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ASU Raises $1 Million

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Author: Ken Mullinax

Release Date: Aug 31, 2018

Alabama State University has raised $1 million to support university initiatives.

The Inaugural Ball for Alabama State University’s 15th President, Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr., was held amid great pomp, circumstance, glitz and glamour in Alabama’s capital city with all of the accustomed accolades and revelry that one would expect at such an impressive affair.

However, it contained one huge surprise to its distinguished guest (President Ross) that both honored ASU’s leader and was by all accounts, a welcome monetary windfall for his University and its student-body --- the presentation of more than $1 million raised in donations from alumni and corporate sponsors that will go toward academic and student-centered initiatives.

Ross was visibly moved when the presentation was made, and he thanked those assembled from his ‘heart.’

“What a wonderful gift for our students from those of you who care the most about them, members of the Hornet Nation family and its friends,” Ross said. “This incredible gift will serve them in a million ways as a bridge to help many of them obtain and complete their education at The Alabama State University. It also demonstrates to the world that the momentum of success is growing at our University or as we say The Buzz is Back at ASU,” Ross added.

The official ball took place on Thursday evening (Aug. 30)  at Montgomery’s prestigious RSA - Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center after what could only be called a momentous day for the former state senator and public school educator.

That same morning at 10 a.m. saw President Ross officially sworn-in as president of the venerable 151-year – old University that was founded by nine former slaves in Marion, Ala., and that was at the very epicenter of the birth of the modern Civil Rights Movement.

Among those witnessing his swearing-in was Alabama Governor Kay Ivey, the ASU Board of Trustees, Congresswoman Terri Sewell (Ala.-7), Dr. Belle Wheelan, president of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), numerous university presidents from across the  state and nation, senior members of the Alabama Legislature, Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean, many other dignitaries, and more than a thousand members of the Hornet Nation family.

Weeks before the ball was held, the anticipation of those who wished to celebrate with President Ross was so great that the event sold-out, said Jennifer Anderson, director of ASU Development and executive director of the ASU Foundation, which worked with ASU’s Division of Institutional Advancement to coordinate the evening.
"We are so pleased at the positive and rapid response we had from our ASU family and from individuals and businesses from across the state and the nation," Anderson said.

More than 800 attendees were present when the festivities began for the ball with an hour-long reception at the Renaissance Hotel that then moved to its elegant Alabama-ballroom, which was resplendently decorated in ASU’s school colors, a black and old-gold motif.

The newly sworn ASU President made a grand entrance before the assembled onlookers accompanied by his wife (J. K.), and his nine year-old son Quinton T. Ross, III (affectionately known as ‘Third’).

While dinner was being served, one of the evening’s more fun and memorable moments at the ball was a video tribute to the new president, which was orchestrated by many people, and that Lois Russell, ASU’s vice president of Institutional Advancement, coordinated.

"We are beyond excited about the development initiatives we were able to put in place because of the inauguration of our 15th president. This was all about engagement. We were able to engage our alumni at a higher level, forge new partnerships with businesses, and we were successful in showcasing the University to the community at large. We are so proud that Dr. Ross is leading the charge to move ASU 150 years forward," Russell said.

After the tributes and presentations were complete, the assembled were entertained by the band “Souled Out,” that is led by Montgomery resident and ASU alumnus Terrence Baldwin. The band specializes in Rhythm and Blues” music, and as part of its entertainment, the band offered a moving tribute to the late Queen of Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin.

The soiree, dinner and dance honoring ASU’s president went well into the evening. The assembled guests included President Ross’s immediate and extended family and friends; members of the ASU Board of Trustees; University faculty and staff; Congresswoman Terri Sewell; other elected officeholders and appointed government officials; business leaders and a huge contingent of the Hornet Nation family.

"Now we have over a million reasons to build upon the positive and great momentum, which occurred tonight," Ross said.

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