Alcorn State University is saddened to announce former interim president, Norris Allen Edney, Sr., died Saturday at his home in Natchez, Mississippi.
Edney served as interim president from February 2010 to January 2011 and acting president from December 2013 to March 2014, guiding the university through two presidential transitions. Under Edney’s leadership, Alcorn had a familiar and steady hand to steer it through SACS reaffirmation of accreditation in 2010.
President Alfred Rankins, Jr. shared the news stating, “We are shocked and saddened to hear the news about one of the most respected and long-serving educators in Alcorn’s 146-year history.” Rankins continued, “Alcorn has lost a treasured former longtime professor, university leader and dear mentor and friend. We ask the university family to please keep Dr. Edney’s wife, Lillian, their children and families in your thoughts and prayers.”
Throughout his career, Edney served Alcorn in multiple roles beginning as a biology instructor in 1963. He worked his way up to various leadership positions including chairman of the Department of Biology, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, dean of Graduate Studies, and interim dean of the School of Nursing. He also served as president of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) from 1979-1984.
“Alcorn has lost one of its long-standing pillars with the passing of Dr. Norris Edney,” said Donzell Lee, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Edney was a mentor and role model to many. His guidance, wisdom and most importantly, his presence and voice had an immeasurable impact on the Alcorn family.”
Edney also served his community as president of the Natchez-Adams County School Board. He earned an associate degree from Natchez Junior College, a bachelor’s degree in biology from Tougaloo College, a master’s degree in biology from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Colorado, and a doctorate degree in conservation from Michigan State University.
“Dr. Edney was a remarkable man and a consistent leader who never passed on an opportunity to share his wisdom and experience with those entrusted with the University’s future,” said Marcus Ward, vice president for institutional Advancement and executive director of the ASU Foundation, Inc. “He was extremely generous in offering sound advice to young leaders. For that, we are extremely thankful and extend our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Lillian and to all of the Edney family and friends.”
Vice president for student affairs, Emanuel Barnes, added, “Dr. Edney’s heartfelt love for Alcorn was uncompromising. He was a widely admired and effective administrator throughout Mississippi and the higher education community. Our hearts and prayers are with his wife and their family.”
Arrangements will be announced when available.