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Alabama State University In Bessemer, Birmingham To Recruit ‘Best And The Brightest’

The ASU road team has traveled across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida including Bessemer City High School and A.H. Parker High School this week. (Haley Wilson, The Birmingham Times)

By Haley Wilson

The Birmingham Times

Alabama State University (ASU) President Quinton T. Ross, Jr., and the school’s road team made stops at high schools in Bessemer and Birmingham on Tuesday to “share an up-close look at ASU” to recruit some of the best and brightest students in the Southeast.

The annual President’s Tour takes ASU administrators to towns and cities across Alabama, Georgia, and Florida this week to Bessemer City High School and A.H. Parker High School.

“The pandemic severely limited our opportunities to engage potential students in face-to-face activities,” said President Quinton T. Ross, Jr. during the stop at Parker High School. “We are excited to bring back the President’s Tour, one of the University’s most successful and innovative recruiting initiatives…As we travel to different cities, we will observe health safety measures while giving high school students a chance to see what ASU has to offer.”

Alabama State University President Quinton T. Ross, Jr. at A.H. Parker High School. (Haley Wilson, The Birmingham Times)

As part of the tour, ASU offers a ‘Black and Gold Scholarship’ scholarship which pays $4,000 towards tuition, required fees, and/or on-campus room and board. Ashlyn Austin, a senior at Bessemer City High School, received the day’s first scholarship.

“I was completely surprised,” Austin said. “I had no idea I was getting a scholarship today. My teacher told me to get all dressed up for an assembly…I literally had no idea this was coming. I feel extremely blessed.”

Austin said she plans to enroll in the fall with a major in biology. “I love science and I hope to one day become a doctor…It’s so exciting to see the opportunity that has presented itself to make that dream happen one day.”

At Parker, seniors OrMarion Fowler, Christian Garcia, Samyra Lane, and Quinlisha Long received scholarships.

“Some of my family attended and graduated from Alabama State and I’m excited to experience the school for myself and walk in my families’ footsteps,” said Long, who plans to participate in ASU’s marching band this fall.

Alumni are also a part of the visits. “We are using the tour as an opportunity to bring ASU to various schools and engage and recruit students,” Ross said. “But it is also a time to engage our alumni to let them know ASU is alive and well and to support the school. It’s also a time to thank them for what they do for the university on a regular basis.”

“I know what Alabama State University has done for me,” said Gwendolyn Matthews an Alabama State Alumni class of 2002. “It’s an experience you will get nowhere else, and I’m excited these kids are on a pathway to get to experience it for themselves and that is honestly so exciting.”

The road team of faculty, staff and recruitment advisers have visited Georgia and have stops scheduled for Tuscaloosa, Eutaw and Montgomery in Alabama; Pensacola, Florida and Atlanta, Georgia.

“It’s more than a tour for us,” said Dr. Derrick Brewster, Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at ASU. “We like to highlight our notable students and staff and give words of uplift and encouragement . . . In this day and age, it’s important that we give our youth tools of enrichment…letting them know they can be anything they want to be.”