Last updated: April 11. 2014 10:31AM - 676 Views
By Larry Sutton Contributing columnist

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A group of us locals meet monthly on the second Monday at 6:30 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 900 College St. in Clinton. We share a very special and common bond — a sense of pride in being graduates of NC A&T, with A&T having been our home away from home for four years. At the end of each monthly gathering, we lift our voices and sing our alma mater, saying these words: “With joy, with joy, dear A&T, thy students turn from thee to spread the trophies year by year from Dare to Cherokee.”

Last month, on March 20, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University observed its 123rd Founders’ Day, celebrating “123 years of excellence in academics, research and community engagement.” And we want to share with prospective students and the community at large a few “points of pride” about NC A&T.

First, the university is ranked No. 8 in the nation (No. 1 in the state) among the public and private historically black colleges and universities. Second, NC A&T has launched two new doctoral degree programs, bringing the university’s total number of Ph.D programs to 10. Thirdly, NC A&T is ranked No. 1 for master’s degrees awarded in engineering to African American graduate students and professionals. Finally, the university’s leader, Chancellor Harold L. Martin said, “We are excited about being named the No. 1 HBCU in the nation for our online education programs.”

Hoping to transform our Aggie Pride into action, this group of NC A&T alumi first met in the early months of 2011 and organized the Sampson County Chapter of the North Carolina A& Alumi Association, receiving its official charter on Dec. 15, 2012.

Realizing that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste,” the local A&T alumi chapter’s focus has been on creating opportunities for us to secure funds to provide scholarship assistance to well-deserving local students who wish to attend NC A&T.

Later this month, on Saturday, April 26, the county alumni chapter will hots its third annual Gospel Talent Scholarship program. This event will be held at Poplar Grove Baptist Church, Faison Highway, beginning at 7 p.m. Everyone is invited to join the local NC A&T alumni chapter for an evening of uplifting music and spoken words and spiritual inspiration.

Your generous support of our 2012 and 2013 scholarship benefits has enabled us to award three $1,000 scholarships to freshman students currently attending NC A&T.

Your 2014 support will help other deserving local high school students in achieving their academic and professional aspirations. With the support of our churches and local organizations that share our commitment of investing in our youth, we can all do more in helping to steer our children on “the road to better things.”

What better legacy to leave than your being involved in providing opportunities to help change a student’s life in a positive manner.

Thank you Alumni, friends and supporters of NC A&T for your support in giving back with your time, talents and money for the next generations of Aggies. Let’s “be remembered for changing a student’s life.”

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