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Winston-Salem chronicle. (Winston-Salem, N.C.) 1974-current, November 05, 2015, Page A4, Image 4

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WSSU HOMECOMING Robinson promises growth as he is installed as WSSU chancellor BY TEVIN STINSON THE CHRONICLE After months of work ing with faculty and staff, Elwood L. Robinson was officially installed as Winston-Salem State University's chancellor during the annual Founder's Day Convocation last week. Robinson has been chancellor since January, when he took over the posi tion after Donald J. Reaves retired late last year. The installation cere mony was designed to offi cially introduce Robinson to the community, alumni, current students and others. In his acceptance address, Robinson prom ised under his leadership the university will continue to evolve and grow. "Our goal is to give each and every student a unique, intensive academic and social experience," he continued. "We have to embrace a new model of higher edu cation that ensures that every student is prepared for a career, a job and life in this ever-changing world that doesn't even exist yet." He also pointed out that recently WSSU was named one of the top universities in the nation for its contri bution toward narrowing the economic gap. "Winston-Salem State University ranks seventh in the nation on the CollegeNet Social Mobility Index {SMI]," he said proudly. "WSSU is the highest ranked university in North Carolina." The SMI evaluates col leges and universities based on admission prac tices that work to reverse the growing economic dis parities in the United States. According to Robinson, a total of 931 universities were ranked. The university also ranks first in the UNC sys tem in job placement for graduates and have the highest salary amongst col lege graduates in the Triad. Mayor Allen Joines said during the ceremony that he is confident Robinson will continue to strengthen the university. "I am proud to be here today for this joyous occa sion," he commented. "I am confident in Chancellor Robinson's ability to uphold and enhance the legacy of this university." A number of others spoke during the ceremony as well, including U.S. Rep. Alma Adams who offered her prayers for Robinson's continued suc cess. "I know you're going to excel and soar," Adams said. Kyle Brown, president of the WSSU Student Government Association, said Robinson has been a catalyst for his education and the education of others. "I am confident that under Chancellor Robinson, the university will continue to reach new heights," he continued. "We will continue to pro duce excellence." Robinson said although historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) only educate 9 percent of all black college students, WSSU's relevance will not be rooted in who they edu cate, but how they educate. "HBCUs like WSSU offer our students some thing they can't find any where else," Robinson said. "The HBCU experi ence is a culture of caring, a culture that prepares stu dents to contribute to their communities and cultivates within them the skills they need for careers regardless . ! __ of where life takes them. These experiences tran scend race." Phoiot by Tcvin Sfinion Myra Denise Robinson holds the Bible while her husband, Elwood L. Robinson, is sworn in as the 13th chancellor of Winston-Salem State University. I ?i iirrTT?^ 1 Community members and current students, alumni and educators from across the UNC system attended the installation ceremony for Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson, the 13th chancellor to preside over Winston Salem State University. Photos by Tevin S(inson Students gather around the clock tower on the campus of Winston-Salem State University for a prayer vigil on Sunday, Nov. 1. The vigil was held in honor of Anthony White Jr., a victim of a fatal shooting that occurred on campus. Shooting frvm page AI weapons on school grounds. The wounded student was treated and released at a local hospital. That per son's name has not been released to the public. Although a suspect in the shooting was appre hended, the pain of losing a fellow classmate to sense less gun violence loomed over the university. However, the WSSU fami ly vowed to stay strong . Students and professors took to Twitter to express their emotions. "Despite tragedy, the resolute will always push forward," said Jack Monell, professor of justice studies. "My students pro vide me strength and opti mism, we remain Ram strong." A number of well known local political fig ures sent their condolences and well wishes to the uni versity during their time of grieving. U.S. Rep. Alma Adams (Bf.C.-District 12), who participated in the Founder's Day Convocation and annual Homecoming parade, called for an end to gun violence and mindless mur ders. "My thoughts and prayers are with the family 1 i and friends of Anthony White Jr. and the entire Winston-Salem State University community," she continued in a state ment. "It saddens me that just one day after the uni versity celebrated 123 years and the installation of its new chancellor, we are faced with such a tragic loss of life. "Senseless murders and gun violence must stop." From the time the shooting was reported until the campus lockdown was lifted more than three hours later. Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson kept students updated with frequent posts on Facebook and Twitter. "I was up all night try ing to communicate in any way that I could," he com mented. "I wanted to let the students know that we were doing every single thing in our power to keep them safe." Sen. Paul A. Lowe Jr. commended the newly installed chancellor and the WSSU family for the way they handled the situation. "All of us who are a part of the WSSU family, we will not allow this tragedy to mar the great legacy of the institution," Lowe continued. "Chancellor Robinson and the university officials are to be commended on how they handled this intense situation." . During a prayer vigil on Sunday, Robinson provid ed students with words of encouragement. "Moments like this are an opportunity to speak to the heart, to listen to the heart, to listen to your feel ings and that will capture the moment for you," he continued. "I'm saddened, I am heartbroken, but we have to remember that we have to continue to build upon where we are at, at this particular moment. "We will continue to support each other. I'm asking you to come togeth er, bond together because that's who we are and that's what we do." Throughout the entire vigil, Alice Bitting, an alumna and native of the city, held a burning candle to honor White. When asked why she felt the need to attend the vigil, Bitting said she want ed to show current students that they had alumni sup port and prayers. "As an alumni, I felt I needed to show the current students we are a family, and in time of need we will always be here for them." A number of students recall White fondly. "He was real cool and laid back," they said. "He was really serious about his education and he encour aged others to take it seri CELEBRATING LEADERS IfffS - do SAT., NOV. 14,6-9 P.M. EMBASSY SUITES GRAND PAVILION BALLROOM DINNER- DANCING ? SILENT AUCTION ~$40 PER PERSON OR $300 PER TABLE ~ PURCHASE TICKETS @ WINSTONUNDER40.COM Created by the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce, Winston<40 offers professionals under 40 opportunities for community involvement. Join us as we celebrate the accomplishments of the group during the past year and recognize outstanding individuals in the local business community with Winston<40 Leadership Awards. 0323 journal ffi| CHAMBER HH ? 1 Hi KELLY *m<? n

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