Official student newspaper of Alabama State University

The Hornet Tribune

Official student newspaper of Alabama State University

The Hornet Tribune

Official student newspaper of Alabama State University

The Hornet Tribune

Evening Out Formal Wear
Heritage Barbershop

Ross announced historic donation at President’s Gala


Friends of Alabama State University, alumni, students, and faculty assembled in the Dunn-Oliver Acadome on Friday, Sept. 1 to attend the 2023 President’s Gala.  Hundreds of guests from around the country donned their finest fashion to join the university family for a night of philanthropic recognition and celebration.

For the past few years the event was held at the Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center, but university officials decided to hold it on campus this year.

A historic announcement of $14,734,880 was raised by university officials over the past year. The one-year total is a record for ASU. Funds raised by the university are used to support student success and university strategic initiatives.

The gala is a night of glitz, glamor, and philanthropy, and serves as a platform to recognize donors and celebrate advancement initiatives that support the university and its mission of excellence in education, research, and community engagement.

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“We are grateful to our generous donors and corporate sponsors who have made the Gala a wonderful success,” said President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., Ed.D.  “To everyone who gives for the benefit of our scholars, I would like to say thank you. Your contributions can change the trajectory of a student’s life.  Thank you for the continuous support of Alabama State University.  I want to give special thanks to the Board of Trustees for giving me the opportunity to sit at the helm of this prestigious institution. When I think about tonight’s theme, ‘Where History is Made,’ I have to say that I am who I am because of the Alabama State University.”

Ross also thanked the Foundation Board, faculty, staff, students and alumni with a “shout out” to Crystal Moss and her staff and Donald Dotson and his team for helping make the night’s dazzling setup a success.

“I’d like to thank everyone who had a hand in making tonight great,” Ross added.

The evening included unforgettable entertainment by internationally acclaimed recording artist and violinist Brooke Alford and the Brooke Alford Experience Band, as well as a Broadway-style performance by dancers from the university’s bachelor of fine arts in dance program with choreography by Quan Little, a graduate of the inaugural 2017 bachelor of fine arts in dance class and the first African-American to own a Montgomery dance studio, “Symphony Q Academy of Dance.”

In keeping with the night’s theme, there were several short films highlighting ASU history makers throughout the years, including storylines about “The Marion Nine,” “Jo Ann Robinson and her contributions to the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” “Getting Over the Finish Line,” and university leadership then and now.

Also, part of the annual touchstone event were four history makers from the department of theater: Shanessa Sweeney, from Fox’s “The Resident,” and other shows; Yohance Myles, from OWN’s “Queen Sugar,” and other shows; Amber A. Harris, producer and assistant director for Amazon, and Apple, to name a few and the director of the short films at the Gala; and professor of theater, Kendrick Hardy, who was in Spike Lee’s “Sun of The South.”

“When you look at the talent that was displayed here tonight, when you look at the talent we have on this campus, and the talent we have across the world, this is truly a place where history is made. We are not just saying it; it’s real,” Ross said.

The night continued with special recognitions of supporters and donors whose generosity over the past year raised them to the level of being highlighted at the Gala. They were: Coca-Cola Company ($200,000), Alabama Power Company Foundation ($200,000), Montgomery County Commission ($150,000),  Honda Motor Company ($225,117), U.S. Department of Commerce ($2,999,695.37), U.S. Department of Education ($3,500,000.00), NTIA – Connect Minority Communities Pilot ($1,500,000.00), and Montgomery Community Action ($280,369.02).

The event also included the recognition of the newest members of the Marion Society, an initiative that allows donors who share a passion for ASU to leave a legacy to the University. Amber A. Harris, Jaunita Owes,  Michael and Sandra Washington, Dr. Wislene John-Guiney, Elizabeth Ross, Judge Johnny Hardwick and Alfred Williams are leaving a combined legacy for ASU in the amount of $350,000.

“All our donors’ generosity makes it possible for many deserving students to receive a quality education. On behalf of the Office of Institutional Advancement and the Alabama State University Foundation, we say thank you,” Clark said. “… Let’s continue to make history.”

After the acknowledgements, guests continued their evening of fun and dancing in the ambiance of exquisite table scapes and floral displays fit for royalty.

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