Kentucky State University alumni return for the 2021 Founder’s Day Convocation
Kentucky State University officials celebrated its 135th year as an institution Oct. 8 as part of the Founder’s Day Convocation.
Dezyree’ Marie Fields, the 92nd Miss Kentucky State University, said Kentucky State has nurtured an alumni base that is bold and pure for 135 years.
The Golden Classes of 1970 and 1971 were honored as part of its 50-year anniversary, with Vassie Cook and Tava Clay representing the classes.
Richard H. Graves, president of the Kentucky State University National Alumni Association, brought alumni greetings and recognitions.
“As I look over this room, I imagine this is just what the founder’s of Kentucky State University had in mind: a college that will produce the leaders, some of America’s highest achievers who would make believers out of all the doubting Thomases, who doubted the very birth of this institution.” Graves said.
Dr. Pernella Rowena Deams, vice president for Student Engagement and Campus Life, spoke on the occasion.
“This HBCU is yours and it is mine,” Deams said. “With a mission to enhance society and impact individuals, Kentucky State University has been a frontrunner. The Thorobred within all of us races to the top, with speed and agility, to accomplish more, oftentimes with less.”
Kentucky State University Acting President Clara Ross Stamps spoke about the past and future of Kentucky State.
“Our ancestors envisioned this day for Kentucky State University,” Stamps said. “It’s not by accident. This institution was created for us, so we have to speak life into our future. We will not be the first public state institution to close. Not Kentucky State University. It will be here for another 135 years.”
Dr. Corey Hicks, a class of 1995 Kentucky State alumnus, delivered the keynote address.
“One of my best decisions that I’ve ever made was to attend our beloved Kentucky State University. The love, the education and the support I experienced here was unmatched. For those who think the K-State experience is sub-optimal, it’s only sub-optimal for those who fail to take advantage of it. ,” Hicks said.
President Stamps also presented the 2021 Founder’s Day awards.
Rose Ivory Pettigrew, the 1957-58 Miss Kentucky State University, and Marc Stone with the Capital Plaza Hotel received the Presidential Citation for Excellence.
Frankfort Kiwanis, represented by Tommy Haynes, received the Jackson Hall Award.
Savion Briggs received the Thorobred Award.
Robbins, Illinois mayor Darren E. Bryant received the Rufus Ballard Atwood Heritage Award.
Dr. Lee Charles Harris received the highest honor, the John Henry Jackson Achievement Award.
After closing the ceremony, the Golden Class was honored with a luncheon and Homecoming festivities began in earnest.