A host of students, faculty, alumni and supporters gathered Nov. 12 for Philander Smith College's sixth annual President's Scholarship Gala held in the Wally Allen Ballroom of Little Rock's Statehouse Convention Center.
The evening got an inspirational kickoff with the Philander Smith Collegiate Choir's performance of "Lift Every Voice and Sing" and performances by members of the PSC Creatives as well as Nicky Parrish. Serenity Clark and Joshua Goffney, Miss and Mr. Philander Smith College 2021-2022, welcomed attendees. The Creatives also performed during dinner, which featured sorghum brined chicken.
Moments of gratitude were shared by Dr. Terry Esper, vice chairman of the college's board of trustees, and student government association president Kai Wright. Students Jordan Bailey and Gabrielle Batiste spoke on "The Legacy of Investment."
Dr. Roderick L. Smothers Sr., Philander's president, presented 2021 Forward Vision Champion awards to the Methodist Foundation for Arkansas and state Sen. Linda Chesterfield, and made the announcement of the late Darnell Williams' induction into the Philander Smith College Hall of Fame. Smothers also presented scholarships to a number of recipients and announced the receipt of $250,000 in scholarship funds from an anonymous donor for needy students.
Charles King, vice president for institutional advancement, made a special appeal for donations. Finishing out the event was music by Tawanna Campbell.
-- Story and photos by Helaine R. Williams