Ross Charges Students to Focus on Life Transformation at Fall Convocation
By Hazel Scott
Encouragement, pride and resilience were the theme Thursday as President Dr. Quinton T. Ross Jr., gave a moving and motivational speech during the 2019 Fall Convocation.
Before Ross’s remarks, the mood of the Acadome took a somber turn as he asked the audience for a moment of silence to remember and honor the lives of two recent fallen Hornets.
“Today, I can’t begin my remarks without remembering those students, your classmates, your friends, our family members that we lost,” Ross said.
To provide encouragement to help the ASU family get through this challenging time, Ross recited a poem of comfort titled “We’ll See This Through.” He echoed his confidence that the ASU family would support each other and be OK.
“No matter what, we are family,” Ross said. “No matter what the circumstances, we are a family here at the Alabama State University. We have survived through trials and tribulations over 152 years. We are survivors. As a community, we will persevere and we will get through this together. Let us pledge to do everything we can to uplift each other and manifest love and respect for each other.”
Ross asked the audience to stand and to reach out and embrace the person on their right and left to simply say “I’m thankful for you.”
He thanked the student body and the SGA president for their response and resilience in the time of crisis, and also thanked faculty and staff who take the time to talk with and help students through difficult times.
“They all truly depict what it means to be a Hornet.”
The Fall Convocation is a longstanding tradition that brings the University community together each September, the first full month of the academic year, to welcome a diverse group of students from across the country and nation, and to celebrate academic tradition and excellence.
“We have to take personal responsibility in delivering excellence. That’s pride. Pride is who you are, pride in self-worth, pride in what you’re doing. And that pride stands for personal responsibility in delivering excellence. That’s what we are about here at the Alabama State University.”
Attendees were made aware of the changing student demographics, improvements on campus, exciting partnership opportunities for students, reaffirmation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC), fundraising and new University initiatives and growth. They also heard about ASU strategic priorities, values and core principles.
“Alabama State University is moving forward. No matter what the circumstances, we will continue to work daily to ensure we do those things that are student-centered and create opportunities for student success. I encourage students to take advantage of everything ASU has to offer them. Opportunity is here.”
Ross challenged students to persist in their journey and to pursue their dreams despite obstacles.
“The journey you are on is as important as the destination,” Ross said. “And if you find hurdles too much, talk to somebody. We have a staff here who wants to hear about your problems no matter what they are. Don’t internalize thinking you are less than because everybody is worthy. So please check in on one another.”
Ross also urged students to stop and reflect on the things they can be grateful for.
“We have many things to complain about, but we have to be thankful for those things that we have, the things that make life worth living. Be grateful not just for the big things but the little things too. It can all be gone in a fleeting moment.”
Ross’s speech was greeted by resounding applause from the audience for many of his points, especially when he spoke about fixing dorms, streets and parking lots.
The Convocation also included a dance performance by the ASU Theatre and Dance Guild, and music by the University Choir and the Mighty Marching Hornets Band and Drumline.