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ASU Celebrates a New Era with Inauguration of 15th President

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Author: Hazel Scott

Release Date: Aug 31, 2018

Dr. Quinton T. Ross Jr. was inaugurated as the 15th president of Alabama State University.

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Before an arena packed with students, faculty, staff, alumni, city and state officials, civic and community leaders and other distinguished guests from across the country, Quinton T. Ross Jr. was inaugurated as the 15th president in Alabama State University’s storied 151-year history on Thursday, Aug. 30, at the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.

The ceremony included the investiture of the president, defined as the "formal ceremony of conferring the authority and symbols of high office," which is traditionally held during the university president's first year in office. Ross was named the 15th president by the Board of Trustees in September 2017.

Ceremony speakers included Alabama Governor Kay Ivey who praised Ross as a friend and a colleague. 

“It is my great honor to be here as both the President of the Board of Trustees and the Governor of the Great State of Alabama, but most importantly as a friend and colleague of President Quinton Ross,” Ivey said. “I have worked alone side Sen. Ross for a number of years and I have always been impressed with his leadership and his ability to earn the respect of those around him. Sen. Ross has dedication, professionalism, good intentions and a kind heart. So President Ross, on behalf of the great state of Alabama, congratulations on this momentous occasion.”

In honor of installing an Omega as ASU’s president, speaker Dr. David Marion, Grand Basileus of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc., asked all Omegas in the audience to stand before handing Ross a check in the amount of $10,000.

Others speakers included United State Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton N. Dean, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and President of Morgan State University, Dr. David Wilson, to name a few. 

Dr. Jack Hawkins, Chancellor of Troy University, had the honor of placing the University’s presidential medallion around Ross’s neck, and Trustee Darrell Hudson gave the Oath of Office.

In his inaugural address, titled “The Time is Now: Realizing the Promise of a Bright Future,” Ross emphasized ASU, the institution he calls home, will continue to flourish as an institution of higher learning that prepares students of all ethnicities and backgrounds to serve a changing world.

“ASU is preparing students to succeed.  We come prepared and ready to win,” Ross said.

During his remarks, Ross highlighted his vision for the University.

“Over the last 332 days now (and yes I’m still counting days), our team (better known as the Ross Team) has worked and been very intentional about our forward movement not only create but demonstrate the kind of change ASU needs in order to continue to be the institution that provides the promise of a bright future,” Ross said.

Some goals include putting student success first, becoming fiscally sound and financially responsible, engaging and working side by side with alumni to achieve optimal engagement and providing faculty with the resources and training to provide quality instruction to ensure academic excellence.

“I believe we’ve made significant strides toward those lofty goals. Bringing together the stakeholders to form what we like to call a CommUnivesity,” Ross said. “The enthusiasm around ASU has never been higher. In addition to the increase in donations, we have also experienced a record uptick in applications and enrollment has increased over last year.”

Ross said because of ASU’s efforts to continue to build on the countless partnerships the University has made over the years, he was proud to announce a new partnership with The United State Department of Veteran Affairs Acquisition Academy (VAAA) to develop a high-quality curriculum in support of the University’s academic programs.

“We’re the only HBCU that has entered into a partnership with VAAA,” Ross said.

Ross said he doesn’t think of ASU as a university, but as a family home.

“This place, this university, it quite literally gave me life. My parents met at ASU and married shortly after. It charted a course for me. It inspired me. It provided a pathway to become the man I am today,” Ross said.  That is why this appointment – this calling – to serve as the president of Alabama State University is my dream with the promise of a bright future,” Ross said.

Ross envisioned an ASU that continues to be a trailblazer in the shifting landscape of higher education. 

“We understand that our work here has just begun,” Ross said. “Please understand that we have no plans to take a break. We know that the world outside of this campus never stops moving, and neither shall we. Because what we have done is not enough. Not yet,” Ross said.

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