We have received a commitment from an anonymous donor for the building of an indoor sports and education facility that will completely cover the cost of construction, along with a grant from the Nash County Tourism Development Authority. The vision is to provide North Carolina Wesleyan College the opportunity to enhance the scope of its educational and sports offerings, along with increasing partnerships and involvement within the local community through educational and sports programs for adults and youth. Wesleyan hopes to provide sports not readily available in this area, namely squash, indoor tennis and pickleball. Wesleyan has applied and been approved for a building permit with the Rocky Mount Planning Board. A construction start date has not been set at this time. The hope is that the facility will be completed by Spring of 2020.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Dr. Evan D. Duff, Provost of North Carolina Wesleyan College, has accepted a two-year contract as Interim President of the College. Duff was appointed as Acting President by Board of Trustees on Friday, June 14.
“I am dedicated to Wesleyan and to continuing to move the College in a positive direction, where the mission of the College is fulfilled and a liberal arts education makes a difference in the lives of the students it serves,” stated Duff.
Dr. Duff earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Mount Olive College, a master’s in administration from Central Michigan University and a doctorate in organizational leadership from Nova Southeastern University. He has served in multiple leadership roles at the College since 2011, most recently as Provost.
During his time at Wesleyan, Duff held positions as Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs, Vice President of Adult & Professional Studies, adjunct professor and Provost. In these roles, he was responsible for leading efforts to approve new majors, co-writing the College’s first graduate application to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools- Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC) and creating seven new off-site instructional locations. He was also responsible for facilitating the development of partnerships with 20 two-year and four-year colleges, which led to articulation agreements or memorandums of understanding between those colleges and NC Wesleyan.
Prior to joining Wesleyan, Dr. Duff was the Dean of Extended Education at Mount Olive College (now University of Mount Olive) and Director of their Washington, NC campus. Throughout his career, he has authored or co-authored a great number of academic publications and presentations. He has been honored with a variety of awards for service to the College and the community.
He and his family are active at Hope Community Church in Cary, NC. Previously, they were active members of Covenant UMC in Greenville, where he served on the Pastoral Personnel Committee. Dr. Duff and his wife of 21 years, Marcy, have three sons and a daughter – Tyson, Landon, Peyton and Chloe. Their family has a love for animals and have adopted into their home four dogs and two cats, all of which are rescues.
At approximately 4:00 p.m. this afternoon a strong line of thunderstorms moved through the Rocky Mount area causing damage at the College. Thankfully, all damage was isolated to the sports fields and no one was injured or buildings harmed.
Earlier in the day an alert was sent out by the College regarding the possibility of severe weather. As the storm approached, coaches became concerned, cancelled an active sporting event and others sought shelter in the Field House. The storm resulted in significant damage to Brackettville Softball Field, the most prevalent being downed fencing, moved and damaged bleachers, a torn down scoreboard and the home field dugout was destroyed. Other areas of campus such as the Bauer Baseball Field and Vernon T. Bradley Practice Football Field also sustained fence damage.
Power on campus went out due to power lines being down along Thomas A. Betts Parkway. At this time, emergency generators with limited power are being utilized on campus with hopes that power will be restored by Friday. Approximately fifty trees were broken off or down in the woods along the highway. The National Weather Service in Raleigh has been advised of the incident and may assist in determining whether this was straight line winds or a possible tornado.
Though the College is on summer break, there were still several camps and overnight guests on campus. Many from the Wesleyan family quickly poured in and assisted in removing debris, gathering equipment and collecting field maintenance gear from the damaged softball storage house adjacent to field.
On Monday, June 10th, the Executive Committee of the North Carolina Wesleyan College’s Board of Trustees received and accepted President Dewey Clark’s resignation. The Board of Trustees and the College community appreciate the many accomplishments and milestones reached during Dr. Clark’s tenure, all of which have helped make Wesleyan the college it is today. After dedicating over 30 years of his life to Wesleyan as a student, employee, board of trustee member and President, Dr. Clark now wishes to explore other opportunities.
The Chair of Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees, Dr. Dan Crocker, commented that Dr. Clark has worked tirelessly since he became president. His love for the college is reflected in the improvements made on campus, just one of a number of successes. All the Wesleyan Trustees wish Dr. Clark and his family the very best as he pursues other endeavors.
Effective immediately, Dr. Evan Duff will become Wesleyan’s Interim President. Dr. Duff has served Wesleyan over the last eight years in the capacities of Vice President of Adult and Professional Studies, Interim Provost and currently as the College’s Provost/Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs. Combined, he has over sixteen years of higher education experience.
Graduates Inaugural Masters Class
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College held its Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 4 at the Rocky Mount Event Center. This year’s commencement speaker was Tony Stroud, alumnus of Wesleyan and founder and CEO of Stroud & Company, a Wilmington, NC accounting firm.
Stroud, spoke about graduates staying true to themselves, filtering through the noise and listening to their inner voice. “Integrity is who you are when no one is looking. That whisper is who you are when everyone is looking. And if you listen to that whisper, you win,” stated Stroud. After his speech, an honorary degree of Doctor of Humanities was bestowed upon Stroud.
Spring 2019 graduation was especially moving as Wesleyan honored Brad Melton, who passed away in December 2018, with a Posthumous Degree. Brad was a member of the Class of 2019 in the Master of Criminal Justice program. Brad’s mother was in attendance to receive the degree in his memory.
There were 233 undergraduate students in the Class of 2019 Saturday, with over 2,650 guests in attendance. In addition, 11 students graduated in the first cohort of Wesleyan’s new Master’s in Criminal Justice program.
“We are very excited to graduate our first master’s class,” stated Wesleyan President Dr. Dewey Clark. “These students, both undergraduate and graduate, have gained a wealth of knowledge here at Wesleyan and they are ready to go out and take on the world. I wish them nothing but the best.”
Beverly Anaele received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award which honors a senior who best exemplifies excellence in character, leadership and service to the community. Anaele obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical science. She will pursue a Master of Public Health at Thomas Jefferson University in the fall.
The President’s Cup, an award that recognizes the attainment of the highest standards of academic performance, went to Jessica Brabble. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and will pursue a Master of History at Virginia Tech in fall 2019.
Dr. Erica Kosal, Professor of Biology, received the Exemplary Teacher Award which honors excellence in teaching, service to the college and scholarship.
This year’s graduates hail from 10 states around the country, calling home Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia. There were sixteen international graduates from Argentina, Egypt, El Salvador, Greece, Nepal, Nigeria, Panama, Sweden, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College will hold its Spring Commencement on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 10 a.m. at the Rocky Mount Event Center located at 285 NE Main Street, Rocky Mount. Graduates must arrive by 8:30 a.m. dressed in cap and gown to check in.This week, Wesleyan announced its 2019 commencement speaker will be Tony Stroud, 1983 alumnus of Wesleyan and founder of Stroud & Company, a Wilmington, NC accounting firm.
Stroud’s career began after graduating from North Carolina Wesleyan College with a degree in English. He then went on to complete the CPA candidacy program at UNC Wilmington before founding his company in 1993. As a trusted financial advisor in the Wilmington area, he works closely with individual and corporate clients, providing accounting and tax planning, as well as representing clients in tax controversy situations. Stroud is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants.
“We are proud to have an accomplished alumnus return as this year’s commencement speaker,” stated North Carolina Wesleyan President, Dr. Dewey Clark. “It’s always refreshing to hear about our graduates going out and charting their own course, just as Tony has done with his company.”
When Stroud is not busy running his office, he spends time volunteering at local non-profits including the Harrelson Center, Wilmington Fire Fighters and She Rocks. A passion of his is traveling, especially touring Sports Illustrated’s Top 10 Sports venues of the 20th Century, of which he has visited eight. The 2019 commencement ceremony will be held outside and is open to the public, pending good weather. In the event of inclement weather, graduation will be moved inside at the Rocky Mount Event Center.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA– Over 110 students, staff, supporters and family recently gathered at the Hartness Student Center at North Carolina Wesleyan College for a ribbon cutting ceremony celebrating new renovations. The event recognized Dr. John Hartness for his generous contributions and tireless support of the College.
Just before the event began, the room buzzed with conversation as individuals from various backgrounds greeted one another and shared stories of how Dr. Hartness has impacted their lives. Elliott Smith, Director of Student Activities, opened the event by expressing his thanks and mentioning all of the recent changes to the building as part of this renovation.
The improvements took place over the past several months. They include: redesigning the ground level to encompass dynamic meeting areas, building a second floor which houses offices and creating a multi-purpose student lounge to accommodate both academic and entertainment needs. Annick Umuliza, a student-worker at the Hartness Center spoke on her pride of working for the center and its mission.
After sharing a story of their friendship, Wesleyan President, Dr. Dewey Clark voiced his appreciation saying, “Dr. Hartness had this vision… he wanted to be a part of Rocky Mount because of North Carolina Wesleyan College. How fortunate we are to have Dr. Hartness come and befriend us.”
As Dr. Hartness came forward to say a few words and cut the ribbon, the entire room rose in a standing ovation for a man whose efforts serve as a prime example of a community supporter and leader.
What was originally a building used to supply heat to the College has now transformed into a thriving students center all because of Dr. Hartness and his family’s generosity and vision. He does not take credit for the success, however, humbly saying, “I did not do this, my family did this. I just happened to be there. My family is most generous, and I am most grateful.”
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Scholarship donors and their recipients came together at North Carolina Wesleyan November 1 as the college held its Scholarship Appreciation Gala at The Dunn Center for the Performing Arts. The event recognized scholarship donors who give annually to Wesleyan students, helping them pursue their academic and professional dreams.
“It is always rewarding to bring together this group of promising young people and let our generous sponsors see the powerful impact their commitments are making on these leaders of tomorrow,” stated Eddie Coats, Vice President of Development. “Many of these students would not be able to afford a comprehensive college education without this support.”
Student body president and Heritage scholarship recipient, Will Plyler, spoke about the impact of his award. “I am just a sophomore but my life has been completely changed by the funding that made it possible for me to attend Wesleyan. I now have the opportunity to learn and pursue my passion in life. I am extremely grateful,” said Plyer.
Guest speaker for the event was J. Winston Lea, owner of Action Staffing Group and President of the Gravely Foundation. In 1945 as World War II was ending, the children of Rocky Mount businessman J.O.W. and Lula Keen Gravely created the Gravely Foundation to honor their parents’ philosophy that every child should have the opportunity to advance themselves through education. Over the last four decades, the Gravely Foundation has provided approximately $803,000 to support students and programming at Wesleyan. In his speech, Lea encouraged students to give back to their communities, churches and colleges. “One thing that I have learned on this journey of life is whatever you give, you will receive back tenfold,” stated Lea.
Wesleyan presented its prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award to Lloyd Nelson ’67 and Elliott Stevenson Nelson ‘66. The award honors the excellence in character, leadership, community service and spiritual values of Algernon Sydney Sullivan, a lawyer, scholar and orator. While at Wesleyan, Lloyd was a stand-out on the hardwood as the basketball program’s first Most Valuable Player during the college’s inaugural season in 1963-1964. He went on to become a two-time All-Conference selection and earned MVP rights again his senior year. The Nelsons have been very involved in Wesleyan over the years and Lloyd served on the Board of Trustees from 1997 to May 2018.
“The Nelsons have given tirelessly and generously to Wesleyan over a long period of time,” stated President Dr. Dewey Clark. “Their love and dedication to this college and the students we serve is without comparison. There has never been two more worthy recipients than Lloyd and Elliott.”
Each year more than 180 Wesleyan students benefit from the generosity of our donors.