Former SWAC, ALCN President Dr. Edney passes away
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Southwestern Athletic Conference is saddened to announce that former league and Alcorn State president Dr. Norris Allen Edney passed away at his home in Natchez, Miss. on Aug. 26. He was 81. One of the most prolific and well-regarded educators and leaders in the history of Alcorn State University and the state of Mississippi, Edney served in numerous administrative capacities during his time on the Reservation. He began his career at Alcorn State as a biology instructor in 1963 and later became chairman of the Biology Department, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, dean of graduate studies and interim dean of the nursing school.
“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,” Alcorn President Dr. Alfred Rankins, Jr. said in a statement. “Alcorn has lost a treasured former longtime professor, university leader and dear mentor and friend.” Following his retirement as dean in 2000, Edney served in a leadership role on the Natchez-Adams School Board as well as the Mississippi State School Board. He held these posts for nearly a decade before taking the role of interim president of Alcorn State in 2010-11 – during which he led the school through the re-accreditation process – and once again assuming leadership of the university from December 2013 to March 2014, ultimately steering Alcorn through two presidential searches.
Additionally, Edney held the post of SWAC President from 1979-1984. Edney earned an associate’s degrees from Natchez Junior College in Mississippi; a bachelor's degree in biology from Tougaloo College in Mississippi; a master's degree in biology from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Colorado; and a doctoral degree in conservation from Michigan State University. Edney is survived by his wife, Lillie, as well as three children, seven grandchildren and a host of nieces, nephews, family and friends. Funeral service for Edney will also be held at Rose Hill Baptist Church Friday, Sept. 1 at 11 a.m. Flowers, plants and cards may be sent to Mackel & Sons Funeral Home, located at 300N Dr. M. L. King St. in Natchez.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in honor of Edney may be sent to the Edney Special Fund at the ASU Foundation, Inc. in honor of Mornita Shyrelle Edney or to the charity of your choice.
Alcorn State University Communications contributed to this report.