President’s Two-Week Tour Concludes on High Note, looks forward to 2020
By Hazel Scott
The 2019 President’s Tour was an unprecedented success. President Quinton T. Ross Jr. and his Road Team (consisting of students, faculty, staff and administrators) wrapped up a whirlwind two weeks of travel sharing the good news of Alabama State University in towns and cities across the state of Alabama and into the state of Georgia.
The President’s Bus Tour has become one of ASU’s most exciting and engaging annual events. The Road Team interacted with potential students, alumni and community leaders giving firsthand information about the academic and physical transformation taking place at Alabama State University.
The “Moving ASU Forward With Hornet Pride!” President’s Tour included stops in eight areas of Alabama and Georgia: Atlanta, Mobile, Dothan, Columbus, Ga./Phenix City, Ala., Birmingham, Selma/Marion, Gadsden/Huntsville and Montgomery.
In most cities, the team took on dual roles. The Team was covered by local media at each venue, signed important Memorandum of Understanding with local community colleges and spoke to alumni at night. They also visited local schools during the day and attended alumni receptions at night. Schools and reception guests were treated to a production by the University’s Department of Theatre Arts, testimonials from students, as well as colorful and informative displays featuring each of the University’s colleges.
The Tour had five major objectives: student recruitment, scholarships, alumni engagement, signing important Memorandums of Understanding and telling the ASU story.
At every stop, the Road Team inspired ASU pride as they talked about ASU’s rich history and the great things happening on campus.
ASU’s offerings of new degree programs, which includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts in dance and a master’s in prosthetics and orthotics, and the physical transformation of the campus enticed many to join the Hornet Nation.
ASU’s Admissions and Recruitment Office received nearly 100 new applications/on-site admits during the tour.
The Tour followed its tradition of surprising qualified students with on-the-spot scholarships in the cities the tour visited.
ASU awarded nearly $1 million in scholarships to 137 students. Nine students received Presidential Scholarships, full scholarships; 20 received Academic Excellences Scholarships, which includes tuition, fees and books; 39 received Academic Incentive Scholarships, which includes tuition and $500 toward books; four (4) received the Black and Gold Scholarship, which includes $4,000 toward books; and 65 received the Trust Scholarship, which comes from monies donated by alumni.
The four-year total awarded for academic scholarships equals $3,132,416.
Students at the tour were introduced to ASU’s new program, “Passport to Success,” which allows students to earn money by being involved in the university regardless of their high school grades.
During the two-week tour, ASU alumni had a chance to interact with administrators and current students, reunite with fellow alumni and learn about some of ASU’s current major accomplishments.
One benefit of the alumni receptions includes the opportunity to re-engage alumni who were previously unconnected to their alma mater.
Memorandum of Understanding
One key part of the President’s Tour was signing an important Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with five community colleges – Bishop State Community College in Mobile, Enterprise Community College in Enterprise, Chattahoochee Valley Community College in Phenix City, Lawson State Community College in Birmingham and Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.
The MOU provides a pathway for students who have achieved their two-year or associate degrees to enroll at ASU to attain their bachelor’s degrees.
At each tour stop, President Ross inspired ASU pride and made a great case for why students should choose ASU, an HBCU (Historically Black College and University) established in 1867 by nine slaves.
He discussed how ASU played a part in changing the landscape of education by educating generations of African-American students, how the University has ties to the civil rights history and talked about the outstanding array of academic programs.