Mar 232017
 

Bakari Sellers

Bakari Sellers, who made history in 2006 as the youngest African American elected official in the nation, will be the speaker at Winston-Salem State University’s 2017 Commencement Ceremony at 9:45 a.m. on Friday, May 19.

At age 22, Sellers defeated a 26-year incumbent state representative to become the youngest member of the South Carolina State Legislature, serving from 2006-14. In 2014, he was the Democratic nominee for South Carolina lieutenant governor. More recently, he has served as a political commentator and analyst for CNN and MSNBC.

“We are honored to have Bakari Sellers as our commencement speaker,” said Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. “Rep. Sellers has shown a commitment to championing social justice and is widely considered a political rising star. I know his message will be thought-provoking and uplifting for our graduates as they prepare to leave WSSU and begin the next chapters of their lives.”

He earned his undergraduate degree from Morehouse College, where he served as student body president, and his law degree from the University of South Carolina. Sellers then followed in the footsteps of his father, civil rights leader and educator Dr. Cleveland Sellers, in his commitment to service, addressing issues ranging from education and poverty to preventing domestic violence and childhood obesity.

Sellers served on President Barack Obama’s South Carolina steering committee during the 2008 election and spoke at the 2008 Democratic National Convention.

In 2010, he was named to Time magazine’s “40 Under 40,” and in 2014 made The Root’s list of the nation’s 100 most influential African Americans. He has provided commentary and analysis for CNN and MSNBC, including multiple appearances on “Hardball with Chris Matthews” and “Morning Joe.” 

Sellers practices law with the Strom Law Firm in Columbia, South Carolina. He is married to Dr. Ellen Rucker-Sellers.

The ceremony will recognize more than 1,200 graduates who received their degrees during summer and fall 2016 and spring 2017. This includes:

  • More than 1,100 undergraduates
  • 129 graduates (master’s and doctoral)
  • Three post-graduate certificates

The ceremony will be held, weather permitting, at Bowman Gray Stadium. The rain location is Winston-Salem’s Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum. For those who cannot attend, the ceremony will be live-streamed on WSSU’s website. 

For more information, please visit WSSU’s Commencement website.

Mar 232017
 

Four full-time students at Winston-Salem State University were selected to receive $2,500 scholarships from a donation from Toyota Financial Services (TFS) and the Tom Joyner Foundation. The organizations awarded $10,000 each to five historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) in honor of the life and vision of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The following scholarship recipients were selected by the WSSU Office of Financial Aid:

Dijoh Means

Dijon Means, Winston-Salem

He is a freshman majoring in sports management with post-graduation plans of attending law school while pursuing an acting career, and later becoming a sports attorney. His motto for success is inspired by Proverbs 6:10-11, “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest, and poverty will come upon you like a robber and want like an armed man.”

 

 

Sydney Neely

Sydney Neely, Charlotte

She is a senior pursuing a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. After graduation, her hopes are to obtain a master’s in medical sciences and attend dental school, in preparation for a career in dentistry. Her motivation comes from her parents, mentor/former professor, and the Bible verses in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

 

 

April Whitfield

April Whitfield, Fort Washington, Maryland

She is a senior majoring in music education. Following in the footsteps of her parents, who obtained their degrees and careers in music, she plans to pursue a master’s in vocal pedagogy and become a music educator. April is inspired most by the motto, “We’ve come this far by faith.” It reminds her that without faith, success is nonexistent.

 

 

Adrienne Wilson

Adrienne C. Wilson, Charlotte

She is a freshman majoring in biology who aspires to work in the medical field as a dentist. She firmly believes she can accomplish anything she sets her mind to, and holds on to her paternal grandmother’s encouragement to always put forth her best effort.

 

 

 

A bold past. A brilliant future.

For 125 years, Winston-Salem State University has fostered the creative thinking, analytical problem-solving, and depth of character needed to transform the world. Rooted in liberal education, WSSU’s curriculum prepares students to be thought leaders who have the skills and knowledge needed to develop innovative solutions to complex problems. WSSU is a historically Black constituent institution of the University of North Carolina with a rich tradition of contributing to the social, cultural, intellectual, and economic growth of North Carolina, the region and beyond. Guided by the motto, “Enter to Learn. Depart to Serve,” WSSU develops leaders who advance social justice by serving the world with compassion and commitment. Join us in celebrating our 125th anniversary with events throughout 2017. Learn more at www.wssu.edu/125th.

About The Tom Joyner Foundation

The Tom Joyner Foundation was founded in 1998 as the brainchild of nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner. The mission of the Foundation is to support historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) with scholarships, endowments and capacity-building enhancements. The Foundation has provided necessary support to every HBCU in its 18-year history to help sustain and preserve the legacies of these valuable institutions. Through fundraising and donor development initiatives, $65 million has been raised to support more than 29,000 students attending HBCUs. Additionally, the Foundation has recommended internships, offered matching grant support, and career development to deserving students.

About Toyota Financial Services

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) is the finance and insurance brand for Toyota in the United States, offering retail auto financing and leasing through Toyota Motor Credit Corporation (TMCC) and Toyota Lease Trust. TFS also offers extended service contracts through Toyota Motor Insurance Services (TMIS). The company services Lexus dealers and customers using the Lexus Financial Services brand. TFS currently employs approximately 3,100 associates nationwide, and has assets totaling nearly $116 billion. It is part of a worldwide network of comprehensive financial services offered by Toyota Financial Services Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Corporation. We announce material financial information using the investor relations section of our website (www.toyotafinancial.com) and SEC filings. We use these channels, press releases, and social media to communicate about our company, our services and other issues. While not all information we post on social media is of a material nature, some information could be material. Therefore, we encourage those interested in our company to review our posts on Twitter at @toyotafinancial.

Mar 092017
 

From left: Mike Brenner, WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson, Wendy Brenner and WSSU Provost Brenda Allen.

The Winston-Salem State University Foundation has received a $250,000 gift from Mike and Wendy Brenner that will create a distinguished faculty position in the College of Arts, Sciences, Business and Education.

The donation, with a 100 percent match from the University of North Carolina Board of Governors Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund, will create a $500,000 endowment to help WSSU attract outstanding faculty. Endowed professorship funds support faculty salaries and research-related expenses. They allow the university to attract and retain the highest caliber faculty.

In addition, the Brenners have pledged $125,000 –  $25,000 annually for five years – to support student success. The first $25,000 gift was received in January.

“The Brenner family has a strong family culture of supporting the Winston-Salem community,” said WSSU Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson. “We could not be more pleased that Mike and Wendy are investing in Winston-Salem State University. Their gifts help us in our endeavor to provide our students with the high-quality education they so deserve.”

Wendy Brenner said the gift occurred after an on-campus meeting in January where Robinson and WSSU Provost Brenda Allen outlined the university’s 2016-21 strategic plan. The vision calls for a significant investment of resources to provide students the strong writing, problem-solving and other critical skills they need to compete successfully in the global marketplace.

“We feel really good about what we are doing,” said Wendy Brenner. “Winston-Salem State University is a great institution and a great community resource. Creating educational opportunities for people in Winston-Salem is something important to us. We challenge others to support WSSU.”

The Winston-Salem State University Foundation, a private, non-profit organization independent of the university, generates resources to support the strategic initiatives of the university. For more information, please visit wssufoundation.org.

Mar 082017
 

WSSU Trustee Coretta Bigelow (right) presents a Chancellor Scholarship to Miracle Cooke, a senior at Southern Guilford High School.

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) trustees, Foundation board members and alumni visited high schools across North Carolina, surprising seniors with the news that they have received one of WSSU’s most prestigious scholarships.

The visits, between Feb. 27 and March 6, included stops at high schools in Wilmington, Durham, Charlotte and Greensboro.

The 26 seniors, who have applied and been accepted to WSSU for fall, are recipients of the Chancellor Scholarship, a merit-based award that pays for all tuition and fees not covered by state or federal grant sources or other scholarships. The scholarship also includes a book stipend of up to $650 per term.

Among those surprising students were: Dr. William U. Harris, chair of the WSSU Board of Trustees; Trustees Coretta Bigelow and Kelvin Farmer; WSSU Foundation Board of Directors Terry Griffin and Bill Miller; and WSSU alumni  Chris Wilson and Patti Sanders-Smith.

Mar 072017
 
The Singing Rams hit the road for spring break

Winston-Salem State University’s Singing Rams are hitting the road for spring break, with seven performances in four states and Washington, D.C., starting on Saturday, March 11. The Burke Singers and Schola Cantorum, under the director of Maestra D’Walla Simmons-Burke, will perform in the following locations as part of the 2017 Spring Tour: Saturday, March 11 (4 […]

Mar 022017
 
WSSU’s DPT program a 100 percent success

Recent graduates of Winston-Salem State University’s Doctor of Physical Therapy program have received a perfect 100 percent first-time passage rate on their licensure exams, the Federation of State Boards of Physical Therapy recently announced. And, if that wasn’t a big enough reason to celebrate, of the department’s 25 graduates in 2016, three received a perfect […]

Mar 012017
 
John Taylor bequest provides $300,000 to WSSU

  The Winston-Salem State University Foundation has received a $300,000 bequest from John Taylor, the retired CEO of Taylor Oil Company and a longtime supporter of the university. Taylor passed away in August 2016. The gift will create an endowment at WSSU that will support student success. “Although Mr. Taylor is not an alumnus of […]

Feb 282017
 
Vote to #RetoolYourSchool

Winston-Salem State University is competing for up to $50,000 in grants as part of Home Depot’s 2017 Home Depot Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program. Home Depot will award $360,000 in grants to nine Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with the highest votes. The top three vote-getters in each category will receive grants of […]

Feb 272017
 
WSSU qualifies for Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

For the 18th consecutive time, Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) students will compete at the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC) National Championship Tournament. After seven qualifying rounds held in February, WSSU’s team was chosen to be one of 48 teams competing at the tournament, which will run April 8-11 in Torrance, California. The tournament showcases the […]

Feb 242017
 
Diggs director named to Time magazine list

Endia Beal, director of the Diggs Gallery at Winston-Salem State University, has been named to Time magazine’s list of “12 African American Photographers You Should Know Right Now.” “Her work is outstanding in documenting and narrating social issues in an often sardonic manner that is always respectful to her subjects,” writes Azu Nwagbogu, director African […]