Golden Class of 1971 at ASU Reconvenes 50-Years Later!

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ASU's Golden Class of 1971 Reconvenes for Fun Events on Campus and a Memorable Second Commencement Ceremony 50-Years Later!
By Kenneth Mullinax/ASU
One of the most poignant events celebrated at any Alabama State University commencement ceremony is when its alumni, who graduated 50-years earlier, don their special golden academic robes and proceed to walk across the graduation-stage for their second time and be honored by the University's President as being members of ASU's Golden Class.
That is exactly the case of what took place on May 7, as ASU's Golden Class of 1971 was honored by Alabama State University President Dr. Quinton T. Ross, Jr. as he handed out 27  Golden Class diplomas a half-century after these alumni originally participated in their commencement ceremony from May of 1971. 
"We mark this 50-year celebration with a number of special and fun-filled events that the University hosts for its cherished 1971 Golden Class alumni members, which gets progressively more fun as we gear-up for their special commencement walk on Friday (May7)," said Cromwell Handy, director of ASU's Alumni Relations. 
He noted that all of the events were mask mandatory, as is anything held on the ASU campus, and that social distancing protocols were also in force.
It all began on Wednesday (May 5) at an evening 'Sons and Daughters' Love for ASU ' Welcome Reception that was held at the ASU John Garrick Hardy Student Center's Ballroom, and it continued on the next day with a special 'Every Heart Beats True' Golden Celebration Brunch. However, the day's show-stopper occurred at Thursday evening's opulent and elegant 'Crowned with Glowing Fame' Golden Gala, which was held in the glittering black and gold decorated Hardy Student Center Ballroom that was complete with special greetings by President Ross and accompanied by numerous special tributes to the class of 1971.  
"Needless to say, it was choked-full of food, fun, music and Hornet Nation fellowship," Handy said.
Noted historian Dr. Richard Bailey (ASU Class of 1971) of Montgomery, is the chairman of the steering committee of the 1971 ASU Golden Class. He explained that there is alot more than just fun and frolicking at this year's Golden Class events.
"While we do have a wonderful time getting together over food and refreshments, I am proud to say that we have come here to also give back something to our O Mother Dear," Bailey said, after the Golden Celebration Brunch. 
"Our 1971 Golden Class has come together and raised $70,700 that will be presented to the University at Thursday's evening gala. We raised that money through individual donations from 46 members of our class, plus the sale of ads in our souvenir program and the purchasing of brick-pavers to be placed near the Hardy Student Center." 
Bailey, an acclaimed civil rights expert historian and published author, said that the events that occur for the class of 1971 bring to mind the pinnacle of his love and affection for the Hornet Nation.
"All of the events, and certainly participating in ASU's commencement ceremony brings forth to me the pinnacle of my feelings toward my revered alma mater," Bailey stated.
"ASU personifies everything that I care for and cherish in an educational institution - it is rich in history, known nationwide for its tradition of providing an excellent education for its students, and most certainly it reflects a commitment to improve the lives of the African-American community, as well as the nation as a whole."
News media contact: Kenneth Mullinax, 334-229-4104.