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Founders’ Day Convocation Speaker Asks Students to Add to ASU’s Legacy

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Release Date: Feb 04, 2011

ASU’s 111th Founders’ Week Celebration culminated Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, with the annual Founders’ Day Convocation.

Faculty, staff, students, administrators and alumni gathered for Alabama State University’s Founders’ Day Convocation on Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome.

This year’s guest speaker was Deborah Scott Thomas (BS ’74), president and chief executive officer of Data Solutions and Technology Inc. in Lanham, Md.

Referring to this year’s Founders’ Week theme, Remembering and Celebrating ASU’s Legends of Leadership and Service, Thomas said leaders should adhere to four basic elements in order to be great.

“Leaders are meant to help others. If you want to be a great leader and want your leadership to last, you must pay attention to four elements: character, perspective, courage and favor,” Thomas said.

“As I travel along this journey of life, I think of the many ASU legends that influenced my success by instilling those four elements into me.”

Thomas also issued an invitation to students.

“I invite you to dream, to see the future through open doors and to begin your journey. You can take pride in your Alabama State University and you can add to its legacy. Define your mission and start your journey today,” Thomas said.

Special Presentations

The Spirit of Marion Award was presented to Dr. Tessie Bradford (BS ’98).  Bradford is coordinator of the W.E. Combs campus of the University of West Florida-Emerald Coast where she helps non-traditional students achieve their educational goals. Bradford has a strong commitment to mentoring and empowering youth.  The award recognizes individuals whose professional efforts have created innovation, positive change or notable advancement in an industry, environment or concept. The award is named after the Marion Nine, founders of the Lincoln Normal School, now Alabama State University. 

The Spirit of Tullibody Award was presented to Herman Harris (BS ’49, MA ’57).  Harris was recognized for his 31-year career in education. Harris was a teacher, a principal and served on the Montgomery County Board of Education.  The award is given in honor of Dr. William Burns Paterson, ASU’s longest-serving president who is revered as a brave and forward-thinking pioneer. The Tullibody Award honors alumni who exemplify Patterson’s estimable qualities by making notable contributions to their communities and to Alabama State University.

The 2011 Black and Gold Standard recipient is Thelma Glass. Glass is the only surviving member of the Women’s Political Council (WPC), a group that helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. She is a retired professor of geography at Alabama State University. Glass received a standing ovation when she received her award. The Black and Gold Standard Award is a concept created to chronicle the rich history, tradition and vision of Alabama State University.

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