By Shametra Thomas
Paul Quinn College is in the midst of a remarkable change! You can see it as you drive on the campus and on the faces of the students that are about to embark on the Quinnite journey. Wednesday, August 11th Paul Quinn College hosted the Summer Bridge Program Convocation.
The Summer Bridge Program is designed to allow incoming freshman -who weeks only before graduated from high school- to get a feel for college. Over the course of six weeks, students will complete anywhere from 6 to 12 hours of classes to help get them off to a great start in the fall.
Dominique Mitchell, a student at Paul Quinn College, introduced Dr. John Silvanus Wilson Jr., the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) as the keynote speaker for the annual convocation. Students, faculty and staff were also graced with the beautiful voice of fellow Quinnite Jeremy Thomas.
Dr. Wilson spoke to the students concerning winning the battle of perspective. He used movie clips ranging from the Nicholson Brother’s performance in Stormy Weather to Spike Lee’s movie Do the Right Thing to illustrate the keys to developing the right perspective in order to succeed. “Trumping the other with your mind is what you have to learn to do while you’re at Paul Quinn College,” Dr. Wilson said. He introduced them to the five principles of perspective: love versus hate, poise versus recklessness, signal versus noise, we versus me, and the chosen versus the unchosen. He also encouraged the students to exceed beyond their boundaries.
Dr. Wilson addressed not only the student’s education, but also their future role as alumni of Paul Quinn College., challenging them to reach back as they move forward after graduation. Part of the Quinnite creed is “To leave places better than you found them,” however alumni giving is suffering across the country. “Alumni giving is at an all time low,” Dr. Wilson stated. “The national average for alumni giving is 13%. The HBCU rate of alumni giving tends to be below that.”
He challenged the students to get the phone numbers of Paul Quinn alumni and call them and ask for their assistance. He gave the students, faculty and staff that were present a heads up on a program the White House Initiative on HBCU are considering for HBCU who increase their alumni giving to at least 50%. Find out more about ways you can get involved at the Paul Quinn website.
Shawn Williams contributed to this report