Mi’Lisa Patton – Savannah State University ’12

Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration. Also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Attending an HBCU was not my first option. I wanted to go to a big school out of state. My hopes were set on the University of Alabama and you couldn’t get me to believe anything otherwise. I applied, got accepted, and paid all my deposits. I was all set, until a conversation with a family friend changed the trajectory of my life. My dream school was completely unaffordable. Which I knew, but at that time I didn’t care. I was 18, how things actually got paid for was none of my concern. After realizing that going to the University would take away nearly 40% of my family’s income I decided to switch gears. In April of my senior year I applied to Savannah State University. The Alma Marta of my first mentor, second grade principal, and finest role model Mrs. Beauty Baldwin. I knew if Savannah State University was good enough for Georgia’s first African-American female superintendent, it was good enough for me. I can’t tell you how excited Mrs. Baldwin was when she heard the good news. My own grandmother got a little jealous at my graduation party because Mrs. Baldwin was so proud to tell everyone that “her Mi’Lisa was going to Savannah State University!” Just thinking about it still makes me laugh and puts a smile on my face.

Although I did not initially choose Savannah State, Savannah State choose me. It was exactly where I needed to be. I will forever be grateful for the nurturing, molding, and grooming I received while there. I was more than a number, I was a person. A person who was cared about, pushed to be the best she could be, and challenged to rise to the woman she was destined to become. For the first time in my life I wasn’t a minority student, I was just a student. For my 4 at Savannah State I was simply Mi’Lisa. I was surrounded by black excellence daily. Those 4 years at Savannah State were a godsend. My heart will forever be indebted to the Illustrious University by the Sea, all hail SSU!

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