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 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 Burke Singers and Schola Cantorum

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 p.m.): Sargent Memorial Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.
  • Sunday, March 12 (10 a.m.): Rehoboth Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.
  • Sunday, March 12 (4 p.m.): Fort Foote Baptist Church, Fort Washington, Maryland
  • Wednesday, March 15 (7 p.m.): Salem United Methodist Church, New York City
  • Thursday, March 16 (7 p.m.): Antioch Baptist Church, Cleveland (sponsored by Cuyahoga Community College)
  • Friday, March 17 (7 p.m.): Trinity Baptist Church, Columbus, Ohio
  • Sunday, March 19 (4 p.m.): Mount Calvary Baptist Church, Shelby, North Carolina

The accompanist for the tour is Dr. Myron Brown. The students will perform again in Winston-Salem for the Spring Concert and Scholarship Benefit at 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 26, at First Baptist Church, 700 N. Highland Ave. For other upcoming performances, please visit the Choir Calendar page.

Feb 202017

Enjoy 18 holes of golf at Winston Lake Golf Course while supporting Winston-Salem State University students at the 17th annual WSSU Golf Classic on Friday, April 28.

All proceeds from the event benefit the WSSU Foundation General Scholarship Fund. This year’s fundraising goal is $60,000.

The tournament starts at 7:30 a.m.

The entry fee is $180 per person or $630 per four-person team and includes a cart, green fees, golf balls, souvenirs and lunch. Sponsorships also are available. The deadline for all entries is April 14.

For sponsorship information or to sign up, please visit or contact Regina Craven at 336-750-3147 or The event is one of many planned in celebration of WSSU’s 125th anniversary.

Feb 152017

Dr. Hammond

Dr. W. Ed Hammond, director of Duke University’s Center for Health Informatics, will speak  about the rapidly growing field of health informatics as part of a computer science seminar at Winston-Salem State University at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21.

The seminar will be held in the Elva J. Jones Computer Science Building, room 2200.

Dr. Hammond is a pioneer in the design and implementation of electronic health records and standards, and a distinguished leader in the field of health informatics. Dr. Hammond’s expertise and research interests encompass: artificial intelligence; electronic health records; decision support; disease management; hospital information systems; national and regional information infrastructures; national and international standards; natural language processing; networking and computerization in ambulatory care; national health information infrastructure; patient safety, personal health records; phenotypes; population health; and visualization.

The seminar, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by WSSU’s Department of Computer Science.

Nov 232016
Celebrate the holiday with WSSU's music students

Winston-Salem State University’s Department of Music will help you get in the holiday spirit with two upcoming concerts. Annual Holiday Concert Join the Singing Rams for the Annual Holiday Concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4, in the Kenneth R. Williams Auditorium, 601 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The WSSU Choir, the Burke […]

Nov 172016
Affordable Colleges Online recognizes WSSU’s healthcare programs

WSSU’s School of Health Sciences has been recognized as a top option for bachelor’s degrees in national rankings from Affordable Colleges Online. WSSU is one of only three North Carolina universities to make the top 50 list, which takes into consideration cost, class size and program count. WSSU offers baccalaureate degrees in Clinical Laboratory Sciences, […]

Nov 132016
Students compete with Special Olympic athletes at Panther Bowl

While the WSSU Rams football team was taking care of business at the CIAA Football Championship, another group of Rams was competing and making a difference at the Carolina Panthers practice field in Charlotte. Four WSSU students teamed up with six Forsyth County Special Olympic athletes to compete at the United Flag Football Panther Bowl on Saturday, Nov. 12. […]