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A Gala Celebration of ASU’s 150th Anniversary

Image associated with the A Gala Celebration of ASU’s 150th Anniversary news item

Author: Lois G. Russell

Release Date: Jul 17, 2017

Hundreds of members of the ASU family and the University’s supporters gathered recently for the 2017 ASU Gala, celebrating the 150th anniversary of the University’s founding and presenting the inaugural ASU Advancement Awards.

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Alabama State University celebrated the birthday of O' Mother Dear in grand style on Friday, July 14, with the 2017 ASU Gala. The event was coordinated by ASU's Division of Institutional Advancement.

"The gala gives us an opportunity to come together as the University family to celebrate those donors and other partners who support the University throughout the year," said Zillah M. Fluker, ASU's vice president for Institutional Advancement. "This year, we were also able to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the University. This is a very special moment in time for all of Hornet Nation."

The Gala was held in the ballroom of the John Garrick Hardy Student Center, which was completely transformed into a vision of glitz and glamour featuring the University standard black and gold.

“As you are well aware, ASU was founded in 1867 in Marion, Ala., by nine freedmen - all former slaves - who started this wonderful school with just $500,” said Board of Trustees Chairwoman, Alfreda Green, during her greetings to the audience. “Today, we couldn't start a single new academic course of study with $500, much less fund a university. That is why you and your generosity are so important to the continued success of this institution and its students, who are our greatest treasure. So, thanks to all of you who have, are and will continue to care and donate your money to help ASU and its students…move successfully into its next 150 years.”

Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by Yung Vokalz of Birmingham. Ala., who brought the house to the dance floor with his soulful stylings of songs from the 50s to today's hits.

Special presentations were also made by the Theatre Arts department of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and ASU's own dynamic vocalist, Chayning Jenkins.

"We wanted to make it a fun evening for our guests," said Jennifer Anderson, executive director of the ASU Foundation and director of Development. "The goal was to give our supporters a big 'thank you' for their generosity and love for ASU."

Several partners of the University made donations during the event, including Coca Cola United ($120,000), Regions Bank ($65,000) and the Montgomery County Commission ($25,000).

“The Montgomery County Commission has been a longtime supporter of Alabama State University,” said Commission Chairman and former ASU Board Chairman, Elton N. Dean. “As a proud alumnus of this great University, I recognize the value that ASU has for this community. My fellow commissioners and I want to see this University grow to its fullest potential, and we are happy to play a part in that growth.”

Trustee Darrell Hudson issued a challenge to attendees to join with him in becoming a member of the 1867 Society, an initiative whereby donors give $1,867 per year to the University. He also recognized his fraternity, Omega Psi Fraternity Inc., for an ongoing fundraising initiative to benefit the University.

“Less than eight months ago, my fraternity brothers and I had a vision. We wanted to make a difference as a group at our university,” said Hudson. “So, we decided to get together and develop a campaign that would challenge all members of the fraternity to give to a scholarship that would benefit students today. I am proud to announce that as of today, we have raised a total of $20,000; and we pledge to continue this effort until we exceed our goal.”

To give to ASU, visit www.alasu.edu/giving.

To view photos of the 2017 ASU gala, click here:

Another highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Advancement Awards, given to alumni and partners who have gone “above and beyond” in their support of Alabama State University.

 

2017 Advancement Award Recipients

• Coca Cola United

For going “Beyond the Partnership” by promoting student leadership, investing in scholarships and developing a speaker’s bureau for campus events

• ISTAP (I Support the Athletics Program)

For “Reaching Beyond” and providing continuous and significant support of ASU’s athletics programs and coaches’ initiatives

• Alumni Ibrahim K. Lee and Jeremy Spratling

For going “Above and Beyond” by forming a group of volunteers who spent several days cleaning and repairing residents halls in time for the 2016 Fall Semester classes

• Alumni William and Hattie Minter

For going “Above and Beyond” in their consistent and longtime financial support of the University students and its mission

• The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Department

For going “Beyond the Call of Duty” in partnering with WVAS 90.7 FM in organizing several successful community initiatives including Stop the Violence Town Hall Meetings and the annual safe Halloween events

• Alumna Terry Russell Green

For going “Above and Beyond” as a dedicated alumna who has created innovative social media platforms to help to advance the University’s communications efforts

• U.N.I.T.E.

For “Reaching Beyond” as a program formed and driven by ASU alumni who have helped to mentor student leaders and provided scholarships for ASU students

 

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