ITTA BENA, Miss— James Meredith, garbed in a complementary white suit and hat, stood tall while addressing the Mississippi Valley State University community during its 2018 Honors Convocation Thursday, March 22, in the Walter Roberts Auditorium.
The annual celebration is hosted by the University each spring to celebrate students who have excelled academically.
During his keynote address, Meredith told the honorees, “I am at the most important school primarily because of where it is and why it’s here.”
Meredith, who became the first African-American to enroll at the University of Mississippi in 1962 and the first to graduate in 1963 with a degree in political science, then shared a wealth of wisdom with students, staff, faculty and community members in attendance.
“I told my wife on the way up here that this is the single most important occasion of my life,” he said. That’s because I am standing here talking to the most important people in the world—the future leaders of Mississippi, particularly the Mississippi Delta.”
Meredith talked about his plight for equal rights in his early years, as well as his current mission to spread the message of Christian laws and morals.
“We stopped teaching our young people right and wrong at some point, and I promised I was going to start a movement to ensure that people learn and understand the Bible,” he shared.
Meredith said his goal is to share the message in every county in the state, with MVSU and Leflore County serving as his first stop.
Following Meredith’s address, 707 MVSU students were recognized for their distinction as President’s Scholar (4.00 GPA), Distinguished Scholar (3.80-3.99 GPA), Honor Scholar (3.50-3.79 GPA) and Scholar (3.20-3.49 GPA).
In addition, students were recognized by their respective departments with Outstanding Scholar Awards and other special awards.
MVSU’s HONDA All-Star Team and the University Mock Trial Team was also recognized for their accomplishments.