Ross delivers first virtual State of the University Address


David Evans/Chief Photographer

File Photo: University President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., Ed.D, delivers the State of the University Address on last year. This year he was compelled to deliver the address from his office due to COVID-19.

Staff Report

“We have experienced tragedy, but as a university who has had its own share of tragedy, adversity and disappointment over a 153-year history, my fellow Hornets, we remain triumphant.  Ole’ Mother Dear’s triumphant strength comes from the resilience of her administration, her faculty, staff, students and alumni who refuse to yield to the jaws of disappointment, adversity or tragedy,” said Alabama State University President Quinton T. Ross Jr., Ed.D. as he delivered the State of the University Address on Oct. 8 in a virtual format from the president’s office.

The virtual format for the Fall Convocation allowed Ross to deliver his vision and the state of the campus to hundreds of students, faculty, administrative staff and alumni without the fear of anyone developing the coronavirus, commonly called COVID-19. Ross informed his listeners that the state of the university is well “even in the midst of a pandemic.” He said that the university may never return to what it was prior to March, but the university is “Embracing the New Normal and Moving ASU Forward.”

Ross admitted that with the campus closing in early spring, due to COVID-19, the students who were scheduled to graduate in May did not receive an opportunity to walk across the Acadome stage and receive their diplomas. However, he said that arrangements have been made for students to have an in-person commencement for both Fall 2020 and Spring 2020 graduates as well as the Class of 1970 in November and that they would be able to walk across the stage.

“If you look at the steps we have taken to keep us protected from COVID-19, I can’t say or thank Dr. Lloyd-Davis and her nursing staff, and all the others that had the wherewithal to put together such a wonderful testing program that is second to none in the nation,” Ross said. “It has been recognized all over the country. LSU was here last week to see what ASU was doing to help keep our number of COVID-19 count down to a bare minimum.”

The 15th president of the university stated a number of things that had been accomplished during the year including the virtual reaffirmation visit by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-Commission on Colleges, the Moody’s financial upgrade to stable, improvements around the campus, and the improvement of online and hybrid classes were just a few things that he spelled out during the convocation.

Ross accentuated how important safety was to the university. He asked the university family to continue wearing masks, social distancing and washing their hands.

“The Hornet Family has stepped up to protect their own,” Ross said. “We will remain resilient and resolute in our efforts to continue our mission of preparing the nation’s next generation of global leaders.”

The ceremony featured the University Choir, the Mighty Marching Hornets and special musical selections. In addition, Ross acknowledged Congressman John Lewis, Rev. Robert Graetz, George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

“We are one ASU because we are in this together,” Ross said. “… We are triumphant.”