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  Other ::  News Jul-Dec 2007

Current News

Christmas Concert Attracts More than 600

The Lane College Concert Choir ushered in the holiday season during their Annual Christmas Concert on Sunday afternoon, December 2.

After being welcomed by Dr. Vicki Vernon Lott, Vice President for Academic Affairs, the audience of more than 600 people listened with excitement as the 56-member choir, under the outstanding direction of Mr. Allen Franklin Todd, II shared their unique renditions of traditional and contemporary Christmas music. Accompanying the choir on piano was Ms. Jung-Won Shin, Assistant Professor of Music.

"This is an event that the entire Jackson community looks forward to," said Dr. Clara Hewitt, Lane's Director of TRIO Programs. "This is a great tradition for the Christmas season."

The College's Director of Health and Safety, Mrs. Angela Calhoun, and husband, Tony, who is Lane's Director of Financial Aid, brought their children, Angela, Kelsey, Amber, and Shelby to the event. "We are looking forward to hearing great singing and music to really get us in the Christmas spirit," said Calhoun prior to the concert.

A beautifully decorated auditorium set the mood for the musical performances, which have become a rite of Christmas for thousands of Jacksonians over the years. Additionally, the East Jackson community considers the presentation of the annual concert as the official beginning of the Christmas season.

Among the selections sung by the choir were Hallelujah Chorus (from The Messiah), A Christmas Melody, Fanfare for Christmas Day, Carol of the Bells, Rockin' Jerusalem, African Noel, Coventry Carol, Behold the Star, Christ the Holy Christ in Me, and Mighty God. The beautiful Christmas décor of the auditorium complemented the concert attire… brilliant black gowns for the ladies and superb black tuxedos for the gentlemen.

At the conclusion of the concert, Attorney Richard Hulon Donnell, Vice President for Institutional Advancement, thanked the concert choir for its gift of song to the community; thanked members of the audience for their attendance; and reminded everyone that Jesus is the reason for the season.

Dragons Resume Their Winning Ways

Submitted by James Falls
Student Intern
Office of Institutional Advancement

LLate last Saturday night, September 29, you could hear cars honking, people screaming, and the ringing of the victory bell…it means Lane College has won! The Dragons unleashed a 42-28 win over the Central State University Marauders Football team. As Lane improve to 3-1, the team looks to keep on rolling. “Our team has improved on playing together since the first game,” says Coach Cole. “We are starting to hit all cylinders.”

The Dragons didn’t waste any time by going to its passing game and scoring first with a 22-yard pass to Ed Williams from Sherrard Ellis; Williams finished the game with six catches for 72 yards and a touchdown. Central State, however, did manage to strike back with a 2-yard run by Derrick Moss to keep the score tied at 7 going into the 2nd quarter.

Lane kept the ball in the air to add 14 more points and to take a 21-7 lead going into halftime. Ellis hooked up with Virgil Union for 14 yards and Robert Smith for 6 yards. Union also led in receiving yards for the offense with seven catches for 81 yards. The Dragons defense then shut down Central State leaving them scoreless. Harvey Scott led the defense with eight tackles and John Rhoden assisted with five. Jeromy Powell and Clifton Stanford both pulled down an interception and Stanford brought back six points.

The second half looked like comeback time for Central State. Evan Wallace snagged a 66-yard pass from Chris Clark to reduce Lane’s lead to 21-14. Ellis retaliated with a 20-yard run of his own to increase Lane’s lead to 28-14. Clark had another response for Lane with a 38-yard touchdown run of this own. Ellis went back to the air and hooked up with Brodie Clayton for a 10-yard touchdown. With 21 seconds left in the 3rd quarter, Clark decided to do it again and scored on a 17-yard run.

Stanford’s 15-yard interception return was the only score in the 4th quarter. Ellis finished 22-38 for 230 yards passing with four touchdowns and three interceptions. He also gained 66 rushing yards on eleven carries. Marcus Adams also contributed to the rushing attack with seven carries and 40 yards.

Coach Cole has a lot on his hands hosting the Thorobreds of Kentucky State University on Thursday evening, October 4, at 7p.m. at Rothrock Stadium here at home. “Since I have been coaching here, I have never beaten Kentucky State,” says Cole. The contest seems to be in Lane’s favor due to the fact that Kentucky is off on a rough start. Kentucky State (1-4) lost to Central State 41-14 at the Toyota Heritage Classic a few weeks ago. The Thursday night home game is a SIAC conference matchup and will be televised live nationwide on CSTV.

Congress Approves Legislation to Make College More Affordable

On Tuesday, September 25, House Resolution (HR) 2669, the College Cost Reduction Act, was sent to President Bush. Congress’s new legislation to make college more affordable was signed into law by the President on Thursday, September 27. The bill increases the maximum Pell Grant scholarship by at least $1,090 over the next five years, so that the maximum value of the grant will reach $5,400 by 2012. In addition, the bill cuts in half interest rates on need-based federal student loans from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent over four years. The bill also provides $170 million in grants for HBCUs over the next five years. Finally HR 2669 creates a new designation of Predominantly Black Institutions—defined as schools that enroll students in financial need and have at least 40 percent African-American student enrollment. These schools will be eligible to receive $30 million in grant aid over five years for programs in the fields of science, technology, engineering, health education, teacher education, and programs geared towards improving the educational outcomes of African-American males.

Lane Names New Athletic Director

President McClure has appointed Dr. Alpha Alexander as the College’s new Athletic Director. Prior to her elevation as the new Athletic Director, she served as an Assistant Professor of Physical Education at Lane for the past two years. As Athletic Director, she will be responsible for all aspects of inter-collegiate sports at Lane College.

Dr. Alexander brings a wealth of sports experience to her new position. Formerly, she was the Executive Director for Knoxville’s Promise, an affiliate of America’s Promise – the national organization formed by Colin Powell. She earned her undergraduate degree at The College of Wooster in Ohio, and her master’s and doctoral degrees in Physical Education from Temple University in Philadelphia.

Dr. Alexander began her career in 1976 as a graduate assistant in Women’s Athletics at Temple University. While there, she served as assistant director of athletics and acting women’s athletic director. After completing her doctorate, she served as education officer and then director of community projects for the Women’s Sports Foundation. Thereafter, she joined the YWCA of San Francisco as health and wellness director, and then became director of heath and sports advocacy for the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) of the USA. Later on, she was named special assistant to the chief executive officer of the national YWCA organization.

Dr. Alexander also has the unique distinction of more than a decade of service on the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors as well as leadership roles with the Arthur Ashe Athletic Association. Her work with the USOC includes serving 12 years on the Member Services Committee and Legislative Committee. She has also served as a member of the Olympic and Pan-American Sports Advisory Council, and led the U.S. Delegation for Barcelona, Atlanta, and Nagano for the Olympic Youth Camps. Additionally, Dr. Alexander has led numerous delegations to China, South Africa, Russia, and Cuba, and has been named one of the 30 most valuable professionals in the business of sports in the U.S. by Black Enterprise. She has been awarded the Nell Jackson Award, the Billie Jean King Contribution Award, and the Olympic Shield Award – the second female recipient in history. Dr. Alexander’s professional and civic contributions include her service as co-founder and vice-president of the Black Women in Sports Foundation. In 2001, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) named her as one of six Silver Anniversary Award recipients. Of particular note is the fact that in 2006, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) named her one of the 100 Most Influential NCAA Student-Athletes of all time. These NCAA awards recognize former student-athletes who have made significant professional and civic contributions since completing their collegiate careers, and include the likes of Arthur Ashe, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Billy Jean King, Tiger Woods, Vince Lombardi, Pat Summit, Jackie Robinson, Jackie Joyner Kersee, John Wooden, Jerry West, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

Entrepreneur and Television Star to Speak at Lane’s Summer Commencement

Lane College will conduct its Summer Graduation Ceremonies on Sunday, June 17, 2007 at 2:00 p.m. in the J.F. Lane Physical Education and Recreation Complex located on the College campus. Over 25 young men and women will be awarded baccalaureate degrees in over 10 disciplines. Ms. Omarosa Manigault Stallworth, Managing Partner for Access America Enterprise Corporation, will serve as the commencement speaker.

Ms. Stallworth grew up in the projects of Youngstown, Ohio. After graduating from high school, she financed her post-secondary education by entering beauty pageants. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Radio/TV Broadcast Journalism from Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio, and her Masters degree in Mass Communication Studies from Howard University. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D in Communications Studies at Howard. During the administration of former President Bill Clinton, Ms. Stallworth worked as a political consultant in the office of Vice President Al Gore. Also, being a former contestant in the Mrs. America pageant, she has actively worked as an image consultant for Miss Thailand.

Ms. Stallworth’s most famous notoriety occurred when she became a contestant on Donald Trump’s reality TV Series, The Apprentice: The Ultimate Job Interview. Although she didn't come out on top, she was propelled to celebrity status. Because of her strong performance, her face and image is known throughout the world, and the name Omarosa has become a household word. Twice, she has landed on the sidebar of the cover of People Magazine.

Ms. Stallworth is currently using her celebrity to negotiate a talk-show deal; publicize her forthcoming book; and has made plans to develop her own line of business suits and accessories. Furthermore, she has begun plans to work on television and motion picture projects; having recently concluded filming a guest appearance on NBC's daytime soap opera, Passions.

The public is cordially invited to attend and is asked to be seated no later than 1:40 p.m.

Lane Wins Inaugural
Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Student Athlete Advisory Committee Citizenship Award

The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) recently awarded to Lane College the inaugural Student Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.) Citizenship Award. Student-Athletes from around the SIAC, through their S.A.A.C. programs, competed all year long to acquire points by completing community service projects and other initiatives on their campus and in their community.

Lane scored 59 points to take home the prestigious award, and completed numerous events to impact their community including hosting a Blood Drive, STD and HIV testing, Eye Exams, the NAIA Women’s Basketball Tournament Dinner, Madison County Hall of Fame Dinner and a Mini Health Fair. The Lane College SAAC members also participated in the Learn and Serve Walk. Their SAAC program raised $500.00 for the SIAC and NCAA initiative program and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Lane also made 10 visits to local area hospitals, elementary, middle and high schools and created a Mentorship program that will begin in the fall.

S.A.A.C. programs received points in four areas: Public Service; Make-A-Wish Foundation; Visits to hospitals, schools, retirement facilities, etc.; and attendance at the SIAC S.A.A.C meetings.

Lane was awarded the Citizenship Award at the SIAC Champions Luncheon on May 16, 2007 during the SIAC General Assembly.

Standout Dragon Drafted by the NFL Houston Texans

The Houston Texans made National Football League history during Saturday’s NFL Draft after selecting Lane College Dragon Jacoby Jones as their second draft choice. Their draft pick of the Southern Inter-Collegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) Offensive Player of the Year and MVP for the 2007 season marked the third ever pick in the twenty-four year history of the NFL draft from Lane College.

The Texans closed out day one of their 2007 draft by selecting Jones as a wide receiver in the third round at No. 73 overall Saturday.

At nearly 6’-3” and 210 pounds, Jones has been soaring up draft boards in recent months and the Texans’ selection of Jones triggered a run of receivers as he was the first of three receivers to go within four picks of each other in the third round. "I think young players on the rise might be the theme of the day,” Texans general manager Rick Smith said of the selection. "It was certainly a wait from the first pick to the third pick, but again, we feel great about our selections”.

By selecting Jones, the Texans are adding to an already improved offensive arsenal for their new signal caller. "The third-round pick of Jacoby is good for us for a lot of reasons,” Smith said. "He’s a young player with great size and speed and some range in his body and natural hands.” "This kid belongs and he’s ready to get in here and prove it.

Jones didn’t pick up football until his junior year in high school and began his college career on a track scholarship at Southeastern Louisiana before transferring to Lane in 2003. "The thing that really impressed me about this kid is every time he’s had an opportunity to step up, he did,” Smith said

Jones made a name for himself at the Shrine Game and continued to improve his stock with a solid workout at the scouting combine, but the final straw, at least as far as the Texans are concerned, might have been a visit to Reliant Stadium in Houston by Jones last week. "I was very impressed with the young man,” Texans head coach Gary Kubiak said. "We had him in here for a visit last week; very sharp young man, very confident.”

Jones is also a capable kick returner with four kickoff return scores to his credit as well as a touchdown on a punt return while at Lane. When coupled with 21 receiving touchdowns in his four-year career, Jones could team with Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson to form a dynamic duo in the near future. And if you think Jones may need some time to acclimate himself to the NFL game before being prepared to make a contribution, that may not be the case. "This kid belongs and he’s ready to get in here and prove it,” Kubiak said. "On top of that, he’s got some return ability and we see a huge upside here in a very hungry young man.”

Jones is the only player in Lane history to score via a reception, rushing attempt, punt return and kickoff return in the same season (2006). Along with his touchdown pass in 2005, he is the only player in Dragons annals to score in five different categories in a career. He became the first SIAC player to earn All-SIAC honors at three positions (receiver, punt returner, kickoff returner) in the same season (2006), and was also the first to lead the conference in five different statistical categories in the same season (2006 – receptions per game, yards receiving, kickoff returns, punt returns, all-purpose yardage). Jones holds the school career-record with 1,937 yards and four touchdowns on kickoff returns. He also holds the school season-record with 931 yards on kickoff returns in 2005, and became the first player in Lane annals to catch 200 passes in a career. During his last two seasons, 66 of his 118 receptions produced first downs; converting 24-of-45 third-down and 3-of-5 fourth-down opportunities.

Beaming with pride, President McClure stated "Jacoby has made his immediate family and all of the members of the Lane College family very proud. We wish him the very best, and can hardly wait to see him on the gridiron in the fall. God willing, staff members of the College and I will be at his first professional game. This young man epitomizes the Power of Potential that we instill in all of our students every waking day. We are rightfully proud of Jacoby and all of his accomplishments. We know that he will impact the Houston Texans organization and the NFL in a most positive way like he did while playing at Lane.”

Commencement Speaker Serves Food for Thought to Graduates

Executive Chef Jeffery Henderson served the 2007 Lane College graduating class a heavy helping of hope, wisdom and inspiration on Sunday. "Listen here, young people: By no means am I a preacher, but I've got to take you to church today," said Henderson, popularly known as "Chef Jeff."

Henderson, 42, a former Las Vegas Chef of the Year, is currently the executive chef at the Cafe Bellagio in Las Vegas. He shared the story of how he went from drug dealing on the streets of South Central Los Angeles to carving out culinary success and writing a bestselling memoir.

"Thirty years ago, I was just a little boy named Jeff 'Hard Head,'" he told the nearly 3,500 gathered at Oman Arena for Lane's commencement ceremony. He said he earned the nickname, "hard head," because he didn't like to listen to anybody. However, he would eventually end up in a place where he would have to listen to God and to others.

"God blessed me in a mysterious way. Believe it or not, prison saved my life. Ten years of my life would be spent in prison, there I became motivated and began to realize my true potential”, Henderson said.

He told the students that they all had the potential to break through their inner prisons. "Many times, our prisons are not federal or state," he said referring to minds that are sometimes locked with self-doubt, fear and negative thinking. "Always keep 'yet' in your vocabulary. 'Yet' means it is still to come," Henderson said. "Any of you who didn't believe in the power of potential before today, look at me." After being released from prison in 1996, Henderson got a job as a restaurant dishwasher. He was a quick study and worked his way up to the top of the cooking profession under the mentorship of Robert Gadsby.

"I always dreamed of having a big kitchen," Henderson said. Film rights for Henderson's memoir, "Cooked: From the Streets to the Stove, From Cocaine to Foie Gras" were recently purchased by the team that made the hit movie "The Pursuit of Happyness."

Henderson encouraged the 131 proud graduates to dream big, pray hard and give back to their communities.

"Give back; don't just get yours," said Henderson, who is not yet a college graduate himself. However, he told the graduates that he will be one day. "Each and every one of you motivates me," he said. At the conclusion of his speech, Henderson received a standing ovation.

President McClure said he couldn't think of a better speaker to personify Lane's popular slogan, The Power of Potential. "He (Henderson) identifies with the power of potential," McClure said. "In the past, we've gone for scholarship. We've gone for high politicians (for commencement speakers). Once in a while we need somebody to come who is real."

Rory Newbold, 26, who received his degree in education Sunday, said Henderson's message motivated him. "It was inspirational," said Newbold, whose future plans include getting his master's degree in counseling. The message capped off a very memorable day for him. "It's one of the happiest days of my life," said Newbold, a native of Miami. Lane College graduate LaKisha McPike, 21, was moved to tears Sunday. The St. Louis native received her degree in biology.

"She's going on to medical school," said McPike's mother, Gwen Phillips. "I am so excited. She is my oldest daughter and she is the first one to graduate." Earlier, Phillips passed some tissues to her daughter, who was crying tears of joy after receiving her degree. "She always cries," Phillips said of LaKisha. How were her own emotions holding up? "I'll wait until later when it sinks in," she said. Crystal Botsford couldn't contain her feelings Sunday. Botsford was cheering for her fiance, Clifton Laird III, who received his degree in computer science. Botsford, who graduated from Lambuth University last year, said she has a lot of respect for Lane College.

"I think Lane is one of the best schools around," she said. "They just believe in their students so much and they work hard for them."Also at the commencement convocation, Mrs. Clara Denwiddie Hewitt, Director of the College’s Trio Programs, former librarian, and a 55-year Lane College employee was awarded the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree for her years of dedicated, outstanding, and exemplary service to the College and the community.

UNCF's 63rd Anniversary Dinner

President William J. Clinton
Lane President Dr. Wesley McClure
UNCF President and CEO Dr. Micheal L. Lomax

Lane President Elected to UNCF Office; On Track to Become Chair

At the recent annual meeting and 63rd anniversary dinner of the 39 colleges and universities that comprise the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) held on March 10, 2007 in New York City, Lane College President Wesley Cornelious McClure (center) is congratulated by former President Bill Clinton and UNCF President and CEO Michael L. Lomax on McClure’s unanimous election to the office of Secretary of Member Presidents for a two-year term. As such, McClure is in line to become Vice Chair, and subsequently Chair of the UNCF.

In accepting the office, McClure told his fellow Presidents, "I am highly honored and humbled by the confidence that each of you has placed in me. I pledge to fulfill my duties in such a manner that will continue the tradition of Dr. Lomax in bringing high regard and respect to the UNCF."

As the nation’s oldest and most successful minority higher education assistance organization, the United Negro College Fund’s mission is to provide financial support to its 39 member institutions and increase minority degree attainment by reducing financial barriers to college. The UNCF institutions and other historically black colleges and universities are highly effective, awarding 25 percent of African American baccalaureate degrees. The UNCF administers more than 300 programs, including scholarship, internship and fellowship programs, mentoring, summer enrichment, and curriculum and faculty development programs. Today, the UNCF supports more than 65,000 students at over 900 colleges and universities across the country.

Lane Marks Historic 125 years

Dr. Yvonne Kennedy,
President of Bishop State Community College
in Mobile, Ala., is introduced by President McClure.
Kennedy spoke of remembering the past, celebrating
the present, and preparing for the future
before a crowd of faculty, staff, students
and community members for the celebration
of the 125th year of Lane College.

LLane College alumni, administrators, staff, faculty, students, and well-wishers were encouraged on Sunday, March 4, to "take a walk down memory lane" as they commemorated the college's 125th anniversary.

"I know a walk down memory lane must be a powerful walk for Dr. Wesley McClure, a Lane alumnus and now president of his alma mater," said Dr. Yvonne Kennedy, who served as Lane College Founder's Day Convocation speaker.

"I, too, am a Lanite," said Kennedy, who holds an honorary doctorate from Lane College. Kennedy is president of Bishop State Community College in Mobile, Ala., and an Alabama state representative for the 97th district.

"As we celebrate Founder's Day, at the same time in historic Selma there is another commemoration and re-enactment of the famed march from Selma to Montgomery," she said during her keynote address to an audience gathered in the J.F. Lane Health and Physical Education Complex.

At the time of the march from Selma to Montgomery 42 years ago, Kennedy held the title of Miss Alabama State University. Alabama State students were part of that historic march, she said. "Just as we as college students could change the nation then, we can do it now," she said as a charge to the Lane students in the audience.

"Bishop Isaac Lane founded Lane College not without struggle. The founding of Lane College was no ordinary event, reminding us all that God has always used ordinary men and women to do extraordinary things," Kennedy said, noting Lane's humble beginnings being born into slavery.

President McClure, in his introduction of Kennedy, described her as an "educator's educator" and "an extraordinary person."

Kennedy encouraged Lane students to be leaders in their communities. She advised them to talk with their policy makers about Pell grants and other issues that affect them. She also asked them to consider public service as part of their career.

"Remember the past, be inspired by it. Celebrate the present, enjoy it. Prepare for the future," she said.

Ms. Ameera Graves, the College’s historian, said Kennedy's remarks made for a great lesson.

"I thought the title of her address, 'Remembering the Past, Celebrating the Present and Preparing for the Future,' perfectly captured why Founder's Day is so important," Graves said. "It's important for us to reflect on the sacrifices of Bishop Isaac Lane and his beginnings." Kennedy also advised students to recognize the importance of maintaining friendships with their non-college friends.

"A person is not better than another just because one went to college and the other one did not," she said. "I don't care how much learning you've received, don't become an educated fool. Anybody can be foolish. You have been blessed not to be selfish, but to return to the community what you have received."

That contribution to the community includes alumni gifts to their alma mater, Kennedy said. "Let us on payday remember that we ought to continue to pay back."

Cherry Williamson, 29, of Jackson, a member of the Jackson alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, said she was struck by Kennedy's commitment to giving back to the community.

"She believed in giving back. She referenced that a lot," Williamson said. Williamson is also Kennedy's sorority sister. Kennedy served as a former national president of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. from 1988 to 1992.

President McClure encouraged the school to take the anniversary as an opportunity to renew its commitment and dedication to the dream of Lane College's founder, Bishop Isaac Lane.

Gabriel King, president of the Student Government Association, agreed. "Together, we must go forth and let the vision of the great Isaac Lane live on," King said.

Professor John E. Greene, President of Lane's national alumni association, said what has attributed to the school's success and longevity goes beyond academics alone.

"The education that you get here at Lane isn't just book learning. It's spiritually based," Greene said.

Phebe McLin, the newly elected Miss Lane College 2007, said she is proud to be "a second-generation Lanite." She said both her parents were Lane students in the 1960s.

"My intention is to carry on the Lane legacy," McLin said.

Professor Allen F. Todd II, Director of the Lane College Concert Choir, leads the choir in
'The Battle of Jericho' during the 125th Founder's Day Convocation for Lane College.

White Speaker Addresses Black Struggle at Lane's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Chapel Service

Top Photo: Forgy speaks to audience. Bottom Photo: Forgy embraces
Mrs. Mattie Merry, the first lady of the Jackson, Tennessee
civil rights movement, after she introduces him.

Few people know that Henry O. Forgy Jr., rushed to the Lorraine Motel in Memphis on the day Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. He shared that memory among others with Lane College's student body during the memorial celebration of King's life Wednesday morning January 17 in chapel assembly.

Strapped with a tank of oxygen, Forgy, 82, was the keynote speaker who spoke to an estimate 1,200 students, faculty, staff, and community residents. He is regarded highly by the black community in Jackson as a white businessman who "never deviated from his work for equal rights," Lane College President Wesley McClure said.

Forgy was the first chairman of the Jackson Race Relations Council and 60 percent of his employees at the H.O. Forgy and Son aluminum smelting company were black. "I was doing what I believed was right," Forgy said.

Forgy told Lane students that he regarded King as ''a man who could discern the moral imperatives to guide us - a nation that had been slow to live up to its promise,” Forgy said he was not the only white man standing up for the rights of minorities. "There were many other whites who also stood up," he said. “The late Dr. Walton Harrison and Pacoud Bell were two of them.

Serious civil disorder was avoided in Jackson-Madison County, Forgy said, largely because of the ''character of the black leaders in the community. "They were men of quiet resolution, men like James Buchanan, Joe Merry, Albert Porter, T.C. Ozier, Dr. W.R. Bell, and former Lane President C.A. Kirkendoll". "We have a community of people that ultimately rose to the occasion and bound to their better natures."

If King were alive now, Forgy said he would be opposed to the war in Iraq just as he was the Vietnam War. "The politics of fear has led us down a very dangerous path," Forgy said. "Promise me that you'll do everything you can to do as Jesse Jackson says and keep hope alive."

Lane students were attentive and gave Forgy a standing ovation for his nearly 40-minute speech. "I think everyone should listen and learn about how the struggle happened," said freshman Kelly Walker, 17. "I think instead of being segregated, we can learn from one another. I've got friends from all races."

Sophomore Gabriel Hampton, 19, said Forgy's message was inspirational. "I think if more people did what he did it could help us come together. Mr. Forgy definitely gave us a different perspective," Hampton said.

"We brought a white gentleman to talk about the struggle," said President McClure. "As you go through life, it won't only be black people that will help you along the way. But it will be brown, red, yellow, and white people too."

Lane Alumnus named to FAMU Board of Trustees

Jesse J. Tyson, a 1974 graduate of the College was appointed late Monday night, December 18, to the Florida A&M University Board of Trustees by Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Tyson, 53, President and Sales Director of Exxon/Mobil Inter-America Inc., based in Coral Gables, Florida was one of 19 applicants to fill the sole vacancy on the board. He joins FAMU's board of trustees at a pivotal moment, as it prepares to search for and hire a new permanent President.

Tyson holds a bachelor's degree in economics from Lane and a Master's degree in business/marketing from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He is quite active in several civic and scholarly organizations and foundations which include the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; The Tom Joyner Foundation; 100 Black Men; Exxon and Mobil merger-transition team; and the Multi-cultural global working environment. Among the many awards, citations, and memberships that Tyson has received are the Presidential citation from the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO); lifetime membership in the National Black MBA Association; and membership of the Dean's Executive Advisory Board at Florida International University.

When news of the appointment reached President McClure, the President said, “this is big…real big!!! Mr. Tyson’s achievements have been stellar. Each one of his teachers at Lane saw the potential for greatness that Mr. Tyson held within. What they did was exercised their power and brought it out. To them and to the Tyson family, particularly his late grandmother, I offer my sincere, heartfelt, and complete congratulations.

Lane Acquires Ownership of Radio Station

More than 30 years ago Lane College alumnus and Jackson businessman James E. Wolfe helped start the college's first radio station, which continued to thrive until the station went off the air in the mid 1980's. On Friday, December 8, Wolfe returned to Lane to announce along with President McClure that the ownership of WJKR- FM 98.7, owned by West Tennessee Cultural Heritage Association, Inc., of which Wolfe is President, has been transferred to the college.

"This is big," said McClure following the announcement. "It gives Lane College a new forum, a venue to communicate with the community." McClure said WJKR listeners wouldn't notice a difference in the station's broadcast during the transition. "The transition will be seamless. And by January additional programming aspects will be included in the station's format," he said. Other formats will be a talk show, student forums and wellness.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to discuss topics in the community," McClure said. "Several years ago, Mr. Wolfe brought the idea up and I thought it was a far-fetched issue. But then I began to believe this Lane College graduate really wanted to continue a great tradition."

This new endeavor makes Lane the second private college and second historically black college in the area to own and operate a radio station, school officials said.

Lane has already constructed a new facility on the campus to house all their current and future media endeavors. The building has not been named.

The entire project is a $1 million investment, McClure said.

Currently the college has 60 students majoring in mass communication with an additional 100 students who have indicated an interest in the field, he added.

"Not only will mass communication students benefit, but Lane College and the community," said McClure, who also mentioned that the radio broadcast will be streamed via the internet on the college’s web site in 2007.

The transfer ends Wolfe's numerous years of ownership in the radio business, but he's not completely out.

"Mr. Wolfe is now a faculty member and will be serving as an advisor and manager to the radio station," McClure said.

Coach Cole named SIAC Coach of the Year

In 2005, Lane failed to win a game. This season, first-year head coach Johnnie Cole turned things around and led the Dragons to an 8-3 record. The turnaround season didn't go unnoticed. Cole has been named the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Coach of the Year, and wide receiver Jacoby Jones took Offensive Player of the Year and SIAC MVP honors.

"We did a good job in recruiting and got the support from the administration and President McClure," Cole said. "We felt like we would be pretty good. We just didn't know how good."

Jones was named first team in the conference in three categories - wide receiver, punt returner and kick returner.

"I was very surprised. Usually whoever wins the conference is named coach of the year," Cole said. "A lot of credit goes to our assistant coaches and players."

Jones was equally surprised. "I was shocked," Jones said. Then again, it should not come as a surprise considering Jones led the SIAC in receiving yards per game (74.7), receptions per game (6.18), receiving touchdowns (6), all purpose yards per game (189.9) and punt return yards average (13.8). "When coach Cole met me, he asked me to stay at Lane, and he told me what he was going to do," Jones said. "He said he was going to turn a losing program into a winner, and he did it." Staying at Lane turned into a positive not just for Jones but the program as well, and Jones would be happy to tell any recruit just that. "You get a great education; you better yourself and become an adult."

The next stop for Jones is participation in four all-star games - the Magnolia Bowl, the Nation versus Texas game, the North-South game and the East-West Shrine game. The National Football League combines are scheduled for February in Indianapolis and the NFL draft in April, both of which Jones is looking forward to. "Right now I'm hearing from third to fifth round of the draft. It depends on the all-star games," Jones said.

Cole feels Jones has plenty of talent. "No doubt that Jacoby's the best football player I've coached from day one," Cole added. "He is an outstanding person on the field and off, and I wish him well."

The success of Lane's program gained more recognition with senior quarterback Sherard Ellis named to the All-SIAC first team. Tight end Marcus Moore and and defensive lineman were second-team selections as was place kicker Justin Miranda.


Lane College | 545 Lane Avenue | Jackson, TN 38301
(tel) 731.426.7500 | (fax) 731.423.4931