NCWC Receives Lonnie & Carol Poole Family Foundation Grant

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA — North Carolina Wesleyan University has received a $250,000 grant from the Lonnie & Carol Poole Family Foundation. These funds will provide NCWC the ability to improve the overall student experience by renovating classroom, bathroom and office space throughout the College’s campus.

“The College is extremely grateful for the Lonnie & Carol Poole Family Foundation’s grant that will enable us to make some needed upgrades to our campus. These improvements contribute to the unique Wesleyan experience we provide while fulfilling our mission. We appreciate the desire of this foundation to help impact our students, faculty and staff,” expressed President Dr. Evan D. Duff.

Thomas Winstead, an NCWC Board of Trustees member, helped cultivate the relationship between NC Wesleyan University and the Foundation. This grant will be allocated to renovate over 40 faculty offices, several classrooms, and six bathrooms on the first floor of the Braswell Administration, Pearsall Classroom and Gravely Science buildings. Studies have shown that better facilities and classrooms not only improve the student experience, but also contribute to faculty performing at their best.

The Lonnie & Carol Poole Family Foundation is a private family foundation based in Raleigh, NC. The Foundation seeks to impact the lives of men, women and children by providing financial support to programs and organizations that teach and instill Christian values, promote business and entrepreneurship conducted in an ethical manner, educate young people and provide support to educational institutions, and/or help individuals to escape poverty by rewarding individual effort.

Lonnie Poole, a 1959 graduate of the NC State College of Engineering, is the founder and retired CEO and chairman of Waste Industries USA, a leading provider of solid waste and recycling collection services. Poole also founded the Environmental Research and Education Foundation and served as director of its board. Carol Johnson Poole attended Meredith University and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is president of the Lonnie & Carol Poole Family Foundation.

About North Carolina Wesleyan University North Carolina Wesleyan University, 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 University 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 and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and Instagram.

NC Wesleyan University Students Complete Inaugural Corporate Adoption Program

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University’s new Corporate Adoption Program (CAP) recently wrapped up its inaugural partnership with Envolve Benefit Options. The purpose of the CAP initiative is to enhance the career readiness skills of NCWU students by providing them with direct exposure to professional work settings and contacts. Envolve Benefit Options, which has a corporate office at the Rocky Mount Mills campus, hosted two Wesleyan students in the first cohort. Since completing the program, these two students have been hired as interns with Envolve.

This partnership was announced in November 2021 after a meeting was held at NCWU with students and representatives from the company. These students were then engaged in a full-day learning experience in early October on the Rocky Mount Mills campus.

“It was very rewarding to watch these students present their ideas for addressing a real business need and to see how much the Envolve team benefitted from their contributions. These students took full advantage of this year’s inaugural CAP experience, absorbing and applying a great deal of information about an industry they have no prior experience in. I’m grateful to the Envolve team for the investment they made in these students,” stated Jessie Langley, Associate Dean of Career Development & Leadership.

Eligible students are juniors and seniors with a 2.5 GPA or higher and a major applicable to the partner’s industry and project at hand. Those accepted are assigned to a CAP team that includes five-to-ten students, one faculty mentor and one corporate partner. The Envolve partnership consisted of students majoring in Accounting, Business, Communications, Computer Information Systems and Marketing.

When students apply to be a part of CAP, they are making a commitment to participate in the following:

– Intentional growth in career readiness skills
– Meetings with their assigned CAP group and Faculty Advisor as needed
– Fall Break and a minimum of two days during Spring Break
– Participating and presenting on an assigned corporate project with their CAP team during the spring semester

Rocky Mount-based corporations for future CAP partnerships will be selected based on the organizations’ expressed genuine interest in investing in the growth and development of a team of NCWU students and willingness to designate an internal CAP program manager. The CAP program manager will host workshops and meetings led by corporate speakers, while also maintaining ongoing communication with CAP students, faculty and staff. In addition, CAP partners are encouraged to offer paid summer internships to NCWU students in the program. Local organizations that are interested in partnering with North Carolina Wesleyan University’s CAP program can contact Jessie Langley at or 252.985.5177.

NC Wesleyan Celebrates Class of 2022

On Saturday, May 7, North Carolina Wesleyan University held its Spring Commencement at the Rocky Mount Event Center celebrating 479 graduates. This commemorated the University’s 82nd graduation and included the first class of graduates in its new RN-to-BSN program.

The event was open to graduates, faculty, the platform party and seven ticketed guests per graduate. Of the graduates, there were 24 international graduates from 10 countries: Argentina, Colombia, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Netherlands, Paraguay, Spain, United Kingdom and Venezuela. University Chaplain, Rev. Edwin Ferguson, gave the invocation, followed by a performance of the Star-Spangled Banner by alumna, Ms. Latisha Scott ’06.

“This is indeed a joyous occasion; a time when we celebrate learning and academic achievement,” stated President Dr. Evan D. Duff. “Your degree is provided by an institution which seeks not only to dispense knowledge and develop the habits for lifelong learning, but also expects its graduates to be responsible citizens, contributors to the common good— women and men who care about others. As we celebrate together, we acknowledge the obligations all of us have to help bring about a better world.”

The commencement address was given by Daniel Erwin “Dan” Jansen, a retired American speed skater and Olympic gold medalist. A multiple world champion in sprint, Jansen won a gold medal in his final race (1,000 meters) in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. In 1993, Jansen set a world record in the 500-meter event and was cast as a favorite to win gold at the 1994 Winter Olympics. Between the 1992 and 1994 Olympics, Jansen was the only skater to break 36 seconds in the 500 meters, doing so four times. In 1994, Jansen won his second World Sprint Championship title.

Jansen’s message to the graduates centered around defining success. “Results are going to be there…give your best every time you’re out there, that’s really all that you can ask,” stated Jansen. “You have to learn from every experience. The greatest thing may happen to you, or the worst thing may happen to you— try to take something away and learn something.”

Dr. Daniel Elias, Assistant Professor of Biology, received the 2022 Exemplary Teacher Award This award recognizes excellence in teaching and promotion of student learning, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education, service to students beyond the classroom and service to the larger community beyond campus.

Alyssa Brookhart received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award, which honors a senior who best exemplifies excellence in character, leadership, service to the community and a commitment to spiritual values. Brookhart obtained Bachelor of Science degrees in both Biomedical Science and Environmental Science.

The President’s Cup, an award that recognizes the attainment of the highest standards of academic performance as demonstrated by the overall grade point average, went to Rebecca Mitchell. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and is a graduate of the Honors Program.

In addition, NC Wesleyan’s ROTC program commissioned two graduates into the United States Army. These students took the oath of office from NC Wesleyan’s Director of Army ROTC, LTC (R) James Mercer. The newly commissioned Second Lieutenants include: Second Lieutenant Savion Young and Second Lieutenant Solomon Pownall, both commissioned into the U.S. Army.

The event was live streamed and recorded so family and friends who were not able to attend in person could celebrate with their students virtually. The recording can be viewed at and the College’s Facebook page.

Nash Correctional Institution Art Exhibit Appears at Mims Gallery at NCWU

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA Finding Freedom Through Art by the Art Club at the Nash Correctional Institution will be coloring the walls of Mims Gallery at The Dunn Center on North Carolina Wesleyan University’s campus. This free exhibition will be open to the public from Thursday, May 12 to Friday, August 5. A reception will also be held on Thursday, May 12 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

The purpose of the Art Club at Nash Correctional Institution is to provide academic and technical training for inmates at the Institution. The Art Club offers beginner to advanced classes generated and taught by inmates. For these individuals, art has become a way of life and gives them a way to reconnect with family and friends to heal damaged relationships.

Art transcends all cultural barriers. These classes provide goals to work towards, inspire confidence, promote a strong work ethic, and give better tools to communicate ideas or express emotion. This exhibition will show how current circumstances do not determine your future and how beauty can be found anywhere. It is supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, as well as by the NC Department of Public Safety.

The Mims Gallery is open during normal business hours Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., during evening performances at The Dunn Center and through special appointments with the Art Curator. To schedule an appointment, contact Greg Purcell at 301.848.2558.   

To view artwork online, go to on TikTok.

Also, see article from OurJourney2gether.

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. To learn more, visit and follow on Facebook and TikTok at

COVID-19 Update – April 29, 2022

Effective 5/1/22 at 5 pm, the university recommends a mask optional policy for students, employees, and visitors. Unvaccinated individuals can continue to wear masks when they are unable to socially distance themselves and it is optional for college employees to wear masks in their classes or in their offices.

The University plans to have a normal fall opening unless conditions change significantly before then. Current or modified NCAA requirements will be followed.

Please contact Health Services at with any questions.

(Please note that our COVID policy and protocols are subject to change at any time based on changes in CDC, state, or local guidelines, new data release, or local trends. We will update the college community promptly if we have to change the system or protocols.)

North Carolina Wesleyan University to Become University

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On Friday, April 22 in a historic move, the North Carolina Wesleyan University Board of Trustees announced plans for the College to become North Carolina Wesleyan University. Since 2015, the College has been moving in this direction with the addition of its first two master’s programs, a key component of being considered a university.

“The evolution of NC Wesleyan from a college to a university represents the culmination of the excellent work of many dedicated people over previous years and the commitment of the current administration, faculty, staff and Board of Trustees in expanding the institutional offerings to its students for research, as well as career development,” stated Dr. Dan Crocker, Chairman of the NC Wesleyan Board of Trustees. “The impact of this effort on the students and the area will be tremendous.”

Some of the criteria that were considered when changing the name to “university” included: serving adult students, offering professional programs, offering graduate programs, serving a large percentage of international students and having multiple instructional locations. Despite this update to Wesleyan’s name, its values will remain the same:

  • To provide one-on-one mentoring opportunities for students with faculty and staff to align their passions with their future career and life aspirations.
  • To provide career and research opportunities to all students to enhance their marketability and skills beyond college.
  • To create world citizens with vast educational and hands-on experiences to be competent, intelligent, and competitive in a changing world.
  • To provide adult students with applied learning assignments and flexible instructional formats to advance their career and life goals

“Becoming a university demonstrates the evaluation of our impact on students and the community over the last 65 years. We are moving in a direction to offer additional academic offerings for a more diverse community of students,” stated Dr. Evan D. Duff. “Our foundation in becoming North Carolina Wesleyan University started over 45 years ago when we began offering various modes of instruction to working adult students. With this change, we will continue to be committed to one-on-one mentoring opportunities, hands-on experiences with faculty, research opportunities for undergraduate students, career exploration from day one and remain a teaching-focused institution.”

This announcement comes toward the conclusion of Wesleyan’s 65th anniversary. Over the next several months, North Carolina Wesleyan will transition to its new identity, working with the state and its regional accreditor to finalize this change. Rebranding of its website, social media, campus signage, literature, advertising, and much more will occur during this time as well.

NC Wesleyan Unveils Turf Field and Receives Million Dollar Gift

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On Thursday, April 21, North Carolina Wesleyan College celebrated the completion of phase one of its Sports Stadium and officially unveiled Stallings Field at the Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. Stadium. A highlight of the evening was a $1 million check presentation to the Campaign by Vernon T. Bradley, Jr. These funds made it possible for Wesleyan to construct a new turf field, install lighting and build additional parking.

(L to R): Dr. Evan D. Duff, Vernon T. Bradley, Jr., Jacqueline Newhouse, Roger Taylor and Dr. Dan Crocker

The Sports Stadium Campaign is completely donor-funded consists of four project phases. As funding allows, additional phases will include permanent seating, scoreboards, a press box and a new fieldhouse. The new fieldhouse will contain an athletic training room, weight room, classrooms, meeting space and offices. The project supports NCWC Athletics, specifically football, lacrosse, men’s soccer and women’s soccer. In addition, it also benefits the College academically since in the past, athletes have had to miss afternoon classes to travel and shorten practices. The new turf field and lighting allows student-athletes to practice and play games later in the evenings.

“This event was one we won’t forget. The excitement of standing under those lights with so many students and community supporters was surreal. I cannot thank Vernon Bradley, Don Stallings and Marion Barnes enough for helping to make this a reality for our students,” stated Aaron Denton, Vice President of Athletics.

Speakers at the event included Vernon T. Bradley, Jr.; Dr. Dan Crocker, Chairman of the NCWC Board of Trustees; Roger Taylor, NCWC Board Member and Athletics Committee Chair; Dr. Evan D. Duff, NCWC President; and Aaron Denton, NCWC Vice President of Athletics.

NC Wesleyan’s President Invited as Panelist at National Education Conference

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College’s President, Dr. Evan D. Duff, recently spoke on a panel at the Education 2.0 Conference. This year’s conference, “Uniting Changemakers To Revolutionize Education,” took place Wednesday, April 6 through Friday, April 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

During the event, Duff joined four other educational experts from around the world on a panel discussion titled: “Theory & Practical Knowledge – Bridging the Gap.” He discussed the benefits of successfully applying theoretical knowledge in practical settings through meaningful pedagogical practices, corporate partnerships, and applied learning experiences.

The Education 2.0 Conference’s exclusive recognition session spotlighted a few incredible individuals and organizations who have worked tirelessly to reform and improve global education. During the event, Duff was presented Education 2.0 Conference’s 2022 Outstanding Leadership Award.

“I was inspired by all of the intellectual capital present at this conference and for the learning outcomes that I walked away with,” stated Duff. “Being recognized by Education 2.0 with an Outstanding Leadership Award was icing on the cake. I appreciate our talented faculty and staff who work with our students to connect their learning to rewarding career paths.”

Attendees included a global learning strategist from Google, college professors, foundation CEO’s, and other education industry leaders. This program honors these visionary minds and inspires emerging global voices.

About Education 2.0
Education 2.0 Conference’s goal is to bring the global education community together to facilitate knowledge sharing and to look for solutions to issues faced in education transmittal in this day and age. The Education 2.0 Conference aspires to present a vibrant platform where changemakers from the education industry can meet with peers and discuss ways and means to revolutionize how we learn and teach.

NCWC Recognized for Exemplary Transfer Pathways

Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society (PTK) has named 171 colleges and universities to its 2022 Transfer Honor Roll in recognition of the dynamic pathways they have created to support transfer students.

The Transfer Honor Roll is determined by 40 key metrics related to the support and success of transfer students, including college cost and financial aid, campus life for transfer, admission practices, and bachelor’s degree completion. The Transfer Honor Roll was based on analysis from the National Student Clearinghouse, and on data submitted through the four-year institution’s profile on PTK Connect, Phi Theta Kappa’s online tool designed to help students find their best-fit colleges and career pathways.

Spotlighted at the 2022 American Council on Education (ACE) conference, the Transfer Honor Roll recognizes the importance of creating strong transfer pathways that lead to excellence and success among community college transfer students, and this year’s winners had exceptional outcomes, and several of these included:

• Average percent of transfer in undergraduate population – 60%
• Average bachelor’s degree completion rate among transfers – 77%
• Average credit transferred toward a degree major and/or plan – 91%
• Average percent of transfer students receiving merit-based financial aid – 84%

“This award is so important because it is based on what students tell us they need from their transfer experience,” says Dr. Lynn Tincher-Ladner, President and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “We are honored to recognize the colleges and universities working exceptionally hard to create stronger pathways to bachelor’s degree completion for all students.”

About Phi Theta Kappa
Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges and helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The Society is made up of more than 3.8 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 10 countries, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges. Learn more at

NCWC Recognized by Exercise is Medicine® for Creating Culture of Wellness on Campus

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College is one of only 156 universities and colleges around the world to be honored by Exercise is Medicine® for its efforts to create a culture of wellness on campus. Activities such as Walk with the President, Exercise is Medicine® On Campus (EIM-OC) mascot challenge, Lunch n’ Learn Series for Health and other campus wellness initiatives aided NCWC in earning silver level designation from the EIM-OC program.  

“We are thrilled to recognize these campuses’ commitment to make movement a part of daily campus culture and give students the tools to cultivate physical activity habits that will benefit them throughout their lives,” said Robyn Stuhr, Vice President of Exercise is Medicine. “These campus programs are nurturing future leaders who will advance a key tenet of Exercise is Medicine: making physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in healthcare.”

The silver level Exercise is Medicine® On Campus award was made possible through combined efforts of the College’s Exercise is Medicine® On Campus leadership team, the Health and Movement Science Club, Wesleyan Wellness and the campus community.

“We are excited to have received the EIM-OC silver distinction for the third year in a row! This illustrates the continued and substantial efforts of our students, faculty, staff and administration to cultivate a culture of physical activity and wellness on campus,” said Dr. Shannon Crowley, Associate Professor of Exercise Science and Exercise is Medicine® On Campus program advisor.

Of the 156 campuses recognized this year, 73 received gold, 60 silver and 23 bronze. All gold, silver and bronze universities and colleges will be officially recognized on Wednesday, June 1 as part of the 2022 Exercise is Medicine® World Congress, held in conjunction with the American College of Sports Medicine’s Annual Meeting.

EIM-OC calls upon universities and colleges to promote physical activity as a vital sign of health and encourages faculty, staff and students to work together to improve the health and well-being of the campus community. Its recognition program launched in 2014 to honor campuses for their efforts to create a culture of wellness. Schools silver status by engaging students, faculty and staff in education initiatives and making movement part of the daily campus culture.

View a complete list of recognized schools and learn more about the EIM-OC program at

About Exercise Is Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) co-launched Exercise is Medicine® (EIM) in 2007 with the American Medical Association. ACSM continues to manage the global health initiative, which seeks to make physical activity assessment and promotion a standard in clinical care, connecting health care with evidence-based physical activity resources for people everywhere of all abilities. EIM is committed to the belief that physical activity promotes optimal health, is integral in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions and should be regularly assessed and included as part of health care. Visit for additional information.

About the American College of Sports Medicine

The American College of Sports Medicine is the largest sports medicine and exercise science organization in the world. More than 50,000 international, national and regional members and certified professionals are dedicated to advancing and integrating scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine. More details at

NCWC Students Job Shadow at Grover Gaming in Greenville, NC

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – While many college students spend their spring breaks traveling or visiting their favorite beach, several students at NC Wesleyan took the time to learn about career development. The College’s Office of Career Development & Leadership organized an opportunity for a small group of NCWC juniors to visit Grover Gaming in Greenville, NC. On Tuesday, March 8 and Wednesday, March 9, these students were exposed to many aspects of the organization’s business, including their game development studio. Grover Gaming’s Greenville location is home to game developers, 3D artists, release QA testers, research and development engineers, and several other teams.

(L-R) Jessie Langley, Associate Dean of Career Development & Leadership; Naomi Pilapil, NCWC Student; Ki Vera Pardillo, NCWC student; Mohamet-Faye, NCWC Student.

All students who participated are Computer Information Systems majors. They were able to learn about the mission, vision and values within the company, benefits of full-time positions and the intersection of various departments. As an added bonus, each student received a professional headshot taken by Grover Gaming.

“When I heard Grover’s president, Garrett Blackwelder, discuss the meaning behind the company name being rooted in the concept of growth, I knew I had brought our students to a great place for a developmental experience. Mr. Blackwelder genuinely explained that “Grover” was selected to reflect his vision for the organization to “grow over and over” in the game development industry and also for his entire team to continually grow professionally and personally,” stated Jessie Langley, Associate Dean of Career Development & Leadership at NC Wesleyan. “Our visit confirmed this as I found the Grover culture to be intoxicatingly warm while also laser-focused on the company’s goals.”

Ki Vera Pardillo, one of the NCWC students who took part in this opportunity, witnessed how her training in the classroom could apply to a full-time career after college. She states: “I got to see a real-life setting for the development processes of gaming software ranging from graphic design to the deployment of their products. I was also able to ask software developers and programmers which methods and development tools they use to create the programs, as well as how they improve their products to have a competitive advantage.”

Langley hopes to continue facilitating future visits to Grover Gaming so that additional students can learn specifically about the game development side of the business.

About Grover Gaming

Founded in Greenville, NC, Grover Gaming is a software development and design company with offices and distribution facilities in 9 different states that specializes in electronic gaming throughout the US and Canada. Grover Gaming has evolved from a small gaming route started by founder Garrett Blackwelder in 2003, to a company of over 350 talented employees, focused on building a strong foundation of humble, passionate people, effective processes, and superior products. That vision continues, thanks to our growing team of dedicated employees and their desire to create innovative and entertaining gaming experiences for an ever-changing industry.  Grover Gaming is a multiyear recipient of Inc Magazine’s prestigious Inc 5000 award, ranking #194 in 2020.