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Selma University celebrates 140 years

By Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

Praises and smiles were in abundance Tuesday morning at the Jemison-Owens Auditorium and Gymnasium as Selma University celebrated 140 years.

Since its founding in 1878, the school’s mission has always been to “prepare men and women for Christian ministry and Christian living in the modern world based on the example of Jesus Christ.”

Guests listened intently during the program as community leaders, church leaders as well as university administrators spoke about the importance and significance of the anniversary.

Wallace Community College Selma president Dr. James Mitchell, Selma City Council president Cory Bowie and Alabama State Missionary Baptist Convention, Inc. all offered greetings to the guests and congratulatory words to university personnel.

“One-hundred and forty years you should be so proud and honored to be a part of an African American institution that has been around in America for 140 years,” Mitchell said.

The theme for the event was taken from the Bible scripture Ezekiel 37:10. “Revived life in a situation that seemed hopeless 140 years ago.”

The Selma University Choir sang several songs throughout the program. “Praise the lord all ye nations. Praise the lord all ye people,” were some of the words sung by the choir as they set the tone of the event through music.

Selma University president Dr. Alvin A. Cleveland Sr. said it is a blessing the university is still here after 140 years.

“We thank God for the vision of our forefathers,” Cleveland said.

Overall, he was happy with the event, and it meant a lot to have the presence of other university administrators supporting the founding of Selma University. He said the things they have in common is that each institution has its ups and downs, but supporting one another is essential.

“When you have the opportunity to have people come and fellowship with you and share with you, it means a lot,” he said.

Carver College president and Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church pastor the Rev. Robert W. Crummie Sr. was the keynote speaker for the event. He too said that universities must stick together in order to continue to progress.

“We can do more together than we could ever do by ourselves,” he said.

He encouraged the guests to donate to institutions like Selma University and help it to continue to thrive.