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President's Tour Visits Birmingham and Atlanta

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Author: Tina Joly

Release Date: Apr 18, 2012

ASU continued the “It’s a Great Time President’s Tour” on Tuesday and Wednesday, as the campus Road Team surprised Birmingham and Atlanta-area students with scholarships.

Alabama State University President William H. Harris surprised an Atlanta high school senior during day five of the 2012 ASU President’s Bus Tour.

Harris and members of the ASU Road Team stopped at Grady High School on Wednesday, April 18 and awarded Brianna Fairley with a Presidential Scholarship.

Officials presented Fairley with a giant check representing the $85,000 scholarship that will cover all of her expenses for four years, including tuition, room and board and books. She also will receive a stipend.

Fairley is continuing a family legacy by attending ASU. Her grandfather is the late John L. Buskey, who served as a representative in the Alabama State Legislature for many years. He also was director of ASU’s Levi Watkins Learning Center.  The John L. Buskey Health Sciences Building on ASU’s campus is named in his honor.

Fairley, who plans to major in physical therapy, will take many of her classes in the Buskey Building.

“It feels good knowing I will be part of my family’s legacy and attend Alabama State University. It is also great that I will be working and learning in the Buskey Building,” Fairley said.

Fairley’s grandmother Essie Buskey, also attended ASU, as well as her parents, Susan Buskey Fairley and Gerry Fairley.

Harris said Brianna’s choice to attend ASU is significant. “We are very pleased that Brianna has chosen to attend Alabama State University and continue the rich legacy established by her parents and grandparents,” he said.

Earlier in the day, the Road Team visited Towers High School, also in Atlanta. There the group received a warm welcome that included a greeting by the school’s band and cheerleaders.

A similar scene unfolded on Tuesday, April 17, when the Road Team stopped at George Washington Carver High School in Birmingham. The high school’s band greeted the Road Team and students performed “Showtime at George Washington Carver,” a medley of dances, songs and musical selections.

The ASU Road Team built upon the day’s excitement when Harris surprised everyone by calling Carver senior Khadejah Moore to the stage. He presented Moore with a $30,000 academic scholarship that will pay for her tuition and fees at ASU.

The scholarship represents the opportunity of a lifetime for Khadejah, a foster child who always has known that she wanted to attend college. She said she was shocked and excited to receive the scholarship.

“Thank you, ASU. I’m really surprised and I’m really happy,” Khadejah said. “I don’t live with my biological mom and sometimes it’s hard, but … I’m very grateful, and I thank God. I’m going to go to ASU and work really, really hard.”

The Road Team also visited Bessemer City High School on Tuesday. The school’s principal Jasponica Florence Moore, an ASU alumna (’97), said the Bus Tour was beneficial for her students.

“This is definitely impressive that my alma mater is here today,” Moore said. “This is an opportunity many young people do not get to experience.”

Later Tuesday evening, the Road Team hosted an alumni and scholarship reception at Birmingham’s Harbert Center.  More than 150 alumni, students, parents and supporters attended the event.

Attendees heard from Harris and watched a video detailing the latest phases of the  University’s Vision 2020 Transformation Plan. Several students were presented with scholarships during the reception, including Travonna Jones, a transfer student from Lawson State Community College who received a Presidential Scholarship.

“I decided to attend ASU because of its business program. When I visited the campus, I spoke with business students who told me how great the program is,” Jones said. “I heard directly from students that ASU also cares a lot about their students, and that is what I’m looking for.”

In all, ASU awarded nearly a half a million dollars in scholarships to students in Jefferson County.

The Bus Tour continues Wednesday night with an alumni and student reception at Atlanta’s City Hall, and will stop in Columbus, Ga., on Thursday.

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