Minimal COVID Cases at Wesleyan Due to State and Community Support


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College has been fortunate in maintaining a relatively low number of COVID-19 cases on its campus since students returned in August. As of October 2, there is only two active cases among students and zero among employees. Since August 1, there have only been 9 positive cases for students and 3 positive cases for employees. This is due in large part to the generous donations that the College has received from the community, as well as grants from Nash County and the State of North Carolina.

Dr. Robert Zipf, Jr., MD, a NC Wesleyan Board Emeritus and Forensic Pathology Specialist in Rocky Mount, provided $30,000 to pay for air purifiers to be placed in every classroom and all common areas on campus. A portion of this gift was designated to the Teaching and Learning Center (TLC) on campus. The TLC is now known as the Zipf Teaching and Learning Center, or ZTLC.

Also, NC Wesleyan applied for a grant offered by Nash County. This $2,000 grant is for non-profit organizations to help cover the cost of personal protective equipment (PPE). The College was successful in obtaining this grant and used it to help purchase facemasks for the campus community.

“Research released in July from the University of Maryland on the aerosolization of the virus led the College’s Reopening Committee and Viral Infection Response Team to seek air flow solutions for classrooms and other campus gathering spaces. Air purifiers with appropriate filtration and window exhaust fans were installed to alleviate a potential danger of stagnant air in areas where our students, faculty, and staff would spend a fair amount of time,” stated Interim Provost Dr. Molly Wyatt. “Being attentive to emerging scientific research helped us to be innovative and Dr. Zipf’s donation was crucial in allowing us to afford additional precautious for our campus that addressed this need. We are very grateful for his continued engagement with the College and his generosity.”

North Carolina funds were also provided to the College as part of state funding that was received through the CARES Act. The College just received an additional $466,000 from the State of NC

to support students and expenses as it relates to COVID-19. NC Wesleyan is already working with students to assist with their balances and offsetting some PPE expenses that the College has incurred.

In addition, the College just installed its first touchless water bottle filler in the Pearsall Classroom Building. The College will also be installing them in the Gravely Science Building, Taylor Recreation Center and the Athletics Fieldhouse soon. This will help Wesleyan not only reduce single-use plastics, but also provide a touchless option for filtered water in these buildings.

To learn more about how the College is being Wesleyan Wise and the plans that it has in place for managing COVID, visit ncwc.edu/coronavirus.

Wesleyan’s Professional Closet Gives Students the Chance to Dress for Success


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College strives for its students to excel both inside and outside of the classroom. To assist with success outside of the classroom, Dr. Gena Messer-Knode, Dean of Career Development & Business Innovation, launched The Wesleyan Professional Closet to provide professional attire for NCWC students. 

The idea came to fruition almost a year ago, but the initiative was put on hold due to COVID-19. The Wesleyan Professional Closet is located on the second floor of the Gateway Technology Center at the front of NC Wesleyan’s campus. Students are able to borrow clothing for interviews, school events and other community functions. This service is completely free and based on the honor system. Students can show up, try on clothing and then provide dates for their event in order to ensure that the clothes will be available. Once they are finished with the event, the clothes are laundered and placed back on the rack for future use. 

“The way we dress affects everything – the way we think and feel. It impacts how we act and react to various scenarios. I want the students at NCWC to feel their best when they have opportunities for growth and development,” stated Dr. Gena Messer-Knode, Dean of Career Development & Business Innovation.

NC Wesleyan is especially thankful to two community members who were instrumental in donating a significant amount of clothing to help get the initiative up and running: Pell Foster with First Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount and David Farris, President and CEO of the Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce.

Those who are interested in donating professional attire can contact Gena Messer-Knode at GKnode@ncwc.edu or 252.985.5151 to arrange a drop off or pick up time. 

New Residence Life & Student Activities Coordinator Joins NCWC


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINANorth Carolina Wesleyan College welcomed a new Residence Life & Student Activities Coordinator this fall. Ms. Nadine Verner will manage and reside in Roberson Hall, as well as work with Wesleyan’s Greek Life students in the Student Activities department.

Nadine was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois and is an alumna of Alverno College of Milwaukee, Wisconsin where she studied Communication. As a continuous learner, she is currently in her second year pursuing her master’s degree in Education at Abilene Christian University in Texas. Nadine’s experience in higher education includes residence life, student activities and various support services. She has been a part of many organizations, both as a student and advisor, and is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

In addition to overseeing Roberson Hall, a first-year female residence hall housing up to 130 students, she will also provide leadership development and event management support to the Office of Student Activities. She is charged with encouraging and supporting students’ academic, social, cultural and emotional growth and retention. Her responsibilities will also include managing and recruiting resident advisors, desk assistants and game room attendants.

“We are excited to have Nadine join our team due to her previous experiences with residence life and student activities. Her background, energy and professionalism will allow Nadine to connect with students to advise, mentor and help shape them during their college career,” stated Steve Burrell, Director of Residence Life.

In her free time, Nadine loves to explore new places and craft. Nadine recently joined the College in welcoming the NCWC community back to campus for fall 2020 and looks forward to supporting the Bishops and fulfilling the mission of the College.

NC Wesleyan Hires New Dean of Students


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College recently welcomed Dr. Jason Modlin as its new Dean of Students. Modlin comes to Wesleyan from Louisburg College, where he previously served as Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students. 

Among his many accomplishments at Louisburg College, Modlin was instrumental in developing a Residence Hall Mentor program, an innovative approach to staffing residence halls with full-time professional relationship-builders. He also led a short-term retention effort that increased fall-to-fall retention by 7% over the previous year.

Modlin holds a Doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. With a 25-year career in small, private higher education, he brings a wealth of knowledge to NCWC.  

In his role as Dean of Students at NC Wesleyan, Modlin will be responsible for overseeing all student affairs operations, including the departments of Health & Wellness, Campus Life, Residential Life, Religious Life and Food Services. He will also serve as the Chief Judicial Officer of the College and the Title IX Coordinator and Adjudicator. Modlin assumes the role of Dean of Students from Dr. Molly Wyatt who had previously taken on the responsibilities of both Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Students.

“NC Wesleyan is fortunate to have brought in a highly-qualified and experienced Student Affairs professional who is both familiar with the small private college environment as well as the Eastern North Carolina region, stated Dr. Molly Wyatt, Interim Provost. “Dr. Modlin is making a big impact already, having had a summer forum with the College’s traditional students and contributing to reopening plans and retention strategies.” Modlin is a long-time resident of Nash County and currently resides near Red Oak with his wife, Ami, and their three daughters.

President Duff to Participate in Educational Panel


Join us on a Webinar learn about the impact of COVID-19 on our local education systems and find out what the next steps will be for the Fall 2020 school year. All proceeds are going to Tackle the Tar which will support our local students for scholarships at Edgecombe and Nash Community Colleges and North Carolina Wesleyan College.

Webinar Panel Featuring:
Dr. Valerie Bridges, Superintendent, Edgecombe County Public Schools
Dr. Evan Duff, President North Carolina Wesleyan College
Dr. Steve Ellis, Superintendent, Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools
Dr. Lew Hunnicutt, President Nash Community College
Dr. Gregory McLeod, President, Edgecombe Community College

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Wesleyan Alum Makes On-Campus Football Possible for 2020 Season


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.

First-ever on-campus football game for homecoming

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.

A Message from President Evan D. Duff


Dear Wesleyan Family,  

Our country continues to struggle with equality, race relations, treating others with decency, respecting opinions different from our own and showing no regard for human life. We are mourning, grieving, and fighting for justice all at the same time.  North Carolina Wesleyan College strives to provide an environment that is tolerant, inclusive and open to educating all students to make positive changes in the world. Let’s move full force with demonstrating our core values of: knowledge, understanding, integrity, accountability, patience, respect, empathy and kindness to create those positive changes.  

We all have a voice, we all can take action and we all have the opportunity to make a difference. Let’s do our part at Wesleyan to create an atmosphere that is reflective of the society we should aspire to be. 

To our African American friends and family, we are listening to you, we care deeply about you, and you can count on your Wesleyan peers and colleagues to stand with you.  

Additional details will be shared soon with students about educational and support programs the College will be implementing for our students, faculty and staff to meet their needs as we navigate through this time together. I pray through these tragedies, states of unrest and pain, we learn to take better care of each other. 

Live well. Stay strong. Be wise.  

Dr. Evan D. Duff
Interim President

NC Wesleyan Planning for Fall Reopening


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College announced on March 23 that the College would not resume face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the semester due to the COVID-19 pandemic and transitioned to online classes. On April 9, the College went into lockdown to protect its faculty, staff and remaining students, which meant that traffic in and out of the main campus would be closed except for essential employees. Now, the College is making plans to reopen for face-to-face instruction this fall.

“Although our spring semester abruptly moved to remote instruction, Wesleyan stood tall against a global pandemic and emerged stronger,” stated President Evan D. Duff. “As we transition our focus to the fall, we will implement what will be known as ‘Wesleyan Wise,’ adding “Together we are strong, together we are wise and together we will rise.”

Wesleyan Wise means that the College will:

  • Intend to welcome returning and new students back to campus this fall, while being wise in its decisions, practices and procedures.
  • Start the semester on August 19, forgo a fall break, finish the semester just before Thanksgiving holiday and hold Winter Commencement on December 5 at the Rocky Mount Event Center.
  • Implement enhanced cleaning practices, utilize smaller class sizes, practice social distance between the students and faculty/staff, offer more hybrid and online options, create effective guidelines for students, and provide available face masks and hand sanitizer for all students, faculty and staff.

New procedures will be implemented within almost every office on campus, dining facilities, and office hours with faculty; however, the level of care and commitment for Wesleyan’s students will never change. More comprehensive details will be shared in the coming weeks about how the College will be Wesleyan Wise this fall.

N.C. Wesleyan adjusts to pandemic


As a class project, Ashlee Brackett, a current student at Elon University, recently wrote an article that was published in the Rocky Mount Telegram. The article tells about how Wesleyan has approached the pandemic and what we were doing during this time of crisis. She also happens to be the daughter of Wesleyan Staff member Suzanne Brackett. Congratulations Ashlee!

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