Greetings Jackson State University,
I write you today as the blessed, thankful and honored 11th president of THEE! At 12:01 July 1st, I was approaching Yazoo City after having attended the 50th Pastoral Anniversary of my friend, spiritual and fraternal brother Rev. Dr. Harvey Jackson at the Fred B. Clark Fellowship Hall of the Lampton Street Church in Mound Bayou. I pulled off to the side of the road, prayed and thanked God for his continued blessings, and fully began to grasp the awesome responsibility of leading one of the finest universities in the country and State of Mississippi.
At about 1 am, I arrived at 1400 Lynch Street and the beautiful, well-lit and secured campus of "Jackson Fair, Jackson Dear." I pulled into the gates of the Fannie Lou Hamer Guest House, aka the JSU President's home, and enjoyed the splendor of the well-manicured and landscaped grounds as I thanked God for traveling mercy. I awakened at 8:30 am and began my day with prayer by the pond on the property and like a kid at Christmas, took numerous pictures of the house and grounds to share with family and friends.
My first public appearance as the 11th president of JSU was indeed a special and memorable one, the Homegoing Celebration for Archon Dr. Jimmy James, Jr., a two-time fraternity brother (Omega & Boule) at Pearl Street AME Church. The Jackson State family 'showed up & showed out' to pay tribute and homage to a legend of the University and Jackson community. While the entire service was nice, truly a highlight for me and others, was listening to former students and friends play and sing, what a 'joyful noise' unto the Lord and clear expression of Dr. James' gift and service to JSU & humankind.
Today and every day, I thank God for this awesome career blessing and opportunity to continue to fulfil my call and purpose in life, higher education. During my tenure at Jackson State, you will continuously hear, see and observe me emphasizing daily three foundational principles: 1) Student-Centeredness - putting students first and foremost; 2) Teamwork & Collegiality - removing silos and working across divisional & constituency lines; and 3) The Pursuit of Excellence - "raising the bar" educationally & operationally.
Jackson State University is truly a diamond of higher education and the State of Mississippi, and I promise to 24/7/365 work for and cherish her as such. Together, WE will continue to enhance JSU and build upon the great work of our ancestors and predecessors at OUR "dear ole college home."
Hail, Hail to Thee,
William B. Bynum, Jr., Ph.D.
Jackson State University
"Look back and Thank God. Look forward and Trust God. Look around and Serve God. Look within and Find God."