​​Ceremony Honors 2020 and 2021 50 Under 50 Inductees

News Date


By Hazel Scott/ASU

The mood was celebratory as two sets of 50 honorees were inducted into Alabama State University’s signature alumni group known as “50 Under 50.”

The inductions were held as two separate in-person ceremonies for the 2020 and 2021 honorees, on Thursday, Oct. 7, in ASU’s Abernathy Great Hall of Teachers. The Office of Development and Alumni Relations sponsored the event.

“The in-person ceremony that was scheduled for the 2020 honorees had to be canceled due to the pandemic. We made a commitment to those honorees that they would have the opportunity to return to campus for an in-person ceremony,” said Jennifer Anderson, Executive Director for Institutional Advancement Initiatives and the ASU Foundation.

The exceptional groups of honorees, Anderson said, are considered to be among the best and the brightest alumni of Alabama State University.

“This year’s recipients have been selected because they demonstrate excellence in their respective fields and the highest standards of ethical conduct, integrity and social responsibility,” remarked Anderson.

Nominations for the 50 Under 50 awards were submitted from across the country.

“The Selection Committee was able to choose from among a laudable list of nominees. All of the 2021 recipients have distinguished themselves as leaders and exemplify ASU’s enduring legacy of perseverance, progress and promise,” added Anderson.

Honoree Monita Bell, managing editor of Learning for Justice, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, felt humbled for being recognized for excellence in her field.  

 “Just to be considered felt like an honor in itself. For members of the Hornet family to decide that my work and my contributions are worthy of recognition and that I make O’ Mother Dear proud brings me so much joy. I’m honored to represent our alma mater in this way. And the fact that I’ve been selected among so many change-making, innovative, stellar fellow alumni makes it even more powerful. I’m proud to be in the number,” said Bell, 2006 English (print journalism minor) alumna.

The recipients will become advocates, donors and ambassadors for the University. As ambassadors of the University, the class members may be called on throughout the year to serve as speakers, panelists, advisory committee members and to participate in other unique opportunities throughout the University.

Bell said she is proud of ASU and has nothing but warm memories of her ASU days.  

“In spite of various setbacks and trials, especially in these last couple of years, we have continued to thrive, blaze trails and celebrate and take care of each other. It’s beautiful to see and to be part of. That care for each other was so evident from my time as a student—the ways professors and other staff would care for students and the ways upperclassmen and alumni would look out for younger students. My crew since freshman year is still part of my crew for life. ASU is a beautiful family,” said Bell.

During the event, the 50 Under 50 honorees were challenged to give back to their alma mater to help advance the University’s mission of preparing students for success.

“While financial donations are always welcomed and encouraged, giving of your time and talents…is also vital in moving ASU forward into its next 150 years and beyond,” Anderson pointed out.

50 Under 50

The 50 Under 50 initiative was developed to engage, re-engage, educate, honor and develop the next generation of advocates, donors and ambassadors for ASU.

1st50 under50
50 Under 50 honorees, Class of 2020 



550 Under 50 honorees, Class sof 2021