NC Wesleyan Freshman Speaks on Native American History


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.

NCWC freshman Zachary Blake Scott

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.

NCWC & Pitt Community College Reauthorize Enhanced Memorandum of Understanding


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College (NCWC) recently reauthorized an agreement that will help qualified graduates of Pitt Community College (Pitt CC) transfer to Wesleyan. The agreement will strengthen the partnership the two have had in place since 2012 and provides a seamless transfer for students who enroll at Wesleyan following completion of their two-year degree at Pitt CC.

“Pitt Community College is proud and excited to continue our transfer partnership with NC Wesleyan. This partnership has provided our graduates with a seamless transfer to a four-year institution, and this enhanced agreement will bring additional opportunities to our students,” stated Dr. Thomas Gould, VP of Academic Affairs for Pitt CC.

The agreement will enhance and expand the educational opportunities of Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science graduates by offering Pitt CC graduates access to the benefits of the Wesleyan Works program, pre-admission advising, generous transfer credit and a clear definition of the transfer of courses from Pitt CC to NC Wesleyan. This MOU allows Pitt CC Associate in Applied Science students to transfer an additional 15 hours of general education credits for a total of 75 transfer credits.

“We have enjoyed a successful partnership with Pitt Community College and are excited to enhance this agreement which provides additional opportunities for their students. Our goal has always been to support the community college mission and provide their graduates with a convenient and affordable pathway to complete their 4-year degree,” stated Katie Farrell, Associate Dean of Adult & Professional Studies. 

Students who graduate from Pitt CC and transfer under this agreement may select any of NC Wesleyan’s programs of study or may transfer to the college’s Adult and Professional Studies program, taking advantage of the Wesleyan Works program. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be in good academic standing. The agreement brings NC Wesleyan within the reach of Pitt CC students who may not have otherwise been able to attend the College. NC Wesleyan remains committed to Pitt CC as a partner and has staff members on their campus designated specifically to assisting graduates of Pitt CC with the admission and advising processes. 

Wesleyan Works is a transfer program designed for community college students who plan to continue their education at NC Wesleyan. Students who participate in Wesleyan Works will have access to academic advising and financial aid counseling through NC Wesleyan, as well as access to events on the College’s main campus. The program is ideal for students who would like to attend NC Wesleyan’s evening or online programs.

NC Wesleyan & Wilson Community College Renew Memorandum of Understanding


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College (NCWC) recently reauthorized an agreement that will help qualified graduates of Wilson Community College (WCC) transfer to Wesleyan. The agreement aims to provide a seamless transfer for students who enroll at Wesleyan following completion of their two-year degree at WCC.

Leaders of both colleges signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) virtually on November 19. The MOU expands upon the previously signed agreement, allowing WCC students to transfer an additional 15 hours of general education credits, whereas the last MOU allowed for 60 total transfer credits.

WCC Vice President for Academic Affairs Mr. Rob Holsten shared, “We are excited to continue and expand our partnership with North Carolina Wesleyan College to offer more options for students to continue their studies after completing their two-year degree here at Wilson Community College. This type of partnership furthers the College’s mission to help students reach their educational goals and adds to existing opportunities for transferable degrees.”

The agreement will enhance and expand the educational opportunities of Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science graduates by offering WCC graduates access to the benefits of the Wesleyan Works program, pre-admission advising, generous transfer credit and a clear definition of the transfer of courses from WCC to NC Wesleyan.

“NC Wesleyan and Wilson Community College continue to be strong partners for the matriculation of WCC graduates to an affordable, local education at the undergraduate and graduate level. North Carolina Wesleyan College remains committed to WCC as a partner and has staff members designated specifically to assisting graduates of Wilson Community College with the admission and advising processes,” according to Michael Drew, Dean of Admissions and Adult Studies. “Our community, businesses and region rely on Wesleyan’s commitment to these partnerships to fulfill these educational opportunities”

Students who graduate from WCC and transfer under this agreement may select any of NC Wesleyan’s programs of study or may transfer to the college’s Adult and Professional Studies program, taking advantage of the Wesleyan Works program. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be in good academic standing. The agreement brings NC Wesleyan within the reach of WCC students who may not have otherwise been able to attend the College.

Wesleyan Works is a transfer program designed for community college students who plan to continue their education at NC Wesleyan. Students who participate in Wesleyan Works will have access to academic advising and financial aid counseling through NC Wesleyan, as well as access to events on the College’s main campus. The program is ideal for students who would like to attend NC Wesleyan’s evening or online programs.

NC Wesleyan Celebrates 15th Annual Lighting of Wesleyan


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College hosted its 15th annual Lighting of Wesleyan event on Tuesday, November 17. As with most recent events in 2020, the format of the celebration had to be altered due to COVID-19. In lieu of North Carolina Wesleyan’s typical yearly festivities, the College opted to decorate the campus for students and the community to enjoy in a COVID-appropriate setting.

In years past, the College has held a community event that included a live nativity, Christmas carols, free hayrides, a meet-and-greet with Santa, hot beverages, concessions and ended with the viewing of a Christmas show at The Dunn Center. Guests were also able to stroll through the College commons while enjoying a large collection of Christmas lights and inflatables. The College’s semester is set to end early due to the pandemic. With students leaving campus for Christmas break on November 24, this event was moved up several weeks in order to allow students time to admire the sights. To continue spreading the holiday spirit, the community is invited to drive through Wesleyan’s beautiful campus from November 25-December 11. Guests must remain in their vehicles at all times, as this is a drive-through viewing only. Come out and experience NC Wesleyan’s beautiful campus while kicking off the Christmas season!

NCWC Wins National Contest


Exercise is Medicine® on Campus Mascot Challenge

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College was recently selected by the American College of Sports Medicine as the Judges’ Pick for first place in The Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) Mascot Challenge video contest. This year, a record 32 colleges and universities submitted video entries.

As the first-place winner, the NC Wesleyan EIM-OC team will be receiving a $1,000 grant to host physical activity programming on Wesleyan’s campus. The video was created by Dr. Shannon Crowley, EIM-OC Advisor, Dr. Danielle Braxton, Health and Movement Science Club Advisor and Health and Movement Science Club student officers Emily Ketchum, Isaiah Matta, Savion Young and Rolando Valladarez. NC Wesleyan’s EIM-OC Leadership Team members, Dr. Meir Magal and Physician Assistant Jessica Brys-Wilson, also assisted with creation of the video. The submission, which featured NCWC’s mascot, Wes, can be viewed below.

“Our EIM-OC Leadership Team and Health and Movement Science Club have done a fantastic job in their efforts to promote the health benefits of physical activity on campus. We are thrilled to receive this award for our Exercise is Medicine on Campus video submission,” stated Dr. Shannon Crowley, Assistant Professor of Exercise Science.

The vision of Exercise is Medicine® (EIM), a global health initiative managed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), is to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere and of all abilities. Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health. EIM-OC encourages faculty, staff and students to work together toward improving the health and well-being of the campus community.

NC Wesleyan & Nash Community College Renew Memorandum of Understanding


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College (NCWC) recently reauthorized an agreement that will help qualified graduates of Nash Community College (NCC) transfer to Wesleyan. The agreement aims to provide a seamless transfer for students who enroll at Wesleyan following completion of their two-year degree at NCC.

Leaders of both colleges attended the November 6 signing held on the campus of North Carolina Wesleyan College. The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) expands upon the previously signed agreement, allowing NCC students to transfer an additional 15 hours of general education credits, whereas the last MOU allowed for 60 total transfer credits.

Evan D. Duff, President of NC Wesleyan College and Dr. Lew Hunnicutt, President of Nash Community College

“I am proud to continue to partner with President Duff and North Carolina Wesleyan College to enhance educational access and opportunities in Nash County and beyond,” NCC President Dr. Lew Hunnicutt said. “Our two colleges complement each other well, and together we will continue to meet community and student needs well into the future.”

The agreement will enhance and expand the educational opportunities of Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science graduates by offering NCC graduates access to the benefits of the Wesleyan Works program, pre-admission advising, generous transfer credit and a clear definition of the transfer of courses from NCC to NC Wesleyan.

“North Carolina Wesleyan College and NCC have long partnered for the education and service to the greater Nash County area. We are fortunate to continue this long-lasting and thriving relationship which offers NCC graduates the opportunity to matriculate for undergraduate and graduate degree options at NCWC. These partnerships are vital for employers and businesses to advance our region,” stated Michael Drew, Dean of Admissions & Adult Studies.     

Students who graduate from NCC and transfer under this agreement may select any of NC Wesleyan’s programs of study or may transfer to the college’s Adult and Professional Studies program, taking advantage of the Wesleyan Works program. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be in good academic standing. The agreement brings NC Wesleyan within the reach of NCC students who may not have otherwise been able to attend the College. Wesleyan Works is a transfer program designed for community college students who plan to continue their education at NC Wesleyan. Students who participate in Wesleyan Works will have access to academic advising and financial aid counseling through NC Wesleyan, as well as access to events on the College’s main campus. The program is ideal for students who would like to attend NC Wesleyan’s evening or online programs.

NC Wesleyan & Craven Community College Sign Memorandum of Understanding


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College (NCWC) recently signed an agreement that will help qualified graduates of Craven Community College (Craven CC) transfer to Wesleyan. The agreement aims to provide a seamless transfer for students who enroll at Wesleyan following completion of their two-year degree at Craven CC.

Leaders of both colleges signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on November 5 in a virtual signing via Zoom. This new agreement adds Craven CC to a list of over 30 other colleges and community colleges throughout North Carolina that have a transfer partnership with NCWC.

“We are proud to partner with NC Wesleyan and provide our graduates an opportunity to participate in Wesleyan Works,” said Craven CC President Dr. Ray Staats. “Providing our students opportunities to build upon their degrees they’ve earned at Craven CC gives them a convenient and seamless way to earn their baccalaureate degrees, and NC Wesleyan offers program options that align with many of our associate degrees. We value our university partnerships as they provide local options for our students and demonstrate our commitment to lifelong learning.”

The agreement will enhance and expand the educational opportunities of Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science graduates by offering Craven CC graduates access to the benefits of the Wesleyan Works program, pre-admission advising, generous transfer credit and a clear definition of the transfer of courses from Craven CC to NC Wesleyan. This MOU allows Craven CC Associate in Applied Science students to transfer an additional 15 hours of general education credits for a total of 75 transfer credits.

“NCWC has enjoyed a successful partnership with Craven Community College since 2015 and we are excited to enhance the benefits of this partnership in 2020,” stated Katie Farrell, Associate Dean of Adult & Professional Studies. “Our goal has always been focused on improving transfer credits for community college graduates and through this agreement, Craven graduates will have increased flexibility in transferring their credits resulting in a faster and affordable pathway to their 4-year degree.”

Students who graduate from Craven CC and transfer under this agreement may select any of NC Wesleyan’s programs of study or may transfer to the college’s Adult and Professional Studies program, taking advantage of the Wesleyan Works program. Students are required to maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 and be in good academic standing. The agreement brings NC Wesleyan within the reach of Craven CC students who may not have otherwise been able to attend the College.

Wesleyan Works is a transfer program designed for community college students who plan to continue their education at NC Wesleyan. Students who participate in Wesleyan Works will have access to academic advising and financial aid counseling through NC Wesleyan, as well as access to events on the College’s main campus. The program is ideal for students who would like to attend NC Wesleyan’s evening or online programs.

About North Carolina Wesleyan College
North Carolina Wesleyan College, a private institution affiliated with the United Methodist Church, prepares students for professional advancement, life-long learning and responsible participation in their communities. NC Wesleyan College provides a highly personalized education in a dynamic and challenging environment. With students from all over the United States and more than 40 different countries, NC Wesleyan is a small college with a big taste for cultural diversity. To learn more, visit ncwc.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Craven Community College
Founded in 1965, Craven Community College (Craven CC) is part of the North Carolina Community College System. With campuses in New Bern and Havelock-Cherry Point, Craven CC serves about 3,200 curriculum students and more than 10,000 continuing education students each year. The college offers a wide range of associate degree and certificate programs, as well as college transfer courses, career and occupational offerings, partnerships with four-year universities, specialized workforce training options, developmental studies and basic skills classes. The Lifetime Learning Center and Adult Enrichment Program offer lifelong learning opportunities. Craven Early College High School programs are available on both campuses. Craven CC is also home to Public Radio East, one of the few community colleges nationally with this distinction. For more information about the college, visit www.cravencc.edu.

NC Wesleyan Unveils New Loan Repayment Assistance Program (R.I.S.E) for Future Graduates


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College is the first college in the area to offer a loan repayment assistance program (LRAP). This new program, called R.I.S.E. (Repayment Initiative for Student Education), can help graduates repay their federal student, parent PLUS and private alternative loans if their income after graduation is below $50,000. R.I.S.E will be available to all incoming freshmen starting in the spring of 2021.

Michael Drew, Dean of Admissions and Adult Studies, states “North Carolina Wesleyan College recognizes the value of an undergraduate degree, and supports the student’s investment in time and ability by offering the R.I.S.E. program. NC Wesleyan is currently third in the region for median monthly earnings and second lowest for median monthly debt payments for many degrees. The addition of the R.I.S.E. as a loan repayment option for students, this program provides an additional measure of financial security to prospective students and their families.”

NC Wesleyan has partnered with Ardeo Education Solutions to provide R.I.S.E at no cost to students or families. The assistance will continue until the graduate’s income exceeds $50,000 or until their loans are completely paid off. For more information about the R.I.S.E. program or to sign-up, contact the Admissions Office by calling 252.985.5200, via email at admissions@ncwc.edu or visit ncwc.edu/rise.

Physician with Ties to Rocky Mount Leaves $2.5 Million to NCWC


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The development and acceptance of a proposal for the Executor of the Dr. Nancy Shaw Trust has enabled North Carolina Wesleyan College to secure funds for its Pre-Veterinarian, Biomedical, Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science majors. Dr. Shaw was a successful physician with ties to Nash County. Her trust’s primary focus was to benefit the health and care of felines, which was a passion of hers.

Dr. Nancy Shaw

NC Wesleyan will be receiving $2,500,000 from the trust, which will allow the College to establish its first endowed Professorship to advise and oversee its Pre-Vet major. This professor may also develop additional coursework or concentrations in animal and cat care. The College will also be establishing a highly-selective endowed scholarship for a Pre-Vet major to pay the majority of their educational expenses at Wesleyan. Part of the funds will be placed into a restricted account to develop additional living and learning space for Wesleyan’s science majors. A portion of the money will also be used to upgrade equipment in the College’s Biology, Biomedical, Environmental Science and Chemistry programs that support Pre-Vet majors. Dr. Meir Magal, Chair of the School of Mathematics and Sciences, and several NC Wesleyan Biologists were instrumental in helping to develop the proposal for the Executor of this trust.

“This is an extremely exciting time for the Biology Department, the School [of Mathematics and Sciences] and the College. This gift will allow us to further expand our offerings on campus and provide our science majors with new and exciting experiences and opportunities,” stated Dr. Meir Magal.

Dr. Shaw attended Brown University where she graduated magna cum laude and entered Brown University Medical School graduating in 1983. She completed her Internship at Framingham Union Hospital, Framingham, Massachusetts in 1985. Her Residency in Internal Medicine was completed at the Hospital of St. Raphael, New Haven, Connecticut in 1988. She became Board Certified in Internal Medicine in 1989. Dr. Shaw resided in North Carolina from 1992 -2012. During that time, she established the Hospitalist Programs for both Cabarrus Memorial Hospital, Concord, and Boice-Willis Clinic in Rocky Mount. She and her mother resided in Rocky Mount during these years.

Award-Winning Actress Returns to Speak In-Person at NCWC Commencement


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – In February, North Carolina Wesleyan College announced that award-winning actress Sharon Lawrence would be their April 2020 commencement speaker. Later, due to ongoing concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the College announced that the ceremony would have to take place virtually. Lawrence still took the time to send the graduates her congratulations and encouragement via video, with the hope that she would be able to address them in-person at the December ceremony. That hope is now coming to fruition with Lawrence scheduled to return in-person to address the Class of 2020 at NC Wesleyan’s Winter Commencement taking place on December 5.

Sharon Lawrence posing
Sharon Lawrence
December 2020 Commencement Speaker

Lawrence is an award-winning actress with roles on NYPD Blue, Dynasty and can most recently be seen opposite Kirsten Dunst in Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida. She currently appears on several different television series, including: Shameless, Criminal Minds, Grey’s Anatomy, the CBS comedy, “Me, Myself and I,” and the Apple + series Home Before Dark. A native of North Carolina, she was born in Charlotte and later moved to Raleigh where she graduated from Broughton High School. Lawrence attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, graduating in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.

“Based on her ties to North Carolina and success in the entertainment industry, we are overly enthusiastic to have Sharon Lawrence speak to our graduates in December. With our Entertainment Arts major and her ability to demonstrate that anything is possible with a solid education, she was a natural fit to be our commencement speaker,” stated Dr. Evan D. Duff, President of North Carolina Wesleyan College.

While at UNC, Lawrence was very active onstage with the college’s Playmakers Repertory Company. She is a proud founding member, and prior leading actress, at the North Carolina Theatre, which is still going strong after 36 years at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium. She is also the daughter of Tom Lawrence, former news reporter for WRAL News in Raleigh.

Lawrence is also an accomplished Broadway stage actress and a 2012 Lunt-Fontanne Ten Chimneys Fellow, recently starring in “A Kid Like Jake” at the Pasadena Playhouse. She previously chaired the Women In Film Foundation where she incubated and managed corporate partnerships with Netflix and the Dr. Scholl Foundation. Lawrence is still active in supporting women in the industry and currently serves as a Trustee of the Screen Actors Guild Foundation.

“Celebrating the Wesleyan commencement is a meaningful opportunity for me not only as a native North Carolinian, but because my creative roots are here,” stated Lawrence. “My passion and career were nurtured by North Carolina schools and churches, by its outdoor dramas, local and professional theaters and its commitment to the performing arts. Your investment in education and the arts is an investment in your minds and hearts.”

The College’s Winter Commencement will be on the front lawn of the Braswell Administration Building Saturday, December 5, 2020. This will be a closed event, open only to graduates, faculty and the platform party. This will allow the College to ensure physical distance and the safety of those participating in commencement. The event will be live streamed and recorded so that family and friends will be able to celebrate with their students virtually.