Albany State University Celebrated a Spirit-filled Homecoming Week
Friday, October 20th, 2017
Albany State University enjoyed a successful Homecoming week celebration Oct. 8 – Oct. 14. The theme, There’s No Place Like Home…coming, acknowledged the students, alumni, community members and supporters who call the institution and Albany, Ga., home. Students, alumni, and community members participated in several activities throughout the week, including health and wellness activities, faculty, staff and students events, the annual parade and of course the culminating football game.
“With the thousands of Rams supporters descending upon the city, the annual ASU Homecoming brings millions of dollars to the local economy and much appreciated support to our campus,” said ASU President Art Dunning. “Of course, the continued support of ASU alumni and friends is critical to our university’s future.”
Topping the lineup of events was the crowning of the 2017-2018 Miss Albany State University, Wanesia Francis, and Mr. Albany State University, Santo Nina. Alumnus William R. Shepherd, longtime educator and leader of contemporary inner-city school reform, served as a homecoming convocation keynote speaker. Following his remarks, Shepherd presented his contribution as part of the Reunion Class of 1967 fundraising campaign. Alumna Shareka L. Nelson, Facebook’s diversity business partner for the Global Marketing Solutions teams, also served as keynote speaker. Nelson, on behalf of the Delta Rho Chapter Spring 1997 line of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., presented the first portion of a new endowment for the ASU Foundation during the morning ceremony. Earlier in the week, the ASU Chi Epsilon Alumni Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. presented a $15,000 gift in honor fraternity member Albert W. “Smitty” Smith. The Reunion Class of 1967 presented a $50,000 donation towards their a $100,000 campaign. In addition, 22 alumni presented the university with more than $8,000.
Aligning with this year’s theme, former ASU student-athlete and Grammy-nominated recording artist Rick Ross headlined a student appreciation concert. Ross is the owner of several Wingstop franchises and the Maybach Music Group record label. In addition to his homecoming performance, Ross participated in a panel discussion on the portrayal of women in hip hop.
ASU’s oldest living alumni, Clano Stephens, 105, participated in many activities, including the annual parade in downtown Albany, where members of the 1960 Golden Rams football team served as this year’s parade marshal. The team boasts an undefeated record, while posting a season-long shut out.
The week-long celebration concluded Saturday with a football game win against the Morehouse College Tigers. Head coach Gabe Giardina presented President Dunning with the winning game ball to celebrate Dunning’s last homecoming before retirement.