Trustee Lumzy Brings Birmingham Students to Tour ASU & Experience College Life

News Date

​​By Hazel Scott/ASU

Members of the Life Lessons Club of the W.J. Christian Alternative K-8 School in Birmingham, Ala. started their path toward college by boarding buses headed to ASU.

More than 20 middle​ ​schoolers, accompanied by staff members, the school’s principal and ASU Trustee Dr. Mario  Lumzy, made the pilgrimage to ASU on Jan. 24, to observe what life in a university setting is like and to see what all ASU has to offer, both in and outside of the classroom.

“ASU students were hosted by the school during the 2019 Magic City Classic,” said ASU's vice president of Student Affairs, Dr. Davida Haywood. “Two of his (Lumzy’s) former students attend ASU now: Stacey Foster (Miss Freshman) and Amiya Smith (Women's Basketball Team).

Dr. Carl Pettis, interim provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, brought greetings on behalf of ASU President Dr. Quinton T. Ross Jr. He explained to the room of excited students the value of a college degree.

“For success in the world today, a college degree is something you are going to have to have,” Pettis told students in the student center theater. “So exposure to college should start earlier rather than later.”

Pettis offered insights of his personal journey of self-discovery and educational attainment as an ASU student.

He told the students how when he ran track in his freshman year of high school​,​ his assistant coach told him to start the race in lane​ ​8, which is the outside lane that he describes as the ​"'losing lane.​"  Pettis started to question his own abilities and as such​ ​he started to get angry, but said that he used that anger to prove a point.  He went on to win the race. 


Pettis said “Don’t let anyone second guess your abilities." And, went on to say "You are the masters of your own faith.  All the principals that I have and the foundation for which I stand on are based upon the young man that my parents raised (me) and the principals and the guidance that I learned from playing sports.”

Pettis said at one point of his college life he contemplated quitting because of several challenges that he faced.

“You will have challenges in life. This is a family here at Alabama State. I had several people at ASU to help guide my steps. Sometimes I didn’t want them stepping on my feet but they needed to do so and that is the kind of things that ASU can do for you.”  

The students’ eagerness to be part of this special day was highlighted as they celebrated that "Ole’ Bama State Spirit "​ ​by being led in several ASU chants, including “AS-AS-AS-AS-U!’


Delegates from ASU’s Athletic programs (football, track and field, men’s and women’s basketball and soccer) were part of ASU’s welcome wagon to the Birmingham students.

Their message to the students was resounding -- education and sports must go hand-in-hand and supplement one another.

“Education is as essential for sports, as sports is for education. Sport teaches you many valuable lessons, but paired with education, it gives you the edge to succeed in life,’ said men’s basketball coach Freddie Jackson.

Students attending the excursion toured the campus; received information about ASU’s admissions, which included scholarship criteria, course sizes, campus safety, financial aid, work study, academic/career resources and student involvement, They also got a taste of college life by visiting a residential hall and having lunch on the campus of what well might become their first choice for college in just a few years from now.  


Trustee Lumzy said that touring colleges is an integral part of preparing middle schoolers for the next step in their life.  

“I know this will be a great 'exposure moment' for my students,” said Lumzy. “We are preparing them for the future. When we talk about passing middle school, into high school and getting into college, they need to understand the expectations of today in order to meet the mandates and demands of tomorrow.”

The​ ​​students also were introduced to ASU's dual-enrollment program, which allows high school juniors and seniors to take college courses at ASU while still in high school. 

Lumzy offered words of encouragement to his college-bound hopefuls​.​

“As long as you have the drive, commitment and patience to make it happen, it will happen,” Lumzy said.  “Stay focused. College is an opportunity for the next level, which is your career. It takes hard work, it takes dedication. The most successful people are not always straight-A students, but the most successful people are dedicated and work hard, which makes a difference.”