MULTICULTURA SANKOFA CELEBRATION
Valdosta State University’s African American Studies Program celebrated the Eleventh Annual Multicultural Sankofa on Thursday, May 3, 2012, at 7:00 P.M. in the Student Union Theater.
Graduates, their families and friends, VSU administrators, faculty and staff were in attendance to celebrate the individual achievements and collective triumphs of those students whose academic achievements may not be acknowledged in the traditional commencement ceremony. The guest speaker for this special occasion was Dr. William C. Morgan, Pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church, Valdosta, GA.
Dr. William C. Morgan was born in Manhattan, New York, in 1953. He was reared by his mother, Helen Jones Morgan, and his grandmother, Jettie Brown Jones, both of Valdosta, Georgia. His early childhood education was acquired at Lowndes County’s P. G. Williams Elementary and West Side High School. Upon returning to New York, he continued his education at Brooklyn’s New York’s Boy’s High School, graduating in 1971.
( Dr. William C. Morgan's Bio...)
Dr. Morgan encouraged the 2012 graduates
to “Trust God and Stay Focused” as they continue their pursuit of academic success and careers goals. Dr. Morgan captured the spirit and essence of Sankofa by
encouraging the graduates and visiting guests to first acknowledge and keep God first and to persevere through life challenges that may arise.
The ceremony acknowledged Spring 2012, Summer 2012, and Fall 2012 graduates. Other program participants included, Dr. Calvin Walker (Associate Professor of VSU’s OASIS Program and African American Studies Program), Ms. Chardonnay Watson (Graduate Advisor & Assistant Sankofa Program Chair), Mr. Stanley Jones (Valdosta State University Registrar), Mr. DeAndre Jones (Out-Going NAACP President), Mr. Anthony Bussey (Music Major), Dr. Jewrell Rivers (African American Studies Professor), Ms. Seretha Sherrod (2012 VSU Graduate), Mr. James Robinson (History Major & AFAM Minor), Ms. Tara Fletcher (VSU Business Accounting Major), and Ms. Erika Preston (Criminal Justice Major & AFAM Minor). Closing meditation was given by Bishop Mark A. Smith, AMP Military & Veteran Coordinator.
Dr. Shirley Hardin, Director of African American Studies, presided over the program and presented the following Sankofa Awards for 2012:
2012 AFAM Student of the Year Award: Mrs. Samara Bunion Harris,
GPA: 3.78 & completing her degree in (3) years
Graduating Senior, Political Science Major and African American Studies Minor
2011 AFAM Student Mentor of the Year Award: Mr. Aaron C. Henson
Graduating Senior, Criminal Justice Major and African American Studies Minor
2012 AFAM Teacher of the Year Award: Dr. Thomas Aiello, Professor
History Department & African American Studies Program
The Eleventh Annual Multicultural Sankofa Award: Ms. Chardonnay Watson, Graduate Advisor
African American Studies Program 2010-2012
2012 Community Servant of the Year Award: Mrs. Mary F. Barron
Presented by Dr. Calvin M. Walker
Program Coordinators for Sankofa 2012
Mr. Derrick L. Carter, Sr., Ms. Chardonnay F. Watson, Ms. Jaccqueline Robinson