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 College 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 College.

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 College’s Spring Commencement, which will be held in front of the Braswell Administration Building.   

Wesleyan Welcomes New Talent to Admissions Team

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College is happy to welcome several new faces to its admissions team. Wesleyan alumnus, Aaron Meade, joins the team in their recruitment efforts for traditional day students. Wesleyan alumni, Tracy Gary and Lindsey Sharpe, will team up with adult studies as Admissions and Advising Coordinators for the Rocky Mount campus.

Aaron Meade, Traditional Students Admissions Counselor

Meade graduated from Wesleyan in December 2018 double majoring in Accounting and Business with a concentration in Sports Administration. Since then, he has become a valuable asset to the Wesleyan community by aiding in a variety of positions such as Student Affairs Assistant for the Greek Life Coordinator and current member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. Before accepting the position of Admissions Counselor, Meade was the Assistant Director of the Youth Technology Institute at the College. In that role, Meade was responsible for recruiting students, marketing efforts and public relations.

“We are excited to have Aaron join our team,” stated Paige Price Wells, Assistant Director of Admissions for traditional recruitment. “We have full confidence that he will make an immediate contribution to the Admissions staff and the NCWC community.”

Tracy Gary, an alumna from the Class of 1990, has acquired more than 20 years of educational experience with various institutions. Her experience spans from teaching high school mathematics for Weldon City Schools to matriculating from Assistant Principal to Principal for Wilson County Schools, later becoming the Director of Human Resources and Operations for Weldon City Schools. Most recently, she served as Superintendent of Weldon City Schools. Gary’s dedication has garnered numerous awards such as Teacher of the Year at the school and district level in the same year, Principal of the Year and received the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Local Hero Award. She also obtained her master’s degree in School Administration from East Carolina University.

(L-R): Tracy Gary, Lindsey Sharpe, Admissions & Advising Coordinators for Adult and Professional Studies

Lindsey Sharpe is also a recent graduate of NC Wesleyan, completing her B.S. in Exercise Science in spring 2017. Since then, she has worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant for various assisted care facilities, most recently as Bridge to Recovery Director at HeartFields Assisted Living in Cary, NC. Sharpe continued her academic pursuits by obtaining a master’s degree in Gerontology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As a student-athlete at NC Wesleyan, she was a member of the softball team. Academically, she earned numerous awards including the President’s List twice, the President’s Honors List twice and the Exercise Science Department Award for spring 2015. She is also a member of Sigma Phi Omega, the International Gerontology Honor Society through UNC Charlotte.

“The College is happy to welcome two alums to build and grow enrollment efforts in Adult and Professional Studies in Rocky Mount,” stated Michael Drew, Interim Dean of Admissions and Adult Studies. “We are confident that Lindsey and Tracy, as Admissions and Advising Coordinators, have the knowledge, skills and experience that will serve the College well in their new roles working with adult professionals, transfer students and new students.”

North Carolina Wesleyan eagerly welcomes all three to the Bishop family and is excited about the new perspectives and energy they will bring to the College.

Wesleyan Submits Accreditation Application for New RN to BSN Program

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan College is pleased to announce that it has submitted the substantive change application for the new RN to BSN program to its regional accreditor, the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC). The College will begin promoting the program immediately and will be accepting applications this spring. Pending approval from SACSCOC expected in April or May, the program will start in fall 2020. Thanks to the hard work of Dr. Brittany Bass, Dr. Esther Burgess, Dr. Evan Duff, Dr. Larry Kelley, Dr. Molly Wyatt and Scott Marsigli, this document was completed in record time to meet the January deadline. The program will also seek professional accreditation from Nursing’s top collegiate academic accreditor, Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE).

The RN to BSN program will be for licensed nurses who have an Associate Degree in Nursing and desire to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The Institute of Medicine recommends that hospitals should work to hire RNs with higher levels of education and training. Studies show this enables nurses to provide better patient care. For this reason, they also recommend that 80% of nurses earn their Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) by 2020.

As nursing becomes more complex, a BSN can move one’s career forward. This program will expand on the RN competencies needed to drive change that will positively affect healthcare, as well as preparing nurses for graduate studies. In this program, professional baccalaureate nursing practice will focus on population health, nursing leadership and management, informatics, healthcare policy and evidence based research opportunities that will facilitate professional growth. RN to BSN students will be required to complete clinical experiences in the BSN Professional Capstone course. The purpose of the clinical practice experience is to translate new nursing knowledge into daily practice.

NC Wesleyan is also excited to announce it has received a $15,000 gift from two married alums to cover the costs of textbooks for the first 20 students accepted into the program. Stay tuned to and the College’s social media for the official announcement of when application acceptance will begin.

If you are interested in learning more about the program, select the button below.

WCC, NC Wesleyan Sign Transfer Agreement

GOLDSBORO, NC – Wayne Community College and North Carolina Wesleyan College have renewed their commitment to seamless transfer between the two schools.

Dr. Thomas A. Walker Jr., president of WCC, and Dr. Evan D. Duff, interim president of NC Wesleyan, signed an agreement for “Wesleyan Works,” a transfer program for community college students who plan to continue their education at NC Wesleyan.

Students who participate in Wesleyan Works are guaranteed acceptance into NC Wesleyan once they earn an Associate in Arts, Associate in Science, or other Associate in Applied Science degree from WCC and their WCC courses will transfer seamlessly into comparable bachelor’s degree programs at NCWC.

While they are enrolled in WCC, Wesleyan Works participants will have access to academic advising and financial aid counseling from both institutions and can attend events on both the WCC campus and the NCWC main campus in Rocky Mount.

“My first objective when I came to Wesleyan was to build partnerships to provide access to a bachelor’s degree to as many NC community college graduates as possible,” said Dr. Duff. “My goal is to be the best transfer partner.”

Dr. Walker agreed that such alliances enhance WCC’s programs by providing smooth transitions into further educational opportunities. “This program sets up our students to not only succeed here but also when they get to NC Wesleyan,” said Dr. Walker. “We are constantly striving to improve the path that takes our students to advanced educational options and better stations in life.”

Officials at both colleges view the agreement as a win-win situation for the schools and their respective students. The ability to pursue a four-year degree upon completion of an associate degree is attractive to WCC students and NC Wesleyan has the opportunity to grow its enrollment with a pool of students who have proven that they have the academic skills to succeed in an institution of higher education.

For more information, potential participants can contact Kacee Ingram, director of the WCC College Transfer Advising Center, at 919-739-6755 or

About Wayne Community College
Wayne Community College is a public, learning-centered institution with an open-door admission policy located in Goldsboro, N.C. As it works to develop a highly skilled and competitive workforce, the college serves 11,000 individuals annually as well as businesses, industry, and community organizations with high quality, affordable, accessible learning opportunities, including more than 140 college credit programs. WCC’s mission is to meet the educational, training, and cultural needs of the communities it serves.

FREE Concert: The United States Air Force Heritage of America Concert Band

Enjoy a concert given by the United States Air Force Heritage of America Concert Band at the Dunn Center – Minges Auditorium, February 18th, 2020, 7:00PM. The concert is FREE at open to the public.

For six decades, the USAF Heritage of America Concert Band has educated, inspired and entertained over 1.5 million people annually, by providing music for events that support Airmen and their families, honor our Nation’s veterans and build relationships of trust between the American people and their Air Force. The Concert Band is comprised of over 40 professional Airman-musicians who captivate audiences on regular tours throughout the East Coast with a variety of renditions of great orchestral classics, marches, Broadway hits, jazz standards, movie music and patriotic favorites.

Activated in 1941, The United States Air Force Heritage of America Band has a rich history of inspiring public patriotism and enhancing esprit de corps among all the US military service branches. These world-class airman-musicians are stationed at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia. They travel throughout the Carolinas, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions, presenting over 300 events annually for the general public and in support of Airman morale and protocol events. Under the leadership of Major Rafael Toro-Quiñones, the USAF Heritage of America Band remains at the forefront of communicating Air Force core values and preserving and enriching America’s military and musical heritage into the 21st century.

For additional information about this free concert, please contact:or visit the band’s website:

Contact Information:
MSgt Ryan Heseltine
Director of Operations

North Carolina Wesleyan, Forsyth Technical Community College Sign New Transfer Partnership Agreement

A new transfer partnership agreement will create a streamlined path for Forsyth Technical Community College graduates to pursue a bachelor’s degree from North Carolina Wesleyan.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (January 8, 2020) –-During a formal signing event on Wednesday, January 8, North Carolina Wesleyan College announced a new agreement with Forsyth Technical Community College (Forsyth Tech) to facilitate degree completion and student success by improving access to undergraduate educational resources, college facilities and support systems.

“Forsyth Tech is thrilled to collaborate with NC Wesleyan in this agreement,” said President of Forsyth Tech Dr. Janet N. Spriggs. “Having this strategic alliance will offer tremendous benefits to our students and to the community in demonstrating how higher education works together to improve student completion and success.” 

In partnership, NC Wesleyan and Forsyth Tech will enhance and expand the educational opportunities for Forsyth Tech’s Associate in Science specifically in Business Administration and Criminal Justice programs. NC Wesleyan will maintain a full-time Coordinator of Transfer Admission at one of the Forsyth Tech campus sites.

“NCWC has a long history of partnering with NC Community Colleges and we are excited to add FT to our list of partners,” said Interim President of NC Wesleyan Dr. Evan D. Duff. “It is collaborations like this that enable students to attain their bachelor’s or master’s degree without having to leave their family or job.”

FT has launched five new co-admission partnerships over the last two years with Bellevue University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University, Salem College University of North Carolina – Greensboro and Winston-Salem State University, to improve student access to undergraduate and graduate education. The programs begin enrolling in fall 2019.

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. Follow NCWC on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram.

About Forsyth Tech
Forsyth Technical Community College is a catalyst for equitable economic mobility, empowering lives and transforming communities. The college offers associate degrees, diplomas, and certificates in over 200 programs of study, including programs that promote personal and professional development through non-credit courses and seminars, as well as customized training for business and industry. Forsyth Tech serves more than 35,000 students with approximately 1,500 full and part-time faculty and staff. For additional information, visit and follow on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn  and Instagram.

The Dunn Center for the Performing Arts Receives Bequest from Trustee Emeriti

John J. Ferebee, Sr.

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The Dunn Center for the Performing Arts recently received a gift from the late John J. Ferebee, Sr. This gift will be held as an endowment fund to be used for the annual costs of maintenance and upkeep of The Dunn Center.

John J. Ferebee, Sr., who passed away on October 7, 2019, was the previous Board of Trustees Vice Chairman for North Carolina Wesleyan College and a recipient of the College’s prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award. His son, John “Jett” Ferebee is a current member of the College’s Board of Trustees.

“The Dunn Center staff is so grateful for this generous gift,” stated Sheila Martin, Executive Director of The Dunn Center for the Performing Arts. “Mr. Ferebee and his family have been strong supporters of the performing arts on campus since the building opened 23 years ago. He had the same two seats for all of our season shows until his health declined a number of years ago. Mr. Ferebee’s gift will be used to greatly enhance the quality of the lighting and audio on our proscenium stage in the Minges Auditorium.” 

The Dunn Center for the Performing Arts is located on the campus of North Carolina Wesleyan College. The facility includes the 1,181 seat Minges Auditorium, the intimate Powers Recital Hall and several galleries including Mims Gallery. Other spaces include the Carlton Board Room, Garner Lobby, as well as an acting classroom. The Dunn Center features a variety of campus and community events, including Wesleyan Players productions and concerts of the Tar River Swing Band and Orchestra.

Wesleyan Holds Winter Commencement

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On Saturday, December 14, North Carolina Wesleyan College held its winter commencement for approximately 225 graduates at the Rocky Mount Event Center. 

This is the College’s 78th graduation, with the first occurring in 1960. There were 11 international graduates from three countries: El Salvador, Nepal and Argentina. This commencement also included the second cohort of Wesleyan’s new Master’s in Criminal Justice program.  

“These degrees are 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,” stated Interim President Dr. Evan D. Duff.

Ms. Constance D. Williams, Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources, Americas, Sony Music Entertainment

The commencement address was given by Ms. Constance D. Williams, Senior Vice President and Head of Human Resources, Americas, Sony Music Entertainment located in New York, NY. In this role, she leads Sony Music’s talent acquisition and talent management functions. Prior to her employment at Sony Music Entertainment, Ms. Williams was an adjunct professor at North Carolina Wesleyan College, credentialed to teach courses in Psychology, Business and Organizational Administration at all levels.

Williams addressed the graduates, stating “The world you’re graduating into is complex and is full of hope and optimism…you have to remain optimistic and you have to believe that you can impact change. That it’s up to you to give this world a better and brighter future.” She informed them “It is your duty to leave every place better than when you arrived. While you’re diploma will help pave the way for success, it is your commitment to impacting your own greatness that will translate into success. Don’t be a bystander.” 

Wesleyan also honored the families of four young ladies with Honorary Posthumous Degrees: Robyne Barnes, Quedeshia “Donyell” Brown, Kandis McBride-Jones and Donesha “Dee” Scott. These NC Wesleyan freshmen passed away on March 21, 2016 in a car accident in front of the campus entrance.

Wesleyan will hold its spring commencement on Saturday, April 25. 

Wesleyan Board Chair Establishes Nell Rose Ellis Boone Endowment

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Dr. Daniel and Mrs. Brenda Crocker recently established the Nell Rose Ellis Boone Endowment at North Carolina Wesleyan College in memory of their longtime friend, Mrs. Nell Boone. It was the Crocker’s desire that the scholarship qualifications be established by Mrs. Boone’s surviving sons, Bert and Neal Boone. The recipient must be an upperclassman, maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, be active in their church, involved in community service, and demonstrate good personal character and academic achievement. The criteria specifies the student should be from northeastern North Carolina pursuing a major in Education.   

Mrs. Boone, who passed away February 20 of this year, retired from the Nash-Rocky Mount School System after 35 dedicated years as a high school chemistry and physics teacher. Her joy of teaching was evident through her love for all of her students through the years. She was very active in her church, Red Oak Baptist Church, having served in many capacities including faithfully teaching Sunday school for over 70 years.

The Crockers have been loyal supporters of North Carolina Wesleyan College for almost 40 years. Dr. Daniel Crocker currently serves as Chair for the Board of Trustees and Mrs. Crocker previously served as Chair of the Board of Visitors. This isn’t the first endowment established by the Crockers; they also funded the Essie Mae Batten Crocker Endowment in memory of Dr. Crocker’s late mother, as well as the Dr. James Durant Melton Outward Bound Scholarship in memory of Crocker’s dear friend. The Crockers are also supporters of the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program which encourages students in Wesleyan’s Honors Program to engage and excel in activities that may not have been available to them without the funding. The Crockers were chosen as recipients of Wesleyan’s 2016 Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award which recognizes members of the College community of noble character and who have acted as humble servants to others by putting service above self.

The power of an endowment is never-ending— it is a gift that continues to serve the College in perpetuity and is a wonderful way to honor or cherish the memory of loved ones. If you would like to impact lives while continuing a family legacy, please contact Tammy Robinson in the Office of Advancement at or 252.985.5581. 

Bishops Bounce Back After Summer Storm

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA On June 20, 2019, a sudden and severe storm hit NC Wesleyan College causing damage to the Vernon T. Bradley Sports Complex. It was later confirmed by the National Weather Service that the damage was caused by straight-line winds. The College was fortunate that the damage was isolated to the sports fields and that no person or building was harmed. Now, the College is bouncing back and rebuilding better than ever.

The storm resulted in approximately $250,000 of damages, including significant destruction to Edge softball field, the most prevalent being downed fencing, damaged bleachers, a torn down scoreboard and the home field dugout was destroyed. Other areas of campus, such as the Bauer baseball field and Vernon T. Bradley practice football field, also sustained fence damage. Approximately ninety-two trees were broken off or down in the woods bordering Thomas A. Betts Parkway. That day, many from the Wesleyan family quickly poured in and assisted in removing debris, gathering equipment and collecting field maintenance gear from the damaged softball storage house adjacent to the field. 

A substantial portion of the damage was covered by insurance and since then, Wesleyan has been busy rebuilding what was lost and improving what was damaged. This includes a new and improved softball dugout, a new fence around the Bauer Baseball Field and a new softball scoreboard.

“The softball facility sustained significant damage to the scoreboard, dugout, storage shed and fencing during the June storm. We currently have new fencing and a new dugout with a storage area and bathrooms. Our new scoreboard will be going up in the next couple of weeks,” stated Head Softball Coach, John Brackett. “The teamwork that was displayed that day was just as stunning as the storm itself.  I am truly thankful for all of those that pitched in to help that day, as well as those that have been instrumental in the rebuilding process.” Wesleyan was able to show off some of these campus improvements during their Homecoming Weekend on October 12. Students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the College came together for a weekend full of festivities, including their first-ever on-campus football game. As final repairs take shape, the College looks forward to the New Year and utilizing these improvements in the spring.