NC Wesleyan Kicks Off Annual Fall Fundraising Campaign


Pictured (L to R): Jane Gravely(NC Wesleyan Alumna and Board of Visitors member); Mark Hinson (NC Wesleyan Director of External Affairs & Annual Giving); Greg Purcell (Art Curator for The Dunn Center); Arnold Gordon-Bray (Campaign Co-Chair); Janet Watson (Campaign Co-Chair); Dr. Evan D. Duff (NC Wesleyan President); Eddie Coats (NC Wesleyan Vice President of Advancement)

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University launched their annual fall fundraiser, The Wesleyan Promise Campaign, on Monday, September 27 at a kickoff breakfast in The Dunn Center. This campaign seeks vitally important support for various purposes including student scholarships, the latest in cutting-edge technology, lab enhancements, recruitment of students and faculty, additional library resources and more.

Pictured (L to R): Lank Dunton (First Carolina Bank’s Market Executive for the Rocky Mount Area); Arnold Gordon-Bray (Campaign Co-Chair); Janet Watson (Campaign Co-Chair); Dr. Evan D. Duff (NC Wesleyan President); Eddie Coats (NC Wesleyan Vice President of Advancement)

To help usher in the campaign, two highlights of the event included check presentations by First Carolina Bank and NC Wesleyan alumna, Jane Gravely. Lank Dunton, First Carolina Bank’s Market Executive for the Rocky Mount Area, presented the College with $25,000 to support the Sports Stadium Project. First Carolina Bank has been a banking partner with NC Wesleyan and is a strong supporter of the Sports Stadium Project and other ongoing efforts at the College. Jane Gravely ’74 donated $24,000 to establish the Gravely Arts Gallery in The Dunn Center and start an endowment supporting the visual arts programs at NC Wesleyan. She is a current NC Wesleyan Board of Visitors member and fan of the arts.

“We are so grateful for the support this community shows the College. For 65 years we’ve been serving not only our students, but the community as well. That partnership, from its beginning to today, has been mutually beneficial,” stated Eddie Coats, Vice President of Advancement. “As NC Wesleyan continues to grow and thrive, so will the opportunities we offer back to the area through the arts, academic excellence, quality athletics, entertainment and volunteer support.  Regardless of the size, we are grateful for all gifts of support during this campaign.”

The College has set a goal of raising $280,000 by October 25. Those who are interested in supporting this campaign can give securely online at ncwc.edu/donate or by calling 252.985.5581.

Local Artist, Ashley Fabrizio, Coming to The Mims Gallery at NC Wesleyan


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The Mims Gallery at The Dunn Center will kick off their 2021-22 season with an opening reception featuring local artist, Ashley Fabrizio. This free, public event will take place on Thursday, September 9 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Gallery receptions provide a unique opportunity to enjoy new art, socialize and meet the artist.

Ashley Fabrizio
Ashley Fabrizio, local artist

Already famous in local community, Fabrizio is the artist behind the 125-foot by 30-foot CSX mural on the side of Station Square in downtown Rocky Mount. Fabrizio will discuss her experiences as a muralist, commission painter and paint party hostess, as well as a creative force in regional expressionist painting. A “fearless” artist, there is no subject she will shy away from, including portraits of friends, celebrities and dogs in vivid color and bold brushwork. You can feel the energy and excitement in her paintings, as well as envision her ideas and thoughts about her subject matter.

Educated in local schools and a student of painting and art education at Barton College, Fabrizio has found her artistic voice as an expressionist where emotion and bursts of excitement drive her vision and painting style. She is an active member of both the Wilson and Rocky Mount art communities, as well as other regional venues.

A mother of two young children, Fabrizio balances her creative life with parenting. Her determination to make a living as a career artist is to be admired. You can find Ashley at the Bel Air Art Center in downtown Rocky Mount where her lively, free-spirited mural is already a Bel Air landmark. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to view Fabrizio’s work. Her studio paintings will be on display and for sale in The Mims Gallery through October 22, making a great addition for your home or office collection.

About The Dunn Center

The Dunn Center is a premier venue for concerts, shows and conferences in eastern NC. Located on the campus of NC Wesleyan University, in the heart of Rocky Mount, The Dunn Center is proud to host the Wesleyan Season Series of cultural events and concerts. In addition to these world-class performances, The Dunn Center features a variety of campus and community events, including Wesleyan Players productions, concerts of the Tar River Swing Band and Orchestra and other various performances by nationally known artists. The Mims Gallery, located within The Dunn Center, hosts a variety of exhibits, including paintings, drawings, and sculpture. The Gallery is open weekdays from 2:00-4:00 p.m., as well as during performances. To learn more, visit dunncenter.com and follow on Facebook.

Calling All Entrepreneurs: Bring Your Best Pitch to NCWC


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University will host their first Nancy A. Shaw Entrepreneurship Competition on Tuesday, October 19 from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. in the Garner Lobby at The Dunn Center. This competition is open to residents of Nash and Edgecombe counties, as well as faculty, staff and students at NC Wesleyan.

Participating entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase a product, service or idea that they have created for domestic cats and/or dogs. The competition is judged in two parts. All participants will have their initial application and video reviewed by a panel of judges. These will then be narrowed down to the five best entrepreneurs, who will then present their pitch on October 19. Prizes will range from $1,500 for third place to $4,000 for the grand prize. There is no entry fee and the deadline for applying is September 23. The community is invited to come hear the presentations and enjoy light refreshments.

Dr. Nancy Shaw

“Dr. Nancy Shaw was a pioneer in health care and a life-long animal advocate. With the help of her endowment, NC Wesleyan will be able to establish its first endowed Professorship for its Pre-Vet major. Along with that, we now have the opportunity to host our new ‘Make Your Pitch’ Competition. What better way to honor an animal lover than to highlight pets and the importance they play in our lives,” stated Dr. Gena Messer-Knode, Dean of Career Services and Business Innovation.

The College announced in October 2020 that it had received $2,500,000 from the Dr. Nancy Shaw Trust. In addition to establishing its first endowed Professorship, the funds will create a highly-selective endowed scholarship, develop additional living and learning space and upgrade equipment in the College’s Biology, Biomedical, Environmental Science and Chemistry programs. The primary focus of Dr. Shaw’s trust is to benefit the health and care of felines, which was a passion of hers.

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.

Those who are interested in applying can visit bit.ly/ncwcpitch. For further information, please contact Dr. Gena Messer-Knode at gknode@ncwc.edu.

Local Author & Entrepreneur Set to Speak at NCWC Convocations


ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University will hold its 65th annual New Student Convocation on Tuesday, August 24 at The Dunn Center. Keynote Speaker for this year’s event will be Etaf Rum, local author and entrepreneur.

Rum is the author of A Woman Is No Man, which became a New York Times bestseller, hit the ninth spot on Amazon’s Bestseller List and was selected by Jenna Bush Hager as her book club’s May 2019 read. Rum is also part-owner of two local businesses in Rocky Mount—Barley & Burger, a bold and refined kitchen and bar, and Tipsy Tomato, a premier Italian pizza restaurant. Her newest venture, Books and Beans, centers around two of Rum’s favorite things: writing and coffee. Outfitted with a counter and handful of tables, Books and Beans serves breakfast, lunch and coffee from a North Carolina roaster.

When asked how she plans to motivate Wesleyan’s students, Rum stated she would “share with them tips to encourage discipline and goal-setting throughout their college experience; learning how to overcome adversity for success, transform through suffering and develop the mindset of a winner.”

“New Student Convocation is an important part of the orientation experience at NC Wesleyan,” stated Taylor Stone, Director of Student Success. “This ceremony is a chance for our new students to come together, while being encouraged and challenged as they move forward on their journey as a Bishop. Etaf Rum’s message will help educate our students and motivate them to be agents of change.” 

In addition to welcoming NC Wesleyan’s Class of 2025, Rum will also address the College’s professors at their Faculty Convocation on Tuesday, August 17. This event is used to give faculty a fresh perspective on issues in higher education, as well as provide them with exposure to a work, such as Rum’s book, that will give additional perspective to students the College serves. Rum grew up in a Palestinian-American household as the oldest of nine children in Brooklyn, New York. While raising her two children, she enrolled at North Carolina State University, where she earned a B.A. in English Language and Literature, a B.S. in Philosophy and an M.A. in American and British Literature and Philosophy.

Rock the Mount 2021


Rock the mount is back and we’re ready to make it better than ever!

Come out and help us welcome NC Wesleyan’s Class of 2025! Surrounding area business owners, churches and other non-profit organizations are invited to come gain exposure with Wesleyan’s students and promote your organization. General Public is invited.

August 24th, 11am – 1:30 pm
Food Trucks, Music and More!

Volleyball and Soccer Showcase, 2pm -5pm

The Aftershock Party, 6:30pm
Live Concert, Carnival Rides, Free Food and More

https://fb.watch/v/ShOWw_i9/

Jim Brickman Supports the Arts Concert


WITH SHARE THE LOVE LIVE! VIRTUALLY

JIM BRICKMAN SUPPORTS THE ARTS WITH SHARE THE LOVE LIVE! VIRTUALLY

Jim Brickman donated over $100,000 to the arts across the US this past holiday season, and now is doing it again by performing LIVE virtual concerts in February.

WHAT:
Jim Brickman “Share The Love, LIVE!” Virtually

WHEN:
Friday, February 12 at 9pm ET
Saturday, February 13 at 7pm ET & 10pm ET
Sunday, February 14 at 7pm ET & 10pm ET

WHERE:
Your couch, your bed, your comfy chair

WHY:
To enjoy a one of a kind personal concert experience with Jim Brickman and support your local theatre.

PRICES:
Early Bird $40 ($50 starting February 1)

INFO: Jim Brickman will wow the crowd with his uplifting, family-friendly, “LOVE BY REQUEST” CONCERT

Support local Performance Arts!
PROMO CODE: lovedc
Use this code and a portion of each ticket price ($10) will go to The Dunn Center!

Tickets On Sale Now EXCLUSIVELY at www.jimbrickman.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Grammy Nominated Songwriter and piano sensation Jim Brickman will continue to entertain fans in February with “Share The Love” LIVE Virtually. A portion of each ticket purchased to this LIVE event will be benefit theatres across the country. Fans and their families can enjoy this unique virtual concert experience from the comfort of home, while supporting the arts during this challenging time.

Brickman will bring the LIVE concert experience up close and personal with his “LOVE BY REQUEST: concerts filled with his own hit songs such as, “Love of My Life,” “Destiny,”Angel Eyes” and “Valentine.” Brickman will warm the hearts of all as sweet sounds love bringing family and friends together to Share the Love. 

The Jim Brickman’s Valentine’s tradition continues, with a front row experience like never before.

NCWC Board Announces Duff as College President


Contract Extended Through 2023

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Dr. Evan D. Duff has been named the eighth President of North Carolina Wesleyan University. The announcement came early this month from Dr. Dan Crocker, Chair of the Board of Trustees for the College.

Dr. Evan D. Duff, President

Duff was appointed as Acting President by the Board of Trustees on June 10, 2019 and later accepted a two-year contract as Interim President. Following recent discussions with faculty and staff, a consensus decision was made by the Board of Trustees in their May 29 assembly to appoint Duff as President and extend his contract for an additional two years. The extension positions Duff as President for the College through May 31, 2023.

In his statement to faculty and staff, Dr. Crocker, Chair of the Board, noted “the remarkable manner in which Dr. Duff took the reins since last summer, leading both efficiently and effectively.” He also mentioned “the extraordinary financial turnaround [of the College] in just one year with Evan at the helm.”

Over the last year, Dr. Duff has worked diligently with the Provost and faculty to develop new academic programs, namely Wesleyan’s new RN to BSN Program, set to begin this fall. In collaboration with faculty, staff and the Board of Trustees, he has been instrumental in developing a new vision, core values and a comprehensive strategic plan for the College, while providing significant leadership in the College’s efforts to finalize the educational space of Wesleyan’s new Indoor Sports and Education Facility, currently under construction.

The Executive Advisory Committee of the Board agreed to complete a yearly formal presidential assessment, which is currently in-process under the leadership of Dr. Andrew Stern, Chair of NC Wesleyan’s Faculty Council. Critiques from this assessment will be a valuable resource for both the Board of Trustees and Dr. Duff as he continues to lead the College.

“I am humbled by this opportunity that the Board has granted me, and I look forward to serving the faculty, staff, students, alumni, area churches and the community as we all continue to ensure the mission of the College is met. There is no greater time than the present to ensure our students are informed and educated citizens who are passionate about being positive change agents,” said Dr. Duff.

A Day for Wesleyan


One Day. A Lifelong Impact.

Day for Wesleyan Logo

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The Day for Wesleyan event has been a tradition at North Carolina Wesleyan University for 38 years, typically taking place over several weeks in the fall of the year. As Wesleyan implements safety and operational plans related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the College is still working hard to fulfill its educational mission and help its students complete the semester. This year, “A Day for Wesleyan” will be a 24-hour online giving opportunity for alumni and friends to show their Bishop Pride on Thursday, March 26.

“It’s important that we are meeting the needs of our students, both academically and financially. In an effort to uphold our mission and press on to provide this support for our students, we will move forward with our Day for Wesleyan campaign. Now more than ever, our students, families, communities and state need to rally around one another,” announced Interim President Dr. Evan D. Duff.

The goal of the campaign is to attract 650 donors to help raise $45,000 in a single day. Among the matching gift incentives, once the campaign reaches its 300th donor, a gift of $10,000 from an anonymous alumni will be unlocked.

“We hope that the entire community will show their Bishop Pride on Thursday, March 26th.  When alumni and friends of the College unite to share their passion for Wesleyan, amazing things can happen,” said Vice President of Advancement and Wesleyan alumnus, Eddie Coats. “All gifts, regardless of the amount, add up to make a huge impact on the College’s efforts to educate these bright and talented students.”

NC Wesleyan hopes everyone in the community will embrace March 26th as a day to celebrate Wesleyan. It can be as simple as wearing blue and gold or Wesleyan gear, posting Wesleyan memories on social media using #DFW2020, spreading the news to others to follow Wesleyan, or making a gift in support online. Gifts to the Wesleyan Fund will give the College the ability to respond to the greatest needs and concerns as they arise. 

“Their growth has brought more young people to this area,” states Chamber of Commerce President David Farris. “The educational experiences they offer, and the opportunities they create to improve our quality of life culturally, has an impact on everyone in this region.” 

Donors can learn more and participate in the Day for Wesleyan by going to the secured giving website dayforwesleyan.com or by calling 252.985.5266. Gifts are tax-deductible.

NC Wesleyan Students Spend Spring Break in NYC


(L to R): Connor Hayes, Brianna Skipwith, Dr. Katrina Sweet and David Bolivar

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University has partnered with Sony Music Entertainment to provide job shadowing opportunities for music production and Human Resources management students. 

“It is partnerships like these that allow our students to experience real-world applications from the learning outcomes they attained in the classroom. Having the ability to offer these extraordinary opportunities prepares our students for their career after graduation and establishes a network of professionals with a major music entertainment company like Sony,” stated Dr. Evan D. Duff, Interim President of North Carolina Wesleyan University.

Recently selected NCWC students Brianna Skipwith, Conner Hayes and David Bolivar will travel next week, March 4-6, to participate in the spring break 2020 Sony job shadowing experience. These students along with Dr. Katrina Sweet, NCWC Assistant Professor of Business, will be able to work side by side with Sony Entertainment’s human resource professionals. During their time in NYC, they will also visit the 9/11 memorial and attend a Broadway show.

“HR was once viewed as the old personnel department isolated from the rest of the organization. Now HR is viewed as a strategic partner and is a part of the strategic planning phase of an organization. Students will be able to see both the two way linkage and integrative linkage and how each interrelates with the strategic goals and performance outcomes of an organization,” stated Dr. Katrina Sweet.

Hayes acknowledges he hopes to “see the business fundamentals, practices, and organizational concepts that I learned in the classroom be applied in a real-world setting” adding, “I believe the wealth of knowledge and relationships I will gain will open up many more doors in the future.”

Last October, NCWC students Will Plyler and Josh Strausser received the opportunity to visit The Orchard, a renowned Sony recording studio, and shadow some of Sony’s top music production engineers. North Carolina Wesleyan University looks forward to more of their students having these same opportunities in the near future.

NC Native and Award-Winning Actress to Speak at NCWC Commencement


Sharon Lawrence posing
Sharon Lawrence,
April 2020 commencement speaker

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University is excited to announce Sharon Lawrence as their April 2020 commencement speaker. Lawrence is an award-winning actress with roles on NYPD Blue, Grey’s Anatomy and the CBS comedy, “Me, Myself and I.” 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 April. With our new Entertainment Arts major, music production minor 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, Interim President of North Carolina Wesleyan University.

While at UNC, Lawrence was active onstage with the college’s Playmakers Repertory Company. She is a proud founding, 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 currently appears on several different television series, including: Dynasty, Shameless, Criminal Minds, and can most recently be seen opposite Kirsten Dunst in Showtime’s On Becoming a God in Central Florida. She is set to star on Apple’s upcoming series Home Before Dark. 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.”

On April 25, 2020, Sharon will address the Class of 2020 at NC Wesleyan University’s Spring Commencement, which will be held in front of the Braswell Administration Building.