Special to the Jorunal
In ceremonies fit for a queen, Ali’Yah Arnold of Lithonia, Ga., was officially crowned Miss Albany State University 2010-2011, Sunday, Oct. 3, in the Albany Municipal Auditorium. Arnold, a 21-year-old mass communication major, added historic significance to the event by restoring the crown of Miss Albany State College 1961-62 to Annette Jones White, who was forced to relinquish her crown 49 years ago for involvement in the Civil Rights Movement.
“When I placed the crown on her head, I felt the history in that moment,” said Arnold. “I felt so honored to be a part of it. I think it will help bring some closure to an injustice that was done to her.”
Miss ASU’s Royal Court of Amber Bennett, first attendant to Miss ASU, and Kaszia Brown, second attendant to Miss ASU, were also honored during the program as were 37 queens representing classes, campus clubs and organizations, ASU Royal Gentlemen and class kings.
Arnold, the daughter of Richard Arnold and Myra A. Brown, was crowned and robed by outgoing Miss ASU 2009-2010 Essence Danielle Gant and Student Government Association President Ashlee Fogle.
A graduate of Redan High School in Stone Mountain, Ga., Arnold is a former resident of Albany who survived the flood of ’94 and knows firsthand that Albany State is truly “Unsinkable!” Her platform, “S.O.U.L. for ASU,” stands for “Student Organizations United and Laboring for Albany State University.”
The annual coronation of Miss Albany State University is one of most heavily attended free programs presented by ASU. It always attracts a large supportive audience of men in black ties and tuxedos and women and girls wearing evening gowns to share in one young lady’s special night.
“I am thankful for all of the people who came out to support me,” Arnold said. “The coronation was much more than I expected; it was a magical evening.”
Flo Hill, assistant professor of reading at ASU and director of the Regents’ Testing Program, presided over the program. Dr. Melvin Shelton, associate professor and director of the Velma Fudge Grant Honors Program and Academic Success Initiatives at ASU, served as master of ceremonies and Connie Leggett, assistant professor of mathematics and director of Title III Programs, served as the mistress of ceremonies.
For more information on ASU Homecoming activities, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 430-4658.
Annette Jones White, Miss Albany State College 1961-1962 (left), had her crown restored Oct. 3 by current Miss ASU Ali’Yah Arnold (right), 49 years after it was removed for her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. After restoring Mrs. White’s crown, Arnold said she hopes it will bring closure to an injustice that was done to White. See ASU Homecoming articles, photos, Pages A9, A10.