VSU plans week of events to celebrate installation of President Abdullah

PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State University will host an Investiture Ceremony for its 14th President, Makola M. Abdullah, Ph.D. on Friday, March 24 at 10 a.m. in the VSU Multipurpose Center. The Investiture Ceremony is part of a week-long celebration.

On February 1, 2017, Abdullah celebrated his first year as president of VSU. Within in his year of leadership, the freshman enrollment increased by 30 percent, the University was removed from warning status by the Southern Association of Colleges and Universities Commission on Colleges and the University opened its Academic Excellence Center, which serves as an university learning center designed to help students develop successful study skills, prepare for careers and internships, receive academic advisement and learn about study abroad opportunities.

Abdullah, a native of Chicago, is an academic administrator committed to excellence. He attended Northwestern University for his master’s and doctoral studies. At 24, he became the youngest African-American to receive a Ph.D. in engineering. He earned his undergraduate degree from Howard University in civil engineering.

“The Trojans of Virginia State University are extremely excited about the official installing of Dr. Makola M. Abdullah as the 14th president of Virginia State University,” said Reshunda Mahone, vice president for Institutional Advancement and chair of the inaugural committee. “The committee worked very hard to carefully scheduled events that would engage students, faculty, staff, alumni and the community.”

The theme for inaugural week is “Embracing Our Legacy while Transforming Our Future,” which reflects the rich history and future of the University.

The scheduled events for the week are as follows:

  • Sunday, March 19: Prayer Walk & Interfaith Service
    • 2 p.m. at Virginia Hall, Anderson Turner Auditorium
  • Tuesday, March 21: Sip & Paint featuring First Lady Dr. Ahkinyala Cobb-Abdullah
    • 7 p.m. at Gateway Dining & Event Center, tickets are $35
  • Wednesday, March 22: Petersburg Symphony Performance
    •  7 p.m. at Virginia Hall, Anderson Turner Auditorium
  • Thursday, March 23:
    • Founders Day, 9 a.m. at Virginia Hall, Anderson Turner Auditorium
    • Return to Serve with VSU Alumni Association, 1 p.m., VSU Campus
    • Academic Forum, 5 p.m., Virginia Hall, Anderson Turner Auditorium
  • Friday, March 24:
    • Investiture Ceremony, 10 a.m., VSU Multipurpose Center
    • Student Celebration in Honor of President Abdullah, 9 p.m., Daniel Gymnasium
  • Saturday, March 25:
    • President’s Basketball Game, 10 a.m., Daniel Gymnasium
    • Inaugural Gala, 7 p.m., VSU Multipurpose Center

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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