TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) -- Its purpose is to raise money for scholarships and Mississippi Valley State University.
Saturday night's event was festive and had the look and feel of what it was billed to be, a gala and dance.
"Tonight is a grand event for the community, really, and also for graduates of Mississippi Valley State University," said Debbie Jones, the event organizer.
Organizers say Mississippi Valley State was founded in 1950, the youngest historically-African American university in the country.
The alumni members here say it's a school that they cherish very much.
"Being an alumni of Mississippi Valley State and being able to spend four years on campus, it teaches you a lot of dedication," said Russell Brooks, the group's newly-elected president. "It teaches you to have a lot of self-motivation. You get individual attention where at lot of those universities with a lot of students, you're just a number."
There was a very festive atmosphere at the alumni celebration, but organizers were quick to point out that the whole idea is to raise money for the univeristy.
Former Circuit Court Judge Barry Ford is a 1968 graduate of Valley State.
He was guest speaker for this event.
For the most part, he says, the school has seen its better days in terms of enrollment.
However, he sees a chance for the university to reach out to the community and attract young graduates through events like this one.
"It's a lot different now. They are struggling with the economy like it is. No funding. You know, that's what we're going to talk about tonight, to get people who graduated from there to give back," Ford said. "If everybody gave $10 a month to help support it, [it'd be a start]. You know, they're running on empty."
Mississippi Valley State was orginally called Mississippi Vocational College.
The name was changed in 1964.
It is located in Itta Bena.