February 10, 2003
In Albany State's Centennial year, alumni president Evelyn Hudson is celebrating an anniversary of her own, 50 years at ASU.
"It has become home for me," Hudson said. Her kids and grandchildren went there and she hopes their grandchildren will be ASU alumni one day as well. But she says she's concerned for the school's future for one simple reason, an idea building just a few miles down the road.
"Housing is an issue that's continually arisen over the 14 years I've been here," Darton President Peter Sireno said.
Now they are considering taking their proposal further, to the University System's chancellor. But it seems ASU's alumni got there first, with help from another historically black school that had it's enrollment figures drop when their neighbor constructed dormitories.
"That's what happened at Savannah State, Armstrong built dorms and then they became a four year institution," Hudson said. "We're trying to make sure that doesn't happen here, and everyone works within their missions.
The chancellor's office says the missions of the two schools are very different. Unlike at ASU, Darton is not meant to be a residential university, so they would need to submit an extraordinary proposal. Still they say they'll keep working at it.
"Needs of the college have changed, needs of students have changed, so the college has changed," Sireno said.
More and more students are travelling upwards of 60 miles for allied health programs, so he says dorms are becoming less of a luxury and more of a priority. Meanwhile priority number one for the ASU Alumni, "fair and equal treatment."