Over 200 Mississippi Alpha Phi Alpha Men Prepare to Convene in Hattiesburg

by / Thursday, 22 January 2015 / Published in News & Hot Topics

Manly Deeds, Scholarship, and Love for all Mankind are the Aims of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., and over 200 delegates and members from all over the State of Mississippi are preparing for its annual state conference. This year, the conference will be held in Mississippi’s Hub City of Hattiesburg from Thursday, January 22nd to Sunday, January 25th. The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) and its Thad Cochran Center will act as hosts of the conference.


The conference, packed with opportunities for members to recommit to community service, will open the Alpha history book and bring forth words of one of its founders, Jewel Vertner Tandy. The words, “IT’S TIME TO FIGHT ON THE ICE,” will serve as the convention’s theme, galvanizing the synergy of Jewel Tandy and his passion behind proclaiming the responsibility of Alpha Phi Alpha men to unite and fight to help improve communities.

Following the daily business of Alpha, members will give the community an opportunity to join them at some thrilling events:

• District of Mississippi Step Show: Friday, January 23rd | 9pm – $10
• Oratorical Luncheon: Saturday, January 24th | Noon – $20
• Miss Black & Gold Scholarship Pageant: Saturday, January 24th | 8pm – $7

All events will take place at USM. The Step Show will feature Mississippi college chapters competing for bragging rights and the right to represent Mississippi at the Southern Region Convention in Orlando, Florida in March 2015. The Pageant consists of ladies chosen on the respective college chapters’ campuses to showcase scholarship, talent, fitness, and oral communication skills. The winner receives scholarship funds and will advance to the Southern Region Convention for further competition. The Oratorical Luncheon will feature college chapter members displaying top-notch skill in public and persuasive speaking.

The Thad Cochran Center was ideal for the conference’s size and logistics. “The flexibility of the modern conference facility is an ideal venue to host our conference,” stated Floyd Williams, Jr., Mississippi Director of Meetings and Special Events for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

District Director Rickey Thigpen has a goal for this conference. “This year’s conference will be dedicated to enhancing resources and relationships so that the twenty-three chapters, college and alumni, throughout Mississippi are uniquely prepared to best answer the call of community service,” Thigpen said.

This service includes and focuses on coaching, mentoring and providing college scholarships for youth and minority men. Thigpen stressed, “It is incumbent upon each of us to restate loyalty and exemplify fraternal obligation by providing unwavering and intentional service to our communities, especially our black boys.”

Larry Miller, 2015 Convention Chairman and Hattiesburg resident is excited about new partnerships that the Mississippi Alpha Network will form at the convention. “This year, we will initiate new partnership agreements with Red Cross of Mississippi and Boys and Girls Clubs of Mississippi.”

The national Alpha Phi Alpha network already has longstanding, great partnerships with several well-known organizations such as March of Dimes, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Boy Scouts of America, and Habitat for Humanity. Miller said his goal for members in attendance is to enhance and strengthen tactics to maximize effective strategies with the national partners.

Alpha Phi Alpha invites Hattiesburg residents to all public events and activities including the Step Show, Miss. Black and Gold Scholarship Pageant, Oratorical Luncheon, Scholars Bowl, and Debate Team Competition. A special invitation is extended to the Hattiesburg Area Pan-Hellenic Council for a TOWN HALL Meeting, Friday, January 23rd at 6p.m. The panel discussion with community activists and Hattiesburg high school students will discuss Greek-Letter organizations’ service effectiveness.

Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African-Americans. It was founded at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York on December 4, 1906. The District of Mississippi is represented by 13 alumni chapters in communities across the State of Mississippi and nine college chapters on the campuses of Mississippi’s four-year accredited institutions of higher learning.

For more information regarding the convention, please contact the Local Chair/Alumni Chapter President, Larry Miller, at (228)234-0024 or email:ll.miller17@gmail.com.