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15th Annual Salute to Delta Honor Graduates held in conjunction with Delta Council Day

Briggs Hopson

Alfred Rankins

Delta Council held its 15th Annual Salute to Delta Honor Graduates Event during the 83rd Annual Meeting of the regional organization at Delta State University. Alcorn State University President and incoming Commissioner of Mississippi Institutions of Higher Learning (IHL), Dr. Alfred Rankins, Jr., was the keynote speaker, and State Senator Briggs Hopson of Vicksburg, Vice-Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a member of the Universities and Colleges Committee, was co-host.

Rankins is the 19th president of Alcorn State University, where he serves as the chief executive officer of the Nation’s oldest public land-grant HBCU. He previously served as deputy commissioner for the Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning, where he served as the IHL system’s chief academic and student affairs officer. While serving as deputy commissioner, Dr. Rankins also served as acting president of Mississippi Valley State University. He is currently the commissioner-elect for IHL.

A native of Greenville, Mississippi, Dr. Rankins received a Bachelor of Science degree from Alcorn State University and both Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from Mississippi State University. He is married to Juandalyn Rankins.

Hopson is currently the Chair of the Judiciary, Division A, Committee and Vice-Chair of the Appropriations Committee. Other committees Senator Hopson serves on include Accountability, Efficiency and Transparency; Education; Energy; Environment Protection; Conservation and Water Resources; Judiciary, Division B; Public Health and Welfare; Tourism; and Universities and Colleges.

Senator Hopson is an attorney by occupation and adjunct professor at Mississippi College Law School. He resides in Vicksburg and is married to the former Alison Quaid.

The Honor Graduate Event is designed to bestow special honor upon two exemplary students from each of the high schools throughout the Mississippi Delta Region, including public, parochial and private schools. Students are selected as a Delta Honor Graduate by school administrators based on grade point average, extracurricular activities, and community service. In addition, a $2,500 scholarship will be awarded to the top Delta Honor Graduate as selected by higher education officials in the Delta, to help defray tuition and expenses as the student’s college of choice sees fit.


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