College Seeks Donors for Multi-Phased Approach
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College recently secured donor funds to kick off their Sports Stadium Campaign. These funds will go toward the development of a new turf field with lights on the south side of campus. This project is just one part of the College’s long-term vision.
The new Sports Stadium consists of a turf field, lighting, additional parking, fencing, permanent seating, scoreboards, a press box and a new fieldhouse. While the initiative will support Athletics, it will also benefit the College academically. In the past, athletes have had to miss afternoon classes to travel and practice prior to sundown. A new turf field and lighting will allow student-athletes to practice and play games later in the evenings. The new fieldhouse will contain a training room, weight room, classrooms, meeting space and offices.
“In the spring of 2020, two major donors committed almost $2,000,000 to establish a multi-phase, multi-year project that will be known as the Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. Sports Stadium. Future phases will include a field house that is yet to be named, as well as other infrastructure you would expect to find at a college stadium,” stated President Dr. Evan D. Duff. “This project will not only change the landscape of the College, but also the athletic and academic opportunities we can provide our students.”
The Sports Stadium Campaign will be completely donor-funded and consist of four project phases, as funding allows. The College is actively seeking donors in hopes of raising $700,000 to complete Phase One and to unlock an additional $850,000 pledge from Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. for Phase Two. Phase One will include the turf field, lighting and additional parking.
The College is planning future fundraising events for those who have a love for the game of football and Wesleyan. These events will be held in spring and summer of 2021 with specific dates to be announced soon based on state guidelines. These exclusive events will unfold the vision of the new sports stadium, give participants first access to the future of North Carolina Wesleyan College and invite them to be a philanthropic part of this project.
Those who are interested in supporting the Sports Stadium can contact Eddie Coats, VP of Advancement, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252.985.5108.
Honoring National Native American Heritage Month
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College is home to students from many different cultures and backgrounds. With November being National Native American Heritage Month, NCWC freshman Zachary Blake Scott took the time to educate and enlighten others about his tribe and American Indians in general. National Native American Heritage Month pays tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans.
Scott, who is a member of the Lumbee tribe of North Carolina, is majoring in Criminal Justice, minoring in Political Science and outfielder on the NC Wesleyan baseball team. Born and raised in Pembroke, a town in Robeson County, Scott is a community advocate in native outreach among the youth. He is passionate about singing and one of the youngest members of the American Indian drum group, Southern Sun Singers. All of his life, he has enjoyed attending powwows — a way that Native Americans get together to dance, sing and eat. Scott is the grandson of a minister and remains very dedicated to his faith and Christianity.
According to Scott: “The Lumbee are descendants of Siouan, Algonquian, and Iroquoian speaking tribes who lived in North Carolina prior to European contact. We are considered as Eastern Woodland people because we have always depended on the natural resources around us to provide basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, weapons, medicines and tools. We have a culture of agriculture, family, hunting, gathering and Christianity. In fact, I still live on the farmland that my grandfather was raised on. All of my relatives have worked on this farm as their livelihood. My ancestors lived amongst the pines, swamps and the dark waters of the Lumber River, where we get our name. Many of the Lumbee still call this area home. We have never lived on a reservation. After European contact, my tribe, like others in North Carolina, were colonized. Many of our tribal distinctions were lost at the time. We lost our language, we dressed like colonists and most took on the Christian religion. Not much is written about our history because we, like most all tribes, passed down our stories verbally.”
There are eight state recognized tribes in the state of North Carolina, with only the Cherokee being federally recognized. In 1885, the state of NC recognized the Lumbee Tribe (not originally called Lumbee) and established a separate school system for tribal members. In 1953, the tribe’s name was changed to Lumbee.
Scott notes: “In 1956, Congress recognized the Lumbee as Indian, but failed to give us the status of a federally recognized tribe, which denied us benefits granted to federally recognized tribes. For years, my people have been fighting for federal recognition. There have been numerous bills regarding this to pass the House but has always stalled in Senate. Just this week, the Lumbee Recognition Act was passed out of the House of Representatives again. I am hopeful that it will not be long before we are granted the recognition we deserve.”
About the Lumbee Tribe
The 55,000 members of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina reside primarily in Robeson, Hoke, Cumberland and Scotland counties. The Lumbee Tribe is the largest tribe in North Carolina, the largest tribe east of the Mississippi River and the ninth largest in the nation. The Lumbee take their name from the Lumbee River which winds its way through Robeson County. Pembroke, North Carolina is the economic, cultural and political center of the tribe.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – In July, North Carolina Wesleyan College and the USA South Athletic Conference announced the postponement of the College’s conference football games for fall 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, Homecoming will also not happen in an official capacity this fall. The College’s Student Activities may plan some events for students on campus with appropriate guidelines in place and alumni groups may get together, but there is no “official” Homecoming event planned. If the College is able to resume its football season in the spring, there may be a similar type of Homecoming experience at that time. NCWC values the health and safety of its faculty, staff, and students; therefore, the College does not want to risk having larger-scale events at this time.
Inflation Begins This Week
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Over the course of the past week, Hayden Bay, the company responsible for installation of the dome of the new Indoor Sports & Education Facility at NC Wesleyan, began mounting and assembling the mechanical systems for the building. This is the first step in an estimated two week process which will be completed with the inflation of the facility’s dome. The crew hopes to finalize inflation by Friday, July 31.
Crews broke ground on the project in early February 2020. The state-of-the-art, approximately 48,000 square foot, air-supported structure was designed by Oakley Collier Architects, engineered and produced by Broadwell Air Domes, and built by Smithson Incorporated. Phase I of the facility, including the design and construction of the air supported structure, two squash courts and four indoor tennis courts, was fully funded by anonymous donors, along with a grant from the Nash County Tourism Development Authority.
Broadwell Air Domes is an industry-leading air dome manufacturer that produces the highest quality, longest lasting and most technologically advanced air dome in the world. Wesleyan’s new facility will be unlike any in the area. The software-driven, climate-controlled “smart” building automatically adjusts to changing weather conditions. The software allows for full control over temperature, humidity, pressure and air quality, which can all be controlled from a smart phone. The shell of the structure is evenly covered with a square woven cable harness system that allows for superior strength and corner protection creating unmatched structural durability.
Recently, an additional anonymous donor committed funds to outfit the Exercise Science and Health Promotion area within the facility. This gift will provide these faculty members with new laboratory and office space, as well as new equipment to offer state-of-the-art learning to Wesleyan students. NC Wesleyan continues to seek donors to contribute to the success and development of various amenities and services provided to the campus, as well as the community, by the addition of the Indoor Sports & Education Facility.
“This process has demonstrated how Wesleyan faculty and staff, generous donors and the community can come together to enhance the learning and health of our students in a considerable way. This facility will have a major impact on the community as well by affording opportunities for physical activity, health research and tournaments that will bring additional revenue to Nash County area businesses,” stated NC Wesleyan President Dr. Evan D. Duff.
The facility has potential for future growth academically and athletically, specifically within the College’s Exercise Science and Health Promotion programs. The leadership team of NCWC, along with the faculty and staff associated in these areas, desire collaboration with the local community to improve and enhance the well-being of its citizens. The sports and future educational pillars of this facility— athletics, scholarship and research— have vast potential to develop training, mentorship and tutoring programs for area youth. The facility will also offer training and education for students and local citizens concerning prevention and management of diseases and injuries, as well as facilitating proper and enjoyable physical conditioning measures.
A time-lapse video of the inflation of the facility will be posted to the College’s website, ncwc.edu, and social media accounts in the coming weeks.
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. – The USA South Conference has postponed conference competition for fall sports including cross country, football, men’s and women’s soccer, and volleyball. The decision included many factors with primary intentions of providing a safe and effective on campus environment, as well as to slow the spread of the Coronavirus.
ROCKY MOUNT, NC– The NC Wesleyan College Baseball team is sending two of its own players, pitchers Alex Crosby and Zach Woolard, to play for the Tarboro River Bandits in the Carolina-Virginia Collegiate Summer League this year.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College is thrilled to announce that all home football games are scheduled to be played on campus for the 2020 season due to a generous donation from alumnus, Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. The College recently received Bradley’s gift of $150,000 to be used for bleachers, a scoreboard and other signage.
NC Wesleyan saw great success last fall with its first-ever on-campus football game for homecoming on the Vernon T. Bradley Jr. football practice field. A 1980 graduate of Wesleyan, Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. is a 2007 NCWC Athletics Hall of Fame inductee and the 2016-2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient. As a tennis player at Wesleyan, he enjoyed a solid four-year career that saw him become one of the most decorated athletes in the program’s history.
A three-time Most Valuable Player from 1978 to 1980, Bradley was the first tennis player to receive MVP accolades on three occasions. He also claimed another Bishop milestone in 1978 when he earned Dixie All-Conference honors at #1 singles. Once again, being the first Wesleyan player to achieve such honors.
Bradley has remained an avid supporter of NC Wesleyan over the years and has enjoyed a successful career in real estate. “Vernon T. Bradley Jr. continues to be a leader in many ways and among individual donors, Vernon is our #1 donor, giving more than any other individual in the history of the College”, stated President Duff.
“I am so excited that the opportunity our campus and community enjoyed last year with our first-ever on-campus football game will be expanded by Vernon’s consistent and overwhelming support of the College. The impact on our student-athletes and campus community cannot be overstated,” stated Aaron Denton, Director of Athletics.
The namesake of several campus landmarks, including the Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. Sports Complex, Residence Hall, Football Practice Field, Field House and Lobby, his commitment and dedication to North Carolina Wesleyan College is evident in his accomplishments both on and off the court.
Thomas and Cynthia Dyer Endowment Fund Established to Support Program
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The Battling Bishops Women’s Soccer program recently received a $10,000 endowment. This gift was made possible due to the generous support of two previous North Carolina Wesleyan College students— Thomas and Cynthia Dyer.
Women’s Soccer at NC Wesleyan started in 1983 and has grown immensely over the years. With the broadening of the program and its success comes increased costs including uniforms, travel for away games and lighting for the complex. To assist with these needs, The Thomas and Cynthia Dyer Endowment Fund was established by Cynthia Dansie Dyer of Maryland and Thomas G. Dyer ’70 of Virginia. Long supporters of North Carolina Wesleyan College, the Dyer’s remain involved with the Nu Gamma Phi Fraternity, giving to the efforts of establishing scholarships and support for the Hartness Center, among other endeavors.
“It’s a privilege to assist the Women’s Soccer program. We feel fortunate to be able to support Wesleyan and the growth that this program has experienced,” stated the Dyer’s.
It’s their desire to leave a legacy with their alma mater in the form of an endowment. When Women’s Soccer Coach, Beverly Biancur, expressed the need for additional support of certain initiatives such as her vision for a Soccer Complex Wall and other enhancements that refine the student athletic experience, the Dyer’s seized the opportunity.
“I am grateful for this extremely generous endowment from the Dyer’s for our program. These young women and those before them have exemplified academic excellence with a 98% graduation rate, acceptance into grad school and professional occupations, a competitive desire for excellence and a willingness to serve their community,” stated Biancur. “This endowment will help to provide these women with support, facilities and equipment to achieve the individual goals and team expectations now and into the future.”
The Thomas and Cynthia Dyer Endowment is one of four endowments created to support Wesleyan’s athletic programs. Wesleyan is excited about its potential growth, which will benefit the Women’s Soccer program for years to come. These benefits will make a massive impact on the quality of the program, and most of all, the life of Wesleyan’s student-athletes.
The Dyer’s met at Wesleyan in 1966. In 1967, Cynthia transferred to nursing school obtaining her degree in 1970. Thomas graduated from Wesleyan in 1970 with a degree in Economics. Shortly after graduation the two married that same year and today reside in North Carolina.
The NC Wesleyan Women’s Soccer program is home to seven All-Americans and a National Player of the Year. The program has won numerous USA South Conference Tournaments and recently received its eighth consecutive National Coaches Association Team Academic Award. The 1994 season saw the Bishops reach the NCAA Division III Final Four.
Antonio Johnson was prophetic in his words this week leading up to N.C. Wesleyan’s first football game to be played on the college’s campus.
“I think we’re going to do good this year,” Johnson said. “I think this is the year where we will put it together. This is the year where we can get a ring.”
Johnson was talking about NCWC competing for a USA South Conference title. On Saturday, playing in the first true home game on campus in program history, the Bishops moved to 2-0 in conference play with a 44-7 win over Greensboro College. READ MORE
ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. – NC Wesleyan College Director of Athletics, Aaron Denton has announced assistant men’s soccer coach Meir Lewin has been promoted to the head men’s soccer position for the Battling Bishops in the 2019-20 season.
Lewin is replacing the departing Frankie Taal, who went back to his alma mater at Bethany College (WV) to become the head coach after 9 stellar seasons as the head soccer coach at Wesleyan including two USA South regular season titles and one conference tournament crown with a trip to the 2017 NCAA tournament.
Lewin spent one season as Taal’s assistant coach and helped lead the team to a 9-7-1 record and 8-3-1 in the USA South along with a conference semifinal berth.
“I am very excited to have Meir as our new men’s soccer coach,” said Denton. “Meir has a unique set of experiences as a player, coach and education professional which will serve him well at Wesleyan and in the DIII setting. He is committed to our student-athletes as well as building on the storied success of our men’s soccer program.”
“It is an honor to be named the head coach of NC Wesleyan men’s soccer. I would like to thank our president, Dr. Clark, and our athletic director, Mr. Denton for entrusting me with the responsibility of leading this program. Additionally, I would like to thank Frankie Taal for everything he has done in building such a strong foundation here,” commented Lewin.
Lewin comes to Wesleyan after most recently serving as the assistant coach at Mary Washington University (VA) while he was also the assistant for two seasons at Washington College in Maryland from 2012-2014. While at Washington College, Lewin coached 4 Centennial All-Conference award winners and 6 honor roll members.
He was also a former scout for the Israeli Football Association National Team. Lewin played professionally in Israel serving as the team captain from 2007-11 starting 72 games and being named to the league-best-11 in 2009-10 as well.
Lewin was also a teaching assistant and Instructor in the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Maryland since 2014. He will serve as an adjunct English faculty at Wesleyan this Fall.
Lewin graduated with a B.A. in Government in 2011 from the Interdisciplinary Center of Herzliya, Israel. He also completed his Masters in English from Washington College in 2014. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D in Kinesiology and Physical Cultural Studies from the Univ. of Maryland.