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ASU homecoming to focus on past, present

Photo by Joe Bellacomo

Photo by Joe Bellacomo

ALBANY, Ga. -- It's Albany State University's 107th year of providing educational opportunities to students in Southwest Georgia, and this week ASU alumni and students are preparing to paint the city blue and gold for their annual homecoming celebration.

The Golden Rams' homecoming officially kicks-off at noon today with a fair at the J.C. Reese Student Union on ASU's campus. A Gospel Explosion at 7 p.m will continue the celebration at the Albany Municipal Auditorium.

Pride for the blue and gold will be exhibited throughout the week with events at ASU and within Albany.

The ASU Theatre Ensemble will treat guests to a bit of Broadway when it presents "A Piece of Broadway Our Way: Old School Groove, Nu Skool Moves" Tuesday. The event is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. in the ACAD Auditorium on ASU's campus, and ensemble members are expected to perform memorable pieces from Broadway productions with an emphasis on plays and musicals featuring African-Americans. Audiences will watch scenes from "Dream Girls," "The Wiz," "The Color Purple," "Rent" and others.

Miss Albany State 1961-62 Annette Jones White will be at the ASU bookstore Wednesday at 4 p.m. for a book signing. White, along with Rutha Harris and Janie Culbreath-Rambeau, will be signing copies of "Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts of Women in SNCC." All three former ASU students were active participants in the Albany Movement and are featured in the book.

White was elected Miss Albany State College 1961. In the fall of that year, White and several other ASC students were arrested for a student civil rights protest. Following the protest, she was suspended and ordered to pay back the scholarship that came with the Miss ASC title.

On Wednesday at 7 p.m., White will host a poetry reading and discuss her experiences in the Civil Rights Movement in Eula Lovett Hall. The event will also include a poetry writing contest for ASU students.

Grammy award-winning R&B singer Monica and hip-hop artist Rick Ross will headline ASU's homecoming concert at the HPER Gym Thursday at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m., and general admission for the concert is $35 in advance and $45 at the door. Advance tickets for ASU students with a valid ID are $20. Tickets for other students with a valid ID are $25. Tickets may be purchased at the ASU Office of Student Activities in the student union -- phone (229) 430-4739 -- or at Odyssey Records.

On Friday, the annual ASU National Alumni Association Golf Tournament at Doublegate Country Club will begin at 8 a.m. For more information about the golf tournament, contact Robert Lee at (229) 886-8611 or Willie L. Wingfield at (229) 432-5533.

The Homecoming Convocation will be held at 10 a.m. Friday in the HPER Gymnasium with White serving as the keynote speaker. ASU alumni will gather for the annual Alumni Homecoming Luncheon at noon in the L. Orene Hall Building. A book signing of "Hands on the Freedom Plow" will follow the luncheon. An alumni general business meeting will be held at 2 p.m. in Peace Hall's room 127. To purchase luncheon tickets, which are $25 each, call ASU Alumni Affairs at (229) 430-4658.

The ASU deans will hold a reception for alumni at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Albany Civic Center. The reception will be followed by a College Town Block Party at 7 p.m. in the Veterans Park Amphitheatre featuring acts such as After 7, Glamourlyke and Intrigue. The College Town Block Party will also include music and food vendors in the area around Veterans Park. ASU alumni will continue celebrating with a fish fry at 9 p.m. at the Hampton Inn.

The annual Homecoming Parade is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Pine Avenue in downtown Albany Saturday. ASU officials say the parade will celebrate the university's past, present and future. Clano Stephens, a businessman from Waycross and 1931 graduate from ASU, will serve as grand marshal. More than 100 units are expected to participate in the parade.

ASU's homecoming football game will kick off at 2 p.m. in the Albany Municipal Coliseum with ASU battling Miles College. Tickets for the homecoming football game are available at the ASU Business Office cashier's window in the ACAD Building, Odyssey Records, Capitol City Bank, Connie's Corner, the Petro Store on Radium Springs Road and June Bug's Grocery. The Golden Rams are hoping to extend their current four-game winning streak with their sights set on returning to the national playoffs after losing in the first round last year.

An All Greek Step Show is also scheduled for Saturday in the university's HPER Gym at 6 p.m., and ASU will end its week of celebration later that night with an Old School vs. New School Party at 10 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Inn.

For more information about ASU homecoming activities, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at (229) 430-4658.