Salutations my fellow Jacksonians,
Jackson State University National Alumni Association, Inc. (JSUNAA) commemorates the appointment of our 12th president, Thomas Hudson, J.D., a native son. In our 144-year history, Jackson State University has had six presidents in its first 107 years, six presidents in the last 37 years, and four interims. Our academic prowess is not only our core mission, it’s our #1 asset. We have 144 years of experience in overcoming obstacles that attempt to impede our progress. President Hudson joins the elite class with President Emeritus Dr. John A. Peoples (1967-1984), as only the second alumnus to serve at the helm of Jackson State University (JSU) to protect and excel our rich legacy.
The year 2020 had triumphs and challenges, but resilience (the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness) is why JSU/JSUNAA continues to exist. This resilience was demonstrated by our alumni giving surpassing 2019 levels. In the midst of the pandemic, JSU and JSUNAA worked collaboratively to raise the most funds ever for the JSU Day of Giving with $671,097.57 in one day; almost $21,000 for Juneteenth; True Blue Box launch with $16,620 raised; and over $7,000 generated for the inaugural virtual Fall Leadership Development Council due to the generous sponsorship of Steven James and our alumni who registered for the conference in record numbers.
JSUNAA rallied for the record breaking 2020 voter turnout. We stand tall in the recognition of the many firsts embodied by vice president Kamala Harris: female, African American/Asian, member of the Divine 9- Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and first graduate of a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) to become the Vice President of these United States. What a historical moment! We celebrated the Golden Class of 1970. The class who didn’t get to have a graduation ceremony 50 years later for the second time (first due to the campus shooting by state forces which led to the deaths of students Gibbs and Green in 1970, and again in 2020 due the COVID-19 pandemic). Class of 1970 you have shown us what strength looks like in tragedy. Your JSUNAA family salutes and honors you!
Lastly, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Dubois-Harvey Honors College started by Dr. Maria L.A. Harvey in 1980. I was honored to be a member of the first cohort, and the program continues to educate thousands of change agent graduates under the leadership of Dr. Loria Brown-Gordon.
Building on tradition and blazing new trails with Athletic Director Ashley Robinson, we celebrate 110 years of football legacy! With four NFL Hall of Famers, the most loyal fan base, and championships in every sport, the Tigers now welcome the addition of Deion Sanders, Coach Prime to our JSU family. Like Coach Prime, golfer Phil Mickelson with his gift of $500,000, sees the brilliance of this JSU jewel. We have received international attention to showcase our academic programs and research endeavors.
As alumni, we give to assure JSU’s success into perpetuity. It is your dedication to Thee I Love that propelled us forward amid 2020 challenges, and because of you my fellow alumni, that Ibelieve the best is yet to come.
Thank you for being True Blue!
Earlexia M. Norwood, M.D., President
Jackson State University National Alumni Association, Inc.