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Published on 4/6/2012



Members of the Dekalb County Area Alumni Chapter of Albany State University attended Friday's day-long 2012 Founder's Day activities. The day began with the Founder's Day Convocation in the ACAD Auditorium, immediately followed by the Gravesite Ceremony on the main ASU campus, along with the Alumni Luncheon, and the Alumni General Business Meeting.


The Founder's Day Convocation speaker was a 2003 ASU graduate. Rev. Lorenzo Heard used a story, from the writings of ASU Founder Dr. Joseph W. Holley, as the backdrop for Heard's directive to alumni, "Don't live so high on the hog that you can't share the pig." Heard said he and his wife have pledged thousands of dollars to ASU. He urged other alumni to do the same, saying "Leave it in your will if you have to". Heard is Pastor of the Greater Second Mount Olive Baptist Church in Albany.


At the gravesite service, ASU Student Government Association President Clarence Washington and Mrs. Josephine Holley Jefferson, daughter of the ASU Founder, placed a beautiful floral arrangement at the ASU Founder's grave. The ASU Chorale provided some lovely musical selections during the service, which was immediately followed by the National Alumni Luncheon. ASU Dekalb Co-Founder Dr. Prince H. Brown was the Luncheon speaker. Brown told the story of the chicken that had to be convinced that it was truly "an eagle that could soar". Brown pushed alumni to be eagles instead of chickens.


501(c)(3), Spring Commencement, LDC, and Planning Conference Updates


All alumni chapters now fall under the National Alumni's 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, nonprofit status, Association National President Greg Hylick announced during the Alumni General Business Meeting.


ASU President Dr. Everette Freeman addressed the meeting, announcing that the Spring Commencement speaker will be U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsak. In-that it was Vilsak's agency that forced Albany resident Shirley Sherrod to resign in July 2009 as Georgia State Director of Rural Development, Freeman said Sherrod has told him it is okay to "go ahead" with the Vilsak appearance. Sherrod resigned after video, released by conservative pundit Andrew Breitbardt, painted her as a racist. Yet, once the full video was released, the assertion was found to be untrue. Breitbardt died earlier this year (2012) at age 43. Reports indicate that Sherrod's defamation lawsuit against Breitbardt is likely to continue. Freeman added, "We're not in the habit of uninviting people to ASU."


The graduation is scheduled for May 5 at the James H. Gray Civic Center in Albany.


Also during the meeting, Albany Alumni Chapter President Dr. Rosa Okpara asked alumni to please register early for the Annual Alumni Planning Conference scheduled for June 20-23 in Albany. ASU National Alumni Vice President Joycia Ricks gave a Legal Defense Coalition update, which prompted a suggestion that more alumni be notified of the issues and be appealed to for support. As to why the Inaugural Founder's Day Prayer Breakfast had to be cancelled, ASU Alumni Affairs Director Wendy Wilson said, "There wasn't enough support". Though, Wilson acknowledged that "better planning" might be in order if a breakfast is held in 2013.


Dekalb Chapter Members Elected to Alumni National Board


National Alumni Elections Committee Chair Mary Watson-Jones announced the winners of the recent election.


ASU Dekalb President Tamara Nelson was elected to represent the ASU National Alumni as a Member-At-Large

for the 2012-2014 term. She is one of three to serve in that position. Columbus Chapter President Jean Lynn and

Sylvester-Worth Alumni Chapter President Melvin Jefferson were also voted in as Members-At-Large.


ASU Dekalb Reporter and Public Relations Chair Maria Boynton was announced as the new Secretary. Boynton's duties are to consist of having, according to the Association Constitution and By-Laws, general charge of the records of the

Association, and keeping minutes of all meetings.


Atlanta Alumni Member, and current National Vice President, Joycia Ricks will become National Alumni President

when the term begins on July First. Reverend William Cade of the Tampa Alumni Chapter will serve as Vice President,

and current Immediate-Past President William Johnson, from Albany GA, becomes the new Association Treasurer.

National President Greg Hylick offered congratulations to the newly-elected officers.


Dekalb President Nelson says, "ASU Dekalb is proud to have representatives on the Alumni National Board. I think our chapter has always been a model for other chapters and now we can help spread that influence on a larger scale." Nelson went on to say, "I'm also very optimistic about the future of Dekalb's national presence in-that all of our members on the ballot had a significant amount of support."