Georgia Woman Receives SSU Degree Eight Decades Later


Savannah State University (SSU) awarded an honorary degree of Associate of Humane Letters to Eloise Alston, 97, in Easton, Maryland, in a brief ceremony on June 2. SSU President Cheryl Davenport Dozier personally presented the degree at Alston’s senior living community.

Alston attended SSU, then Georgia State College, to study home economics. She left when her family required her to begin working. She eventually left for Washington, D.C., sending money back home. While she was never able to finish her formal education, she remained loyal to Savannah State.

She is a lifetime member of the SSU National Alumni Association and a past board member of the SSU Foundation. Alston started the SSU Penny Fund which provides funds for current students to help them stay in school.

Willie Roberson is a member of Savannah State University National Alumni Association’s District of Columbia Chapter. “She was a motivating factor for many people in this area who went to Savannah State,” Roberson said. “She did a tremendous job raising money for the school.”

Alston worked in government with the U.S. Bureau of Engraving, the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Department of the Navy. In her retirement she volunteered with the White House, the NAACP and the YWCA for many years.

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