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African American High School Honors Ceremony

The African American Honor Ceremony is a special program presented by Philander Smith University created in the Spring Semester of 2016 with the intention to honor and show recognition for the academic accomplishments of local African American High School Students. Since its inception, over 1000 students have been honored and received scholarships to attend Philander Smith University.

Structure and Flow: The Ceremony occurs on the last Sunday of black history month, (this year being February 26th), and is designed around honoring and showing recognition for the academic accomplishments of local students. Each student honoree will receive a certificate and medallion, and those individuals who are eligible for scholarships from Philander Smith University (S.T.A.R.T Scholarship, Taylor Scholarship, Thomas Mason Scholarship, and Presidential Scholarship) will receive further recognition afterward. During the ceremony, there is also recognition of previous honorees who are present and currently enrolled to Philander as students.


Reception: Immediately following the Ceremony there is a Reception for the honorees and parents who all attended and were honored. Here, there will be Photos taken place, as well as the interaction between current students and the honorees. Admissions will be presently working on admitting and accepting documents form students. This is where students can also pick up their certificate and scholarship. Divisional chairs are also present to share information about their program as well as student projects/accomplishments on display

Scholarships: Scholarships provided during the ceremony are offered to students who qualify based on their GPA as well as their ACT/SAT test score. Below is an overview of these scholarships: 

Presidential Scholarship: Full tuition, room, board and fees

  • GPA – 3.4 or higher
  • ACT/SAT – 25/1130

Thomas Mason Scholarship: Full tuition and fees

  • GPA – 3.2 or higher
  • ACT/SAT – 21-24/970

George Taylor scholarship: Half Tuition

  • GPA – 3.0 or higher
  • ACT/SAT – 18-20/860-970

S.T.A.R.T Scholarship: $10,000 over 4 years (8 semesters)

  • GPA – 3.0 
  • ACT/SAT – N/A


To RSVP, students can utilize the following link to submit their form:


To contact the college regarding any questions about the ceremony please reach out to or call 501-442-7780. Student nominations for the honors ceremony can also be made at the email noted.