“You Don’t Know My Story”

After one year, President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., Ed.D, delivers the annual state of the university address

On Thursday morning, Sept. 20, Alabama State University President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., Ed.D, addressed the progress and future of Alabama State University’s during his annual “State of the University Address” in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.
Highlighting a diverse range of topics, including campus improvements, funds raised during the Inauguration Week, Ross’ speech focused on the attitudes of faculty, staff and students regarding the university, the current media attention that the university is receiving, as well as university achievements and advancements over the past year.

Ross challenged all members of the Alabama State University family by asking them “Why are you here?”

“If you are here as faculty or staff, why are you here?” Ross questioned. “Are you here just to get a check, or are you here to truly impact the lives of the thousands of students that we come into contact with? If you are a student, why are you here? Are you here to bring some of the same things that you used to do to a campus of higher education? Answer that question understanding that you have arrived at an institution that was provided to us by nine freed slaves, who long ago, before we were born, thought enough of us to provide us an institution of higher learning that has produced graduates all over the country, in various position with various opportunities …”

Outside of calling the audience to arms on knowing their purpose, Ross also spoke about the importance of protecting “our house”, Alabama State University.

“Every institution in this country has it challenges, daily, but the benefit that we have is for our media to determine that something is newsworthy that really is not,” Ross said. “I have said it before. If the media could come help me fix something, come to Alabama State and help me. It does not do anything to write it because it does not help the problem.”

Praising students on their display of resilience and patience in times of adversity, Ross reassured the audience that he has been working on their issues, telling them that these challenges are nothing more than opportunities for improvement.
He also was clear on expressing that the improvement of ASU was first priority in everything that he does.

“As long as you have the wheels of progress turning, no matter how slow they may turn, they are turning,” Ross said. “When you talk about change, change is incremental. Some people want change today, but it won’t be today. It might be tomorrow and it might be 26 years from now or 26 miles down the road. We have to embrace change. We have to embrace it … and that is what I am about, changing the way things are, grinding to make it happen.”

Other members of the university family offered greetings during the fall convocation including Arianna Thompson, Miss Alabama State University 2018-19, Douglas Strout, Ph.D., chairman of the Faculty Senate, and Marion Brock, president of the Non-Instructional Staff Council.

Brock expressed his deepest gratitude to Ross and his efforts in moving ASU forward by donating $25,000 to the benevolence fund which is used to assist, recognize, and support the ASU family as needed.
He also, spoke about the upcoming food pantry which will be located on the first floor of the John Garrick Hardy Center in the Counseling Center. This pantry, which will be opening in October will be available for faculty, staff, and students.
The event also included various artistic performances from the Mighty Marching Hornets, the choir, and the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Students expressed mixed reactions to the convocation and Ross’ speech.

Senior rehabilitation services major Natasha Marshall was excited.

“The Fall 2018 convocation was honestly an amazing display of the abundance of talent and intellect ASU produces,” Marshall said. “I loved the optimism Dr. Ross’ speech gave. He was definitely right in saying that all institutions have their problems. Also, that the media only captures scandalous stories for attention. I think the speech eased a lot of minds by combating the negative happenings with positive happenings at ASU. Student attendance was certainly higher than usual so thank you to Dr. Rice for the financial incentives. Perhaps students will begin to enjoy university wide events so much they’ll attend on their own free will. Finally, the performances from the Theatre and Fine Arts Department were amazing (as usual)!”

“I enjoyed the convocation,” said Najah Buck, a sophomore psychology major. “I thought that the artistic performances were a nice touch to the program as it incorporated everyone’s respective departments. I thought that our president gave a very thought-provoking speech that closed the program out nicely.”