143rd Fall Convocation

Event Time


“Legacy 143: Continuing the Vision of Excellence”

Convocation Speaker: The Right Reverend Dr. Richard Franklin Norris, Sr. Presiding Prelate for the 7th Episcopal District of the AME Church and Chairman of the Allen University Board of Trustees

Allen University, Columbia, South Carolina, will hold its one hundred and forty- third (143rd) Fall Convocation, Thursday, September 6, 2012 at 10:00 AM. The ceremony is scheduled to take place inside the John Hurst Adams Gymnatorium, which is located on the Allen University campus at 1530 Harden Street. This event is free and open to the public.  Allen University is honored to welcome Bishop Richard Franklin Norris, Sr., as Chairman of the Board of Trustees and keynote speaker. Bishop Norris is the 116th consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. In July 2012, Bishop Norris was appointed at the Forty-Ninth Quadrennial Conference of the African Methodist Episcopal Church to serve the Seventh Episcopal District, which encompasses the state of South Carolina.  Bishop Norris was educated in the Pennsylvania Public School System. After graduating from West Philadelphia High School, he attended Morris Brown College and then transferred to Rutgers University where he received his Bachelor’s Degree. Having received the call to ministry at age 15, he attended the New Brunswick Theological Seminary and the New York Theological Seminary, where he received his Doctor of Ministry Degree. Bishop Norris has received honorary doctorates from the Lee Theological Seminary, Wilberforce University, Payne Theological Seminary, and Monrovia College. His fellowships have included the Ford Foundation Urban Training Center (Chicago), the Lilly Foundation, the New York City Mission Society and the New York Theological Seminary. Bishop Norris has served the First Episcopal District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which includes Pennsylvania, Bermuda, New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia. He has also served in the 14th Episcopal District in West Africa where he rebuilt churches, schools, and universities that had been destroyed in the ongoing unrest in the area. Bishop Norris has done much to improve the quality of life in the communities in which he has served.  We cannot introduce Bishop Norris without including our beloved Episcopal Supervisor, Mrs. Mary Ann Norris, his wife and soul mate for over forty years. Bishop and Supervisor Norris are the proud parents of two sons.

Coverage Logistics

Reporters and media interested in covering the event will need to present valid press and photo identification on site. Advance registration for media and limited parking provisions for satellite/media trucks will be required no later than Thursday, August 30, 2012, with the Office of Institutional Advancement at 803-376-5728 or

About Allen University

Allen University, founded in 1870, is a private, Historically Black College and University (HBCU), located in Columbia, South Carolina. Allen University is named after Bishop Richard Allen, the remarkable founder of the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Allen University is recognized as the first university in South Carolina founded by African Americans for the education of African Americans. Initially, the university focused on training ministers and teachers, but has since enlarged its scope to produce graduates in other disciplines. The university is committed to providing high quality instruction to its students. Allen University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award baccalaureate degrees.

Please join us in celebrating our 143rd year.