Alcorn State: Modern Student Housing for a Historic School

December 16, 2015

Alcorn State University, located near Vicksburg, Mississippi, was founded in 1871 with eight faculty members and 179 mostly local male students. Today, more than 500 faculty and staff serve over 3,000 students from all over the world, and the school ranks as one of the leading historically black land-grant institutions in the nation. Alcorn State offers seven degree programs in more than fifty areas. The facilities include approximately 80 modern structures with an approximate value of $71 million.

However, with the university’s impressive growth came a number of challenges, including the need for modern student housing to replace antiquated buildings. The expected cost: $47 million to be raised through the issuance of municipal bonds.

For help in structuring and rating the issue, Alcorn State selected Duncan-Williams as sole lead manager, based in large part on the success of a recent, similar transaction for the University of Southern Mississippi. Duncan-Williams brought the bonds to the market in July 2009, and the University began construction the following October. In less than one year, Alcorn State opened two state-of-the-art residence halls and an amenities building.

Named for a noted civil rights activist and ASU alumnus, the Medgar Wiley Evers Heritage Village comprises four housing units plus amenities including a fitness center, convenience store, computer labs and more. Interim President Norris Allen Edney called the project, “One of the most outstanding achievements we’ve had in recent years… students will benefit from living in the Medgar Wiley Evers Heritage Village because of easy access to classes, services and social engagement.” Student housing representative Amber Smith added, “The whole process, including the signing of the bond, has been educational, and I look forward to every step in the process.”

DW is proud to have helped bring this plan to fruition and to serve the university and its surrounding communities.