Tuskegee University president addresses new students during 130th Fall Convocation



TUSKEGEE, Ala. (October 24, 2011)  — Tuskegee University welcomed students, faculty and friends to its 130th Fall Convocation on Sunday in the University Chapel. During his address, Gilbert L. Rochon, president of Tuskegee University, discussed a number of objectives for the university and recent progress.

He noted that there were 1,158 members of this year’s freshman class and more than 3,000 high school students have applied to attend Tuskegee next fall.

“The goal, over five years, is to have a student body of 5,000 students. We are well on our way,” Rochon said.

He gave details about the addition of several new degree programs such as the bachelor’s in civil engineering, forensic science and the master’s in general psychology. He said the number of doctorate programs now offered has risen from two to five. The addition of a school of education was also announced.

Rochon said one of the ultimate goals is to transition the university from being considered a baccalaureate college to being classified a research university by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. In order to make the change, he said the university needs to increase the number of doctorates granted, make improvements to facilities, add research equipment and increase faculty and staff.

“We’re really going to have to launch the largest comprehensive capital campaign in the history of this university,” Rochon said. “Over the next five years, we will be out there hitting the pavement and doing everything we can to ensure that will happen.”

Rochon appealed to students to utilize their time at Tuskegee to be supportive of their alma mater. He also encouraged students to enrich their education by engaging in the university community, studying abroad and participating in research or fellowship opportunities.

“That kind of broadening and multicultural experience adds significantly to your career opportunities and your growth as a human being who is committed to making a difference in this world,” Rochon said.

Afterward, the Class of 2015 and new students took an induction pledge. Student government officers and other student leaders were also introduced.

Eminent Presidential and 1000 Plus Associates were also recognized during the convocation for their contributions to the university.

Those honored were: Robin C. Banks, McKinley Brister, Willie M. Burnett, Barbara T. Chisholm, Rhetonia P. Chisholm, Gwendolyn Collier, Darryl Crompton, Frank E. Cyrus, John Fears, Lillian Fears, Antoinette Frederick, E.H. Hall, Danny Lanier, Sr., Lillie A. Lanier, Herman E. Lewis, Shirley M. Lewis, Verdree Lockhart, Lula W. Marable, Ruth R. Martin, Aubry McAlpine, Amelia W. Peterson, Alexander Robbins, Walter G. Robinson, Madalyn B. Rucker, Timothy Sanders, Jr., Cynthia Sellers, John Stanford, Sarah Stringer and Lillian Thompson.


“These individuals are exemplars of what it takes to make lifelong contributions to our dear Tuskegee University,” Rochon said. “Thank you ever so much for your ongoing support of this institution.”

Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon speaks at the 130th Fall Convocation on Sunday in the University Chapel.

Tuskegee University's Class of 2015 and new students read an induction pledge at the Fall Convocation.

Tuskegee University President Gilbert L. Rochon poses with Eminent Presidential and 1000 Plus Associates who were recognized during the Fall Convocation for their contributions to the university.






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