29+Jeremy+Moore%2C+SGA+Treasurer%2C+Kayla+Lee%2C+SGA+Secretary%2C+David+Hammond%2C+SGA+President%2C+Tyler+Rice%2C+SGA+Vice+President+and+Dax+Craig%2C+Chief+of+Staff

Micah Hardge

Members of the “No Limit” Executive Branch of the Student Government Association pose as a group after their formal installation. (L-R) Jeremy Moore, SGA Treasurer, Kayla Lee, SGA Secretary, David Hammond, SGA President, Tyler Rice, SGA Vice President and Dax Craig, Chief of Staff

Nefsa'Hyatt Brown, Editor-in-Chief

Despite Alabama State University’s restrictions on events resulting from the coronavirus (COVID-19), the university hosted an in-person, mask-mandatory inauguration dinner on Oct. 8 in the John Garrick Hardy Center ballroom to honor and formally swear in the 67th student body president, David Hammond Jr., and the other executive officers of the “No-Limit Administration.”

“We are here to honor and celebrate this administration’s reign and to watch them take their official oath of office,” said the 81st Miss Alabama State University Yasmine Whitehurst, who offered the occasion. “They have all demonstrated a burning passion for advancing our university and the student body. A true leader is one who holds their integrity and their promises. A true leader is one that attacks situations with tenacity and honor. A true leader is one that can see the potential in a team and pull it out with no problem,” she continued, describing Hammond’s leadership qualities.

To celebrate this momentous occasion, the Columbus, Ga., native’s family and friends scattered throughout the crowd watching as Hammond and the other members of his executive branch (Vice President Tyler Rice, Executive Secretary Kayla Lee, Executive Treasurer Jeremy Moore, and Chief of Staff Dax Craig) took the oath of affirmation administered by the Honorable Syr’ Victor Rozier in the place of Chief Justice Joshua Wilkinson.

“I really enjoyed the SGA inauguration,” said junior secondary education major Kendra Angion. “From the elegant decor to the heartwarming speeches, this year’s inauguration was a night to remember! The event was well put together, all while being a safe environment to celebrate the honorees.” 

Like the past inaugural ceremonies, Hammond invited various Student Government Association (SGA) presidents from different historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), including Miles College, Talladega College, and Alabama

SGA President David Hammond taking the oath of office (Micah Hardge)

Agricultural and Mechanical University.  Understanding the limited space for the event, the SGA presidents for Tuskegee University, Tougaloo College, and Texas Southern University submitted video submissions congratulating Hammond and his administration on their inauguration and urging them to always keep the students first. 

As some of the most impactful men in his life, pastor James Allen, who serves as Hammond’s home church pastor in Columbus, Georgia, Pastor Jay Ray, Hammond’s on-campus pastor, and Pastor Curtis Glen all spoke on the importance of Hammond staying grounded in his faith and walking the path God has placed before him. 

“I am honored to be granted the opportunity to be the symbol of change for the current times we are in,” Hammond said.  “I am honored to ring the bells of freedom for all students to unleash and revolutionize the desire to want and also receive more from ASU,” as he expressed his gratitude standing before the crowd. “As I reflect on the past years, I have served this campus with passion and honor, but grace and humility led me to want to serve you, the students. My time here at Alabama State University has been nothing but amazing,” he continued, reflecting on his matriculation through the university beginning his freshman year. 

The senior communications major reflected on Kevin Rolle’s, Ph.D., saying, “here at Alabama State University, we take a rock and make it into a diamond.” Describing himself as a rock that turned into a diamond, Hammond spent most of his speech thanking the individuals who made him into what he calls a “diamond leader.”

“I would first like to thank my dad,” Hammond began tearfully, “for instilling in me my work ethic … for teaching me how to work for everything. I would like to thank my mom for always having an open-door policy and for always being there not only for your kids but for other kids.” 

Continuing to thank those who helped shape him into the person he is today, Hammond thanked his stepmother for “marrying both him and his father” and “keeping his worth as a diamond.” He also thanked his close friends and family for their continued motivation as well as Rice and Craig for encouraging him to run on what they called “the best ticket for the student body.”

“To my advisors, thank you so much for dealing with me when I’m in my moods, and I want things done my way,” Hammond said, thanking both his official and unofficial advisers for taking on the responsibility of SGA. “Dr. Rolle, thank you, man. He is one of the administrators that I don’t have to sugarcoat what I need or what the students are going through.” 

University President Quinton T. Ross Jr. Ed.D spoke on how proud of this administration he was, commenting on their leadership in crisis and how the inauguration truly exemplified how much SGA has changed and grown since his tenure as student body president. 

“This is a serious proposition to be a part of the student government association,” Ross began. “The teachings and the work that I did as SGA president propelled me and allowed me to see the world. The parliamentary procedures allowed me to serve 15 years in the Alabama state senate. Leading students is very important and should not be taken lightly. More particularly when we talk about times like these, when you talk about the moment that we are in right now, everybody can’t do it.”