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America’s Oldest Public Historically Black Land-Grant College Turns 150

June 23, 2021 GMT

Lorman, Mississippi, June 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Alcorn State University, the nation’s oldest public historically Black land-grant institution, celebrates 150 years in 2021. Located in Lorman, Mississippi, Alcorn has been defying odds since its founding in 1871. Through excellent education, unparalleled personal development, Division I athletics, and more, Alcorn is a place where students are placed at the center of every decision and positioned to thrive.

“For 150 years, Alcornites have figured out how to excel and defy odds while remaining humble and supportive of one another,” said Dr. Felecia M. Nave, Alcorn’s 20th and first female president. “We have learned how to bring people along, ensuring our success is a shared success, and how to choose courage for the sake of impact, even when courage means we aren’t taking the easy route.”

Created out of the Morrill Act, this HBCU is built on a rich, foundational history and operates with a steadfast focus on its innovative, progressive future. Alcorn’s sesquicentennial poetically falls in a year of racial reckoning in our country. This moment in time serves as a reminder of why HBCUs are so critical for Black and brown students to gain identity and confidence within a supportive environment.


“Generations of Alcorn graduates have passed down traditions, learning beneath the shade of giant trees of many who desired to be more and to do more,” said Tom Vilsack, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. “Alcorn is a place where you can be the first college graduate in your family and then go off and be the change we need.”

Alcorn meets and exceeds excellence across the full spectrum of academic programs and athletic offerings. Alcorn is a consistently great institution that outperforms what the research dollars and operations associated with its name might suggest.

Alumni including Medgar and Myrlie Evers, Steve McNair, Jacqueline Walters, and Katie G. Dorsett are among countless notable names who call Alcorn home.

“Students see themselves in the incredible alumni and feel driven by that legacy,” Nave said. “This leads to new leaders who represent those previously excluded and new thoughts and ideas to the global table.”

Alcorn will celebrate this momentous milestone in the University’s history with a series of events between now and May 2022. Included will be the launch of the Hiram Rhodes Revels Center for Ethical Leadership; the celebration of 100 years of Alcorn State football; and an epic homecoming event, concluding with a scholarship gala, to name a few.

“In the next 150 years, every student will leave this campus with a first-class education and an unshakable understanding of the importance and significance of being present, being a person of good character, being forthright, and being a leader,” Nave said.


“Alcorn’s first president, Hiram Revels, helped to carve a path for us all,” said U.S. Senator Roger Wicker. “I’m confident that future Alcorn graduates will help to carve a path for this nation just as he did, right here in Lorman.

For more information about upcoming events throughout the 150th celebration year, visit


About Alcorn State University

Alcorn State University is the nation’s first public, historically Black, Morrill land-grant university. Alcorn State offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in more than 50 top-degree programs. Located on 1700 acres in Lorman, Mississippi, with branches in Vicksburg and Natchez, the University is celebrating 150 years of academic excellence. In addition to its generous scholarship opportunities, Alcorn has earned nationwide recognition in nursing, biology, music, technology, agricultural research, and the liberal arts. Outside of the classroom, students are involved in NCAA Division I athletics as well as more than 85 organizations and clubs, including student-run radio and television stations, study abroad, and the 200-strong Sounds of Dyn-O-Mite Marching Band featuring the Golden Girls.


Larry Orman Alcorn State University 601.877.6130