Members of the Jackson community gathered on Lane College’s campus to attend the institution’s third annual Founder’s Day Celebration and Scholarship Gala Sunday afternoon.
Founded in 1882 by former slave Isaac Lane, Lane College is one of the oldest historically black colleges in the nation. Tickets for the gala sold out weeks in advance of the event. The gala raises scholarship funding for students and giving has increased each year the event has been held.
“It’s exciting to know that the gala is for our students and that our students will be highlighted. This evening provides higher education opportunities to deserving students, so it’s always an exciting event for us," Lane’s Chief of Staff, Darlette Samuels, said.
Over 500 people were in attendance and Grammy winning gospel artist CeCe Winans performing. In addition to Winans, the Lane College Concert Choir performed with representatives from Jackson’s faith community present, including Father Wes Gristy of All Saints Anglican Church and Dr. Daryll Coleman of Mother Liberty CME Church.
Samuels said she enjoys the planning of the celebration each year and she likes seeing the look on the faces of their guests as they walk into the transformed gymnasium.
“It’s a big party because this marks the Bishop Isaac Lane’s birthday,” Samuels said. “We are celebrating the founding of the college as well as the birth of our founder,” she said.
Lane’s campus gym was altered into a formal gala space for the event. Chandeliers illuminated the space, 68 tables were covered in the college’s traditional royal blue and the decor was supplemented with gold accents and centerpieces.
“This really is a special evening,” said Dr. Logan Hampton, president of Lane College. “It’s an evening that both celebrates Lane’s founding and Lane’s future.
"Tonight the community has been invited to share in the legacy that Isaac Lane began over a century ago and to invest in the legacy that our students are currently building.”