Celebrating its 3rd year, Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) will host its Annual First Lady’s Scholarship Luncheon on October 20, 2016 at the Historic Elk’s Lodge in Greenwood. Title sponsors for the luncheon are The City of Greenwood, Fred and Margaret Clark, and Priority One Group, Inc.
The goal of this event is to bring together alumni and community members to help MVSU raise funds for deserving students in need.
Mrs. Bynum was able to establish three scholarships from last year’s scholarship luncheon,” said Cassandra Krah, manager of special events and activities.
The scholarships awarded help relieve the financial burden many MVSU students face. Since her time at MVSU, First Lady Deborah Bynum has become passionate about alleviating the burdens of MVSU students. She has initiated a Clothing Closet which supplies career attire to students attending interviews as well as being the first sitting president’s wife to create scholarships in the University’s 66 year history.
"With the rising cost of tuition around the nation, it is important that we continue to host an annual fundraiser that will assist our students," said Deborah Bynum, First Lady. "I am passionate about making sure our students have the resources they need to strive at MVSU and beyond. Since beginning this luncheon, I have been overwhelmed and appreciative by the support we have received from our alumni, local businesses, and the community for the luncheon."
Since its inception, the luncheon has generated over $72,000. The funds are divided into three categories - merit and need-based scholarships, and an endowment.
The theme for this year’s event is ‘Giving Back to Move Our Students Forward.’ “Mrs. Bynum and I decided on the theme, because it closely relates to this year’s homecoming theme, 'Back to the Yard' and with the support of our donors, our students will matriculate without financial worries,” said Krah.
The University has launched a $75,000 campaign for the luncheon. In addition to revenue earned from ticket sales, the university seeks funds from local businesses, organizations such as fraternities and sororities, alumni chapters, and other financial supporters of the institution.
The luncheon will begin at 11:00 a.m. Tickets are $60 per person, and $500 per table - each table seats eight guests. Tickets go on sale July 5, and can be purchased at the cashier’s office and in the Office of University Advancement.
Krah said the University is rallying support from alumni, faculty, staff and the community to help make this year’s event a success. “It is important for us to do our part so that our students can continue their education and build on the legacy that has been left by our alumni,” she added. “In order to keep Valley thriving, it is essential that we continue to foster friendships and relationships with Valley supporters.”
Hank Stewart, Emmy award winning poet, will serve as the keynote speaker. Stewart was inspired to write his first piece titled, “Can You Hear Me” after hearing about one of his favorite athlete’s confession of having HIV, he took the “power of the pen” and began a journey that has taken him around the world performing his spoken word pieces for individuals such as First Lady Michelle Obama, former Vice President Al Gore; Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr.; former Atlanta Mayor, Shirley Franklin; Harry Belafonte; Xernona Clayton; Dr. Joseph E. Lowery; Ambassador Andrew Young and the late Rev. Hosea Williams, Ruby Dee and Johnny Cochran.
Stewart strives to continually empower, educate and motivate the masses with his accomplished and effective spoken word poetry, prose, books, community service and advocacy. His humanitarian efforts are seen through The Stewart Foundation, which has created programs that reach every aspect of the youth in Atlanta, Ga. Over 10,000 youth have been affected by the foundation’s programming in areas of health, wellness, education, social and community aspects.
For more information about the luncheon, contact Cassandra Krah at 662-254-3916.