A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends of North Carolina Wesleyan College
Winter Commencement Held December 8
Click above to watch the Commencement Ceremony
North Carolina Wesleyan College held its winter commencement Saturday, December 8 at the new Rocky Mount Event Center. A large crowd of family and friends gathered to honor the approximately 200 graduates.
This is the first time in the school's history that commencement was not held on campus. "This is our 76
th graduation with the first 75 being held on our campus but this one today is in this beautiful new event center," stated Wesleyan President Dr. Dewey Clark. The decision to hold the ceremony at the event center was two-fold according to Clark. "With our enrollment growth over the last few years, we have outgrown the Dunn Center. Secondly, we want to solidify our relationship with the City of Rocky Mount. This is becoming a true college town."
Congratulating the graduates on their accomplishments, Wesleyan President Dr. Dewey Clark noted, "It is through intelligence, discipline and hard work that you have earned your degrees at North Carolina Wesleyan College. As we celebrate learning and academic achievement, let us not forget that few worthwhile things are achieved without the help and support of others."
In his baccalaureate address, Reverend Dr. Barry Drum, College Chaplain, spoke about the importance of respect. "As Aretha Franklin's powerful voice rings through the decades, find out what R.E.S.P.E.C.T. means and live it out," challenged Drum. Quoting the late great scientist George Washington Carver, who lived his life by a simple set of rules centered on the concept of respect, Drum encouraged the graduates to "take your share of the world and let others take theirs."
The commencement address was given by David Barton, founder and president of WallBuilders, a national organization that seeks to exert a positive influence in government, education and the family. A seasoned author and speaker, Barton serves as a consultant to state and federal legislators on historical and constitutional issues.
In his speech, Barton told the graduates they are facing a world that is rapidly changing through technology. In order to be successful, he encouraged them to "be committed to growing and learning new things, be a thinker and ask questions to seek the truth, be an individual and know what you stand for and be good stewards of God's stuff in your profession."
Wesleyan will hold its spring commencement on Saturday, May 4, on the front lawn of campus.
Messer-Knode New Director of Center For Business & Entrepreneurship
(From Rocky Mount Telegram December 14, 2018, Writer Corey Davis) Gena Messer-Knode is the new director of the Eastern North Carolina Center for Business & Entrepreneurship at the Gateway Technology Center on the campus of N.C. Wesleyan College.
Knode, who has taught different business courses at the college for several years, said she learned about the position being open through her students. David Walker was the director of the Center for Business & Entrepreneurship for the past several years.
Knode has been an entrepreneur for years, having owned and operated cleaning service businesses and working as a broker for a real estate company in North Carolina.
"I felt well-suited for this position due to the fact that I've been here teaching business, familar with the students and community and my background as an entrepreneur," Knode said.
Knode said the Eastern center has been the best-kept secret since it was established in 2012. The programs are free, open to the public and a person doesn't have to have a degree to participate in the programs. The center focuses on business development, entrepreneurship and community engagement.
"I hope people realize that the center is an inclusive entrepreneurial resource stop," Knode said. "If someone wants to come here, I do one-on-one counseling. I have mentors that can work with entrepreneurs and business owners and we also have events here that allow people to network that we plan to do more next year. In addition, we have computer labs that I can make available and a resource library."
Knode said starting next year, the center will have three different track programs. The entrepreneurial track will consist of six seminars that will be two to three hours long for people who want to start a business.
The seminars are nonsequential and people can go to whichever one fits their need. In addition, there will be a speakers series on Wednesday nights that covers everything from personal and professional development where individual presenters will speak on specific topics. Also, the corporate track is where the center can go out and do customized training to fit a business' need.
Knode said one of the unique aspects of the center that sets it apart is putting college students in real business scenarios. Knode said any size business that may be struggling and needs a fresh pair of eyes can have the center send students to go in and look at particular challenges and come up with solutions.
"We do this for free and what the business gets is the students' recommendations, and it becomes part of the student's final project for their class," Knode said. "I hear it from business owners all the time that we need people who can think critically and work through a problem or scenario. It's a win-win because the students are gaining college credit and getting exposure, while the business is gaining input. We do it for all types of services. In January, we have about four different companies where we are placing students. I know some scenarios where students have been hired after the fact."
For people who are interested in entrepreneurship, the Center
for Business & Entrepreneurship offers an entrepreneurship degree program and the center is looking into offering a track primarily to help veterans who may have aspirations to become entrepreneurs, Knode added.
Retired Professor Dr. Marshall A. Brooks (1942-2019)
Well known and admired retired NC Wesleyan Professor Dr. Marshall Brooks passed away January 9, 2019.
Brooks received his BS in Biology and Secondary Education from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1965. In 1969 he acquired his MAT in Science Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he received his PhD in 1972.
Dr. Brooks joined North Carolina Wesleyan College in the Fall of 1978 and retired after 29 years of service in the Spring of 2007. Over his tenure he served the college in a number of different roles...Professor of Education, head of the Education Department, Social Science and Education Division Chair, Jefferson Pilot Award recipient, Dean of the College and Vice President of Academic Affairs (on at least two separate occasions), committees, panels, councils, advisory boards too numerous to count and Professor Emeritus.
He was an avid bird watcher and environmentalist who enjoyed being outside and enjoying nature. He made numerous contributions to birding and conservation during his lifetime.
Dr. Brooks had retired to the Asheville, NC area.
NCWC Offers Flexible Options For Working Adults
Flexible options for working adults. Contact us today to get started.
Our next term starts March 11, 2019.
Upcoming Shows And Events
At The Dunn Center
Meet the Leahys--all eight of them! Doug, Jennifer and their kids bring high energy, infectious, Celtic-based music that audiences have come to associate with the Leahy heritage. Trust us, these kids will enamor you with talent beyond their years. Experience a family that is indeed for real and that is also dead set on sharing the joy of music with you, at The Dunn Center. Call The Dunn Center Box Office at (252) 985-5197 for tickets or buy
Kruger Brothers - February 12, 2019 7:30 PM
Swiss brothers Jens and Uwe Kruger and New Yorker Joel Landsberg team up as a trio personifying the spirit of exploration and innovation. Jens has been called "one of the world's most musically sophisticated and technically accomplished five-string banjo players." Unique in the world of folk, Americana, and classical music, come witness the real thing.
Call The Dunn Center Box Office at (252) 985-5197 for tickets or buy
Terry Barber - February 22, 2019 7:30 PM
A rare countertenor with extraordinary vocal range and natural fluency in many musical styles. Whether performing classical or popular favorites, his shows feature "great vitality and verve" as described by the Los Angeles Times. A voting member of the Grammy Awards, he's worked with many of music's most prestigious figures. Meet the real thing...Terry Barber.
Call The Dunn Center Box Office at (252) 985-5197 for tickets or buy online.
Mid-Century Modernists Art Exhibition
January 11-February 17
Opening Reception January 17, 5:00 PM
Mims Gallery, The Dunn Center for the Performing Arts
NC Wesleyan College
NCWC Supports Our Military And Veteran Students
Did you know at NCWC we offer a 10% military tuition discount for active duty service members, veterans and their spouses! Along with this great tuition benefit we also offer an array of military specific services to make sure your transition into taking college courses is as seamless as possible.
Adult First Aid/CPR/AED Training
Adult First Aid/CPR/AED training at NC Wesleyan College. Program helps participants recognize and respond appropriately to cardiac, breathing and first aid emergencies. All materials and tests are necessary for American Red Cross Completion Certificates. Course is open to the community, students and faculty and staff of NC Wesleyan.
Student fee: $27
Community Participant Fee: $60
one of the following dates:
Tuesday, March 12 6:30-9:30 PM or
Monday, April 8 6:30-9:30 pm
Reserve Your Wesleyan Memorial Brick
Students, organizations, parents, alumni, and community supporters now have the opportunity to inscribe their names at North Carolina Wesleyan College. The Office of Alumni Relations is selling bricks to be placed at the new entrance located at the south end of the Pearsall Library addition, or at the Leon Russell Chapel entrance.
Your brick will be a permanent tribute on the NCWC campus. In years to come, your family members, students, alumni, faculty, and visitors will see your name and recognize your loyalty to the College. Your gift is a special way to support NCWC.
A brick is a wonderful opportunity to honor a mentor, memorialize a loved one, commemorate an occasion or event, or simply make public your support to NCWC. Click here for complete ordering information.
Caroline H. Little '07 Selected New Executive Director Teal Toes
Teal Toes, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness about ovarian cancer symptoms, recently named Caroline H. Little '07 as the organization's Executive Director.
Teal Toes, Inc. was founded in 2008 by Carey Elizabeth Fitzmaurice, who served as president of the organization. Following her diagnosis with Stage 3 ovarian cancer in 2006, Ms. Fitzmaurice pursued her vision of fun...painting toenails teal...for the serious purpose of educating women and men to the subtle signs of ovarian cancer (teal is the color for ovarian cancer awareness). Ms. Fitzmaurice founded Teal Toes, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of ovarian cancer. Teal Toes creates a way for survivors and friends alike to show solidarity and support for ovarian cancer survivors. Since its founding, Teal Toes has distributed more than 400,000 symptom awareness cards free of charge nationally and internationally.
As an ovarian cancer survivor, Caroline states "I am intimately familiar with the challenges of diagnosing, treating and living with the disease. As a result, I am passionately invested in awareness and education, as it is essential to the fight against ovarian cancer."
Ms. Little holds a bachelor's degree in psychology from North Carolina Wesleyan College, where she also served as President of the Alpha Sigma Tau sorority, and as Treasurer of the Greek Council. In addition while at NCWC, Caroline was an RA, a student ambassador in Admissions and Financial Aid, a tutor in the writing lab, SGA Rep for several clubs, was involved in Refuge and the Music Club and was also in the Wesleyan Singers.
:"Wesleyan is a very special place for me, because it has continuously facilitated my personal and professional growth. The people that I met and developed relationships with have been such an integral part of that growth, and I am so appreciative for their work and presence in my life."
Caroline is a resident of Pikeville, North Carolina. For more information on Teal Toes, visit
Tammy Robinson Awarded The 2018 Distinguished Staff Award
Tammy Robinson, Director of Donor Relations and Stewardship for the College received the 2018 Distinguished Staff Award at the annual faculty/staff Christmas celebration. The award was presented by Dr. Dewey Clark.
"I am extremely pleased that our very own Tammy Robinson was recognized with the Distinguished Staff Award for 2018. Tammy's willingness to volunteer or take on additional responsibilities outside her normal job description have had a tremendous impact on the entire Wesleyan community" states Eddie Coats, Vice President of Advancement, "Tammy is a major asset not only to the Advancement office but to the College and the Rocky Mount community."
The Distinguished Staff Award honors staff members who have exhibited outstanding work performance, service and dedication to the College or community. Tammy has been with the College for over eleven years.
Remembering Our Bishop Family
Beginning with this issue of
Bishop Beat, we would like to honor the lives of our Wesleyan alumni. To notify us of the death of a classmate, please email the information and an obituary, if available, to firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Francis Eason '64
died December 24, 2018. He majored in history and was one of the first students to graduate from NC Wes
leyan in 1964. Francis was a retired educator of thirty-
two years with Alamance County Schools. He was an avid motorcyclist, voracious reader, and model
airplane enthusiast. He was a member of GRAMS (Greensboro Radio Aeromodelers Club) having served as president and on the board of directors. He is survived by a son, daughter, two grandchildren, brothers, sisters and stepmother.
LaSanya Cobb '18
died December 29, 2018 at the age of 40. She was a December, 2018 graduate of the Adult Degree program at NC Wesleyan, Goldsboro campus. She was employed by WalMart. LaSanya is survived by three children.
William Ted Lancaster '70
passed away suddenly in a car accident on January 9, 2019. A native of Rocky Mount, Ted played tennis at NC Wesleyan and graduated with a degree in history. He went on to a career as a builder, predominantly in the Raleigh area. His favorite activities included flying, boating, driving sports cars, and traveling as often as possible. He is survived by his wife of 48 years and Wesleyan alum, Karen Naylor Lancaster '70, one son, one daughter, two grandchildren, one brother and two sisters. Donations may be made to NC Wesleyan where a scholarship fund will be established in his and his wife's names.
David Lee McNamee '68 passed away peacefully on January 10, 2019 at the age of 72. He was a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Richmond where he was a proud member of the Cadet Corps. He was a Veteran of the Army Reserve and graduated from NC Wesleyan where he studied history, played soccer, and made lifelong friendships. David and his wife, Ann, have shared a love for their home in Currituck that included beach music, dancing, fishing, hunting, and cooking. He is survived by his wife, daughter, two grandchildren and others.
Jeffrey Wayne Acree '77
of Elm City, NC passed away January 11, 2019 at the age of 75. He graduated from NC Wesleyan in 1977 with a degree in business administration. He was preceded in death by his wife, Brenda. He is survived by a son and daughter-in-law, two grandchildren and two sisters.
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