Alfred Owens Scholarship
Established in 2005 by Dr. Deanna Cross, this scholarship memorializes the life of Alfred Owens, the first African-American applicant to Armstrong State University. Owens was born in 1934 in Early Branch, South Carolina, but was raised in Savannah, Georgia. He graduated from A.E. Beach High School and in March of 1961, he applied to Armstrong Junior College only to be denied due to segregation laws. Despite this setback, Owens decided to enlist in the Marines and upon completing his service as a Gunnery Sergeant, the segregationist laws were no longer in place and he was allowed to enroll at Armstrong. After earning a Bachelor’s at Armstrong, he enrolled at the University of South Carolina where he earned his Master’s of Library Science Degree. In the fall of 1983, he returned to Armstrong where he received additional training in media and teacher education. Owens was quickly hired as a Minority Recruitment Officer in 1984 and in 1986, he was appointed as Professor and Director of Minority Affairs. He held that position until his retirement in 1998. Mr. Owens was recognized as an Armstrong Notable Alumnus in 2010 and passed in 2015. During his life, he was a member of the NAACP and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. This scholarship is available to African-American students who are in their senior year who have a minimum GPA of 2.5, who are enrolled at least part-time, and have financial need.