Meredith to keynote MVSU’s 2018 Honors Convocation

March 16, 2018

ITTA BENA, Miss.— As Mississippi Valley State University pauses to highlight its outstanding academic scholars, the campus will also receive gems of knowledge from activist, author and entrepreneur James Meredith during the 2018 Honors Convocation Thursday, March 22.

Meredith will give the keynote address during the annual convocation, which will be hosted at 11 a.m. in the Walter Roberts Auditorium of the H.G. Carpenter Building.

During the event, MVSU scholars will receive university-wide recognition for their hard work and dedication in the classroom. The students will receive awards in the following categories: President’s List (4.00 GPA), Distinguished Scholar (3.80-3.99 GPA), Honor Scholar (3.50-3.79 GPA) and Scholar (3.20-3.49 GPA).

MVSU will also recognize students receiving Outstanding Scholar awards and other special academic awards during the event.

The celebration will include performances from the MVSU Symphonic Band and the Valley Singers. MVSU President Dr. Jerryl Briggs, Sr., Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Constance Bland and Director of Academic Success and Student Development Heather Y. Tanner will conduct the award presentations.

A native of Kosciusko, Meredith gained national attention in 1961 after being denied admission into the University of Mississippi because of his race.

Meredith subsequently filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination, and although the state courts ruled against him, the case made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor.

When Meredith arrived at the university to register for classes on September 20, 1962, he found the entrance blocked. Rioting soon erupted, and Attorney General Robert Kennedy sent 500 U.S. Marshals to the scene. Additionally, President John F. Kennedy sent military police, troops from the Mississippi National Guard and officials from the U.S. Border Patrol to keep the peace.


On October 1, 1962, James Meredith became the first black student to enroll at the University of Mississippi. In 1963, Meredith graduated with a degree in political science.