Livingstone College

Livingstone readies for 125th anniversary of black college football celebration

SALISBURY – Now that homecoming is over at Livingstone College, the school is readying for another special celebration this weekend.

The Commemorative Classic football game will be played at 1 p.m. on Nov. 4 at Livingstone and will mark the 125th anniversary of black college football in America.

One hundred and 25 years ago, Livingstone College awaited the arrival of Johnson C. Smith University (then Biddle Memorial Institute), who traveled by horse and buggy to Salisbury to play football.

But it wasn’t just any game. That contest, held on a snowy Dec. 27, 1892, on the front lawn of Livingstone College, was the first black intercollegiate football game.
In 2009, the two schools decided to start an annual Commemorative Classic football game to honor the inaugural matchup. The classic is the last football game of the regular season with location now alternating between the two campuses.
“How fitting that on this 125th anniversary, the game will be played where it all started – on the campus of Livingstone College,” said Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., Livingstone College president.
The original Livingstone team was formally organized in the fall of 1892 and included J.W. Walker (captain); W.J. Trent (manager), who later became the longest-serving president of Livingstone to date; R.J, Rencher; Henry Rives; C.N. Garland; J.R. Dillard; J.B.A. Yelverton; Wade Hampton; Charles H Patrick; J.J. Taylor; and F.H. Cummings.
According to the college newspaper’s 1930 edition, team members purchased a regulation football and uniforms, and the players equipped their street shoes with cleats, taking them off after practice. The young women of the school’s industrial department made the players’ uniforms.
The teams played two 45-minute halves with Trent scoring Livingstone’s only touchdown on a fumble recovery. Biddle argued that the fumble was recovered out of bounds as the snow had covered the field’s markings.
The official ruled in Biddle’s favor, allowing them to keep the 5-0 lead and giving them the victory.
“We’re always optimistic about the game,” said Coach Andre Springs, Livingstone’s athletic director. “But this is more than a game. The Commemorative Classic pays homage to those original teams that started a tradition of black college football in this country that has made a positive difference and blazed a mighty trail for student athletes.”
Livingstone College will kick off its celebration on Wednesday, Nov. 1, with a student pep rally, followed by an alumni reception on Nov. 2 from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Hilliard Room of the Hood Building on campus.
On Friday, Nov. 3, the annual Commemorative Classic Hall of Fame banquet will be held at the Livingstone College School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts, located at 530 South Jake Alexander Blvd, when each school will induct a former player into the Commemorative Classic Hall of Fame.
Special guests at the banquet will include Marques Fitch, executive director of the Black College Football Hall of Fame, and CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams.
The game kicks off at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 4, followed by a Battle of the Bands between Livingstone and JCSU.
Gov. Roy Cooper, the City of Salisbury and the County of Rowan have all approved proclamations declaring this 125th anniversary as one warranted for great pomp and circumstance.
“We encourage alumni, fans and friends of Livingstone to return to campus this weekend to help us celebrate this historic milestone in our college’s history,” Jenkins said. “This is great for our county, city and state as national attention has already been generated on this game. We invite everyone to Livingstone’s campus – the birthplace of black college football – in celebrating this significant 125th anniversary on Nov. 4.”

Educational expert Anthony Johnson is grand marshal of Livingstone’s homecoming parade

SALISBURY – An award-winning educator who matriculated under the maples and oaks of Livingstone College will lead its 2017 homecoming parade.

Anthony Johnson, who teaches fourth- and fifth-grade science and social studies at Isenberg Elementary School in Salisbury, will serve as grand marshal of the homecoming parade.

The parade begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, from Main to Monroe streets. The lineup begins at 7:30 a.m. at Soldiers Memorial AME Zion Church at 306 N. Church St. (at the corner of Church and Liberty streets) and ends on the campus of the college.

Johnson, who recently spoke at a weekly assembly on campus, is the epitome of Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy Jenkins’ mantra: “Taking students from where they are to where they need to be.”

The 2003 Livingstone College graduate doesn’t hesitate in affirming that “Livingstone College saved his life.”

He went from failing fourth, seventh, eighth and ninth grades to becoming Isenberg Elementary School 2016 Teacher of the Year, Rowan-Salisbury Schools 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year, and the 2017 North Carolina Southwest Regional Teacher of the Year.

Johnson, who hails from New Orleans, said after he failed ninth grade, a school counselor contacted his father and recommended he learn a vocational skill, so he dropped out of high school at age 16.

“That’s like a death sentence to a young black male,” he said.

He eventually received his GED, but life still was not without its challenges as he could only find minimum wage jobs. He filed bankruptcy, his lights were disconnected and his car was repossessed.

His life was riddled with misfortune due to the lack of education, he said, until he met a lady. Dr. Desiree Johnson, who became his wife, was the complete opposite of who he was, he said. She was in medical school and encouraged him to go to college.

He took her advice, but ended up getting suspended due to poor academic performance. The next report card, it was the same thing again. Eventually, it was suggested – as in high school – that he drop out of college. That was in the spring of 1997.

In June 1998, his mother died. Six months later, his father died, he said.

This is when he decided to make a true change in his life.

His wife was recruited to work in Rowan County. When his family relocated here, he decided to enroll at Livingstone College to major in music and fulfill his dream of becoming a band director.

At age 28, he found himself with a wife and a daughter, back in college and having to march in the band because of his major.

In order to earn community service hours, Livingstone sent him to Isenberg Elementary, where he saw black boys sitting in the back of the class asleep. When he alerted the teacher, the reply was, “Let them sleep, don’t’ wake them up,” he said.

That was a defining moment in his life. He decided to change his major from music to elementary education – and he knew why.

“When you know your ‘why,’ your ‘what’ has more impact,” he said.

He didn’t want those children to follow the same path he had taken. He wanted to teach differently. The same place he received his inspiration is the same place he now works. He teaches fourth- and fifth-grade science and social studies at Isenberg Elementary School. His classroom is called Johnsonville: The Collaborative Learning Community. He doesn’t use worksheets and there are no typical desks. He focuses on three areas: collaboration, critical thinking and citizenship.

Johnson’s goal is to teach with enthusiasm and give his students a different experience from his own in grade school. Teaching is his passion. His desire to help young people succeed has afforded him the opportunity to travel the world as an educator.

He created the Mini Funk Factory, a drumline, to engage young black males. It has grown into a diverse group and is the first drumline at a middle school in the state. His class also has a YouTube channel and launched a weather balloon into space with an Ipad attached. His students build 3D models, fly drones, publish books, make movies and operate small businesses.

He is recognized by Apple as an Apple Distinguished Educator, due in large part to his implementation of technology into the classroom that has positively influenced students. He is also a TED Innovative Educator and a proud member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

“Ask yourselves what is your ‘why’ everyday?” he said.

Jenkins learned of all the outstanding work Johnson was doing at Isenberg Elementary as he had a grandchild who was attending there. It was serendipity when he found out he was a Livingstone College alumni.

“Mr. Johnson is doing extraordinary work in the field of education and we are proud that he is a product of Livingstone College,” Jenkins said. “Livingstone provided the right environment for Mr. Johnson to excel.”

It’s not too late to sign up for the parade. Deadline is Monday, Oct. 23. To register online, visit https://form.jotform.us/70533968787171. For more parade information, call Anitra Neely, homecoming parade committee chair, at (704) 216-6804.

Awards will be given for best performance, best drill/dance/step team, most creative and best overall.Anthony Johnson TED 2

Livingstone College gearing up for homecoming

Kiki Sheard headlines gospel concert

SALISBURY – Livingstone College will burst at its seams next week as students and alumni converge on the campus for its annual homecoming.
The game kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, when the Livingstone College Blue Bears take on the Fayetteville State University Broncos.

Though everyone rallies around the football game, homecoming is much more than what takes place on the field.

“The Division of Institutional Advancement and the Office of Alumni Affairs have organized a myriad of activities to help make your time in Salisbury special,” said Dr. Jimmy Jenkins Sr., Livingstone College president. “While you are here, feel free to talk to some of our students to share the impact Livingstone has had on your life, and to encourage them to study hard so they can persist to graduation and command their rightful place in the global society.”

On Tuesday, Livingstone will host national gospel recording artist Kierra “Kiki” Sheard during a gospel concert at 7 p.m. at Varick Auditorium. She is the daughter of gospel singer Karen Clark Sheard, who is a member of the gospel singing group, The Clark Sisters, and the granddaughter of gospel choral director, Mattie Moss Clark.

A native of Detroit, Mich., Sheard is also a fashion designer and radio host. After appearing on her mother’s albums, Sheard broke onto the music scene with the release of her debut album, “I Owe You,” in 2004. Her hit single, “You Don’t Know,” was written about her mother’s bout with an almost fatal blood clot.

Sheard portrayed Litha in the 2010 Christian-drama film, “Preacher’s Kid.”

On Wednesday at 11 a.m., Student Affairs will pause from the fun to participate in a civic engagement as Livingstone students caravan to the polls to vote in the municipal election. Later that evening at 7 p.m., it’s Showtime at Varick, followed by a bonfire and pep rally.

Thursday will feature a fashion show and Hip Hop and R&B artist Tink in concert. Trinity Home, better known by her stage name Tink, is an American rapper and singer. Since 2012, she has released seven mixtapes and is due to release her debut studio album this year.

The album is set to be released on the Mosley Music Group label, an imprint of Epic Records run by producer Timbaland. Her 2014 mixtape, “Winter’s Diary 2: Forever Yours,” was featured as a top 10 R&B album in both Rolling Stone and Billboard magazines.

Alumni weekend activities begin on Thursday with a cocktail party from 5:30-7 p.m. at the Poets and Dreamers Garden. RSVP to attend by calling (704) 216-6008 or (704) 216-6009.

Alumni convocation begins at 11 a.m. on Friday at Varick Auditorium, sponsored by the Livingstone College National Alumni Association (LCNAA). This will be followed by a tree planting from the Class of 1967 and a memorial balloon release.

The United Negro College Fund “Soul Food” Luncheon begins at noon Friday at the Aggrey Cafeteria on campus. Cost is $30 per person.

The LCNAA State of the College and Awards Ceremony will begin at 3 p.m. Friday at Tubman Theater on campus.

The evening caps off with the homecoming step show at 8 p.m. Friday at Varick Auditorium. Cost is $15.

On Saturday, the homecoming parade begins at 9 a.m., (note time change) and will run from Main to Monroe streets. The parade lineup begins at 7:30 a.m. at Soldiers Memorial AME Zion Church, 306 N. Church St. (at the corner of Church and Liberty streets) and ends on the campus of the college.

Awards will be given for best performance, best drill/dance/step team, most creative and best overall.

Deadline to sign up for the parade is Oct. 23. You can register online at
https://form.jotform.us/70533968787171.

After the game, the LCNAA will host the Diamond and Pearls annual dance from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts. Tickets are $50 and attire is semi-formal.

The Office of Alumni Affairs will host an alumni All Black Party at Firewater Restaurant from 9:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Tickets are $25. Attire is classy and chic (no athletic wear).

Livingstone College will end its homecoming activities on a high note with its Sunday Gospel Jazz Brunch, which will be held at the School of Hospitality Management and Culinary Arts at 530 Jake Alexander Blvd. (Livingstone hotel). The drop-in is from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is $30 per person for great food, fellowship and music.

Jenkins is encouraging alumni and friends to put this brunch on their calendar and make it their last stop before heading out of town. The brunch is an ideal way to showcase the culinary arts program as culinary students will prepare and serve the meal.

For more information about homecoming, call Anthony Brown, director of student activities, at
(704) 216-6272; or Vincia Miller, director of alumni affairs, at (704) 216-6009.

Livingstone honors West End, veterans at West End Classic

 SALISBURY – When John McLaughlin learned he was being honored on Sept. 30, his first reaction was, “For what?”

Needless to say, he’s a humble man and one of few words, but his legacy speaks for itself at 1210 West Monroe St. – McLaughlin’s Grocery.

Livingstone College honored McLaughlin as well as Ollie Mae Carroll with the West End Classic Community Spirit Award last weekend.

One of the greatest commandments is to love thy neighbor as thyself. And Livingstone College is doing just that at it wraps its arms around the West End Community for the fourth annual West End Classic.
The classic, a partnership between Livingstone College, the City of Salisbury and members of West End Pride and West End Community Organization, is always held during the first home game. The home opener pitted the Blue Bears against Virginia State University in a 6 p.m. matchup.

Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy Jenkins, Sr., and the college leadership meets routinely with West End residents to discuss and plan ways to improve the community.

After the first quarter of the game, Livingstone College presented the spirit awards to Carroll and McLaughlin.

All veterans and West End community members receivedIMG_7260 free admission.

More on McLaughlin
McLaughlin retired in May as owner of McLaughlin’s Grocery after running the business for 58 years.
J.D. Scott started the grocery store in 1934 and sold it to McLaughlin’s mother, Obella, in 1958.

A native of Salisbury, McLaughlin came out of the military to help his mother run the store. When she retired, he took over.

McLaughlin served five years with the 101st Airborne Division.

The store is a complete grocery store, not a convenience store, McLaughlin said, sure to highlight its array of packaged meats.

He is more comfortable talking about others than himself. He said his sister Shirley has helped at the grocery store for the past seven years. She was the first African American operator to be hired at what was once Southern Bell, a telephone company, he said.

His brother, now retired, worked for the Secret Service. His brother’s son, Harry Jr., now operates the store.

“People come in all the time telling him (John McLaughlin) how much he has helped them to be a better adult, a better person,” said Harry Jr. “It speaks volumes for all he’s done over the decades.”

John Peoples said McLaughlin’s Grocery, located across from the Livingstone College campus, is a mainstay in the community. It has served as a public forum and a place where political campaigns were born, including that of his brother, the late William Peoples, a former Salisbury-Rowan NAACP president and community activist.

McLaughlin is married to Carolyn, who serves on the West End Coalition.

Carroll breaking barriers
Carroll is commander of the J.C. Price American Legion Post and was the first female to become commander of an all-male tradition American Legion post in North Carolina.

She was also the first female to win the N.C. Department of American Legion “Legionnaire of the Year” Award.

Carroll is vice president of the Salisbury Rowan Community Development Corp, which has built more than 30 homes for low-income homebuyers.
She worked for more than 30 years as a psychiatric clinical nurse specialist and educator at the Hefner VA Medical Center in Salisbury, where she developed the Salisbury Transformation Outpatient Program for homeless veterans, and helped to develop the first Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Program for veterans and their families.

A veteran of the Air Force, she was the first African American to graduate from the nursing program at Chapel Hill and was the first African American to teach at Cabarrus School of Nursing.

She was appointed to the N.C. State Veterans Affairs Commission by Gov. Hunt and has received numerous awards for her community work.

Currently, she coordinates a senior line dance group at Millers Recreation Center.

She has participated in the collaborative coalition between Livingstone College and the West End community for several years.
 
About Livingstone College
Livingstone College, founded and supported by the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, is a private historically black institution located in Salisbury, N.C. Through a Christian-based environment suitable for learning, it provides excellent liberal arts and religious education programs for students from all ethnic backgrounds designed to develop their potential for leadership and service to a global community. For more information, visit www.livingstone.edu.
 

N.C. governor urges students to get back to basics for life of purpose

By Kimberly Harrington
Livingstone College News Service

“As a people, we are all connected,” said North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, speaking at Livingstone College’s Fall Convocation.
Quoting Desmond Tutu, Cooper said, “None of us comes into the world fully formed. We would not know how to think, or walk, or speak, or behave as human beings unless we learned it from other human beings. We need other human beings in order to be human. I am because other people are.”
The nation is evolving into a “me-first” society, Cooper said. “We should encourage efforts to make all lives better – and that goal should be set by elected political figures.”
Fall convocation, held Sept. 22 in Varick Auditorium on campus, is the official induction ceremony of the freshman class. Cooper shared with the freshmen six points to live a life of purpose: Be involved in a cause greater than yourself; learn from lost; take the long view; read; be nice; and explore their faith.
“A faith in God can be your rock,” Cooper said. “You can be wealthy and famous, but if your only purpose is to serve yourself, you may find yourself lonely.”
Cooper grew up in Nashville, N.C., not far from the hometown of Livingstone College President Dr. Jimmy Jenkins Sr., who hails from Selma. He spent his summers working on the family farm and attended public schools. His mother was a school teacher and his father practiced law in addition to being a farmer.
Those humble beginnings laid the foundation for Cooper’s three decades in public service. He served in the North Carolina House and Senate, and spent much of his career as the state attorney general before being sworn in as governor this year.
“I want a North Carolina where people are better educated, healthier, have more money in their pockets, and an opportunity to live a more abundant and purposeful life,” he said. “I am committed to expanding health care … and making sure it’s easier for people to vote, not harder.”
Cooper became an official Blue Bear when Jenkins presented him with an honorary doctor of humane letters degree, along with Dr. Richard Rolle Jr., who is a new member of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees.
Rolle is an oral and maxillofacial surgeon in Charlotte and recently established the Dr. Richard Rolle Jr. Scholarship Program at Livingstone College. The annual $25,000 scholarship will be awarded to a Livingstone College student interested in math, science or health careers.
Another highlight of the program was a special presentation by the Women’s Home and Overseas Missionary Society (WHOMS). Vicki Breaux, the general secretary of Youth Missionary’s for the WHOMS of the A.M.E. Zion Church, spoke about the Music Legacy Project in observance of the Youth Missionary’s 105th anniversary celebrating Miss Victoria Richardson, who composed the alma mater, “My Livingstone.”
The group made a $17,500 donation to the college in order for it to purchase a Steinway piano for its music department. It is the college’s desire to become a Steinway Institution, which means all of its pianos would be Steinways.
Bishop George E. Battle Jr., chairman of the Livingstone College Board of Trustees and senior bishop of the A.M.E. Zion Church, sang Jenkins’ praises for his leadership at the college.
Jenkins has increased the value of the college more than one-third in his 12 years as president and the college owns the most valuable property in the City of Salisbury, he said.
“The Board of Trustees enable him to do whatever is good for our students and faculty to make it the best historic school,” Battle said. “Notice I said historic,” he added, noting that the school embraces diversity.
Livingstone College will celebrate the 125th anniversary of black college football during the Commemorative Classic on Nov. 4. The game will be played at 1 p.m. at Livingstone. Gov. Cooper proclaimed the September through November football season as such in the state of North Carolina.

Livingstone student partners with GRACES for international internship

SALISBURY – Livingstone College senior Jessica Bledsoe works in Salisbury, but is making a huge impact nearly three thousand miles away.

The social work major is completing her internship at a local nonprofit organization called GRACES, an acronym for Guatemalan Relief Assistance for Children’s Educational Services.

The organization finances a school in Antigua, Guatemala, called Escuela Integrada, which helps breaks the cycle of poverty, malnutrition and illiteracy.

Paula Bohland, GRACES executive director, said 75 percent of the indigenous children never obtain an education. GRACES sponsors the total student population there, which is currently 161 children, totaling a modest $260,000 per year when compared to educational costs in the United States.

GRACES is sponsored its inaugural Quetzal Gala on Sept. 16 at The Country Club in Salisbury to raise money to continue its support of the Guatemalan school. Until now, GRACES has funded the school through various levels of sponsorships.

This was perfect timing for GRACES to get the extra help and assistance of a college student.
Jessica Bledsoe
Bledsoe has been busy with the organization helping to plan the gala and being an extra set of hands for Bohland, who is the only other staffer in the United States.

Hannah Nadeau, project director, works for GRACES in Guatemala, but came to town the week of the gala to help out.

“I have learned a lot about international social work and the proper way to do things,” Bledsoe said.

“Jessica has jumped in to help and has worked alongside me,” Bohland said.

The gala featured an educational component including models of the houses and stoves in Guatemala. Bledsoe created the models and food mock-ups of the typical breakfast and lunch that Guatemalans eat.

This is Bledsoe’s second time attending college. When she was 19 years old, she went to N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro with hopes of becoming a nurse, but she admits she wasn’t focused and didn’t finish.

The Army veteran eventually ended up working at the VA Medical Center in Salisbury, where she retired after 25 years of service.

She came to Livingstone College through a vocational rehabilitation program and considered studying culinary arts and psychology, before deciding on social work.

“When I was growing up, my idea of a social worker was a white lady with glasses in a plaid skirt taking kids out of their homes and giving out cheese,” Bledsoe said.
But after speaking with some social work students at Livingstone, her idea about the field changed and she decided to pursue a social work career.

Frances Ferrante, director of field placement and an assistant professor at Livingstone College, said Bledsoe’s placement is the first at GRACES for the Social Work Department at the college.

“This organization is doing inspiring work both locally and globally. We are fortunate to have our social work student, Jessica Bledsoe, placed under the supervision of a wonderful organization. Our student is working incredibly hard and learning a great deal about international social work,” Ferrante said. “We would love the opportunity to partner with other social work agencies in the county.”

“The social work department at Livingstone is great. They teach you in a way where you can hold on to the information and use it,” Bledsoe said.

She now finds herself on conference calls with peers in Guatemala and is headed on her first trip out of the country come November, when she will fly there to visit the school in which she is helping.

The mother of four children, three of which are triplets, will graduate in December and plans to obtain her master’s degree.

“This internship has taught me a lot,” Bledsoe said.

For more information about GRACES or the gala, visit weareGRACES.org

ADVISORY: Livingstone prepares for Hurricane Irma

Sept. 7, 2017

SALISBURY – Livingstone College’s Emergency Response Team met Thursday to review its hurricane preparation plans due to the threat of Hurricane Irma.

The path of Hurricane Irma and the impact it will have on this area is still uncertain. Our response team is monitoring this storm carefully and taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Our food service provider is stocking up on food and beverages to make sure we have an adequate supply for our on-campus residents. Students living off campus should stock up on food and water before the storm hits.

Should the need arise to cancel or delay classes, or if our emergency response team deems it necessary to evacuate the campus, students will be given ample notification by Livingstone College Police Chief and Public Safety Director Gloria Blaire via the college’s emergency alert notification system. This information will also be posted on our website (www.livingstone.edu) and Facebook and Twitter pages.

Any students planning to travel over the next 72 hours should take extra precautions, especially if your plans require you to travel south of Salisbury, which would place you heading into the path of Hurricane Irma.

In the meantime, we are advising all students, faculty and staff to use caution early next week when this area is expected to see the effects of the storm: Do not drive across flooded roadways; beware of downed power lines and fallen trees; charge all mobile phones in case of power outages; and have flashlights and batteries handy. (Candles are not allowed in residence halls.)
Remember, students will receive emergency alert notifications and can also check for updates on our website, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

LIVINGSTONE COLLEGE
701 W. Monroe St., Salisbury, NC
www.livingstone.edu
Office of Communications and Public Relations
 
Contact:
Kimberly Harrington
Assistant director of public relations
(704) 216-6151 (office)
(704) 294-9431 (mobile)
kharrington@livingstone.edu

Sept. 7, 2017

 ADVISORY
Livingstone College prepares for Hurricane Irma

SALISBURY – Livingstone College’s Emergency Response Team met Thursday to review its hurricane preparation plans due to the threat of Hurricane Irma.

The path of Hurricane Irma and the impact it will have on this area is still uncertain. Our response team is monitoring this storm carefully and taking the necessary steps to ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Our food service provider is stocking up on food and beverages to make sure we have an adequate supply for our on-campus residents. Students living off campus should stock up on food and water before the storm hits.

Should the need arise to cancel or delay classes, or if our emergency response team deems it necessary to evacuate the campus, students will be given ample notification by Livingstone College Police Chief and Public Safety Director Gloria Blaire via the college’s emergency alert notification system. This information will also be posted on our website (www.livingstone.edu) and Facebook and Twitter pages.

Any students planning to travel over the next 72 hours should take extra precautions, especially if your plans require you to travel south of Salisbury, which would place you heading into the path of Hurricane Irma.

In the meantime, we are advising all students, faculty and staff to use caution early next week when this area is expected to see the effects of the storm: Do not drive across flooded roadways; beware of downed power lines and fallen trees; charge all mobile phones in case of power outages; and have flashlights and batteries handy. (Candles are not allowed in residence halls.)
Remember, students will receive emergency alert notifications and can also check for updates on our website, and on our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Livingstone College responds to report on HBCUs’ federal loans

A Charlotte TV news station reported on July 18 that in the last 10 years, HBCUs, including Livingstone College, Johnson C. Smith in Charlotte and Barber Scotia in Concord, borrowed $1.7 billion from the federal government to pay for campus upgrades, according to a Wall Street Journal article, adding that most of that money hasn’t been paid back. The following is Livingstone’s response to that report, which necessitated clarification.

Livingstone College’s statement:
“Over the past 16 years (2001-2017), Livingstone College’s cumulative debt to the U.S. Department of Education was $61 million. However, the college reduced its debt to approximately $22 million by 2016.
In 2015, the college refinanced and consolidated its existing debt with an additional $15 million loan to build two new structures: the F. George Shipman Science Annex Building and a new physical education building.
At current, our balance is $38 million with a lower interest rate and a monthly payment that is lower than what was being paid before consolidation; and we are current on all of our payments.
What’s important to note is that Livingstone College has not experienced a significant drop in enrollment in the past five years. In fact, the 2014 freshman class was the largest in the school’s history.
Let me also add that the new science annex, expected to be completed in 2018, will further enrich Livingstone’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiative and strengthen the college’s research infrastructure. These types of investments aid in student recruitment and thusly increases enrollment.” – Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., President of Livingstone College.

Speakers talk on point with Bridge students

What does a legislative speech writer, an IT business analyst, and a media group CEO have in common?

Here’s a hint: They are all motivational speakers.

What they also share in common is that they have all spoken before Livingstone College’s bridge students this summer, sharing their own stories of triumph and inspiration.

Bridge students are those participating in the college’s summer Bridge Program, which prepares students for college enrollment by giving them a second chance at academic excellence. Upon completion, students are admitted into Livingstone in the fall as provisional students.

Believe in the I’MPossible
Keith L. Brown, the speech writer, is best known as Mr. I’m Possible. He kicked off the Bridge Program orientation – and rightly so.

Using upbeat music, chants and dancing, Brown captivated the audience with his sense of humor and relatability. As a young child, he was labeled as an at-risk special education student. Today, he is an author and developed a curriculum titled, “not impossible-I’M POSSIBLE: A Relevant Guide on Leadership and Life Skills for Students and Families,” which is being read and studied nationally and globally.

He has been named one of the top speakers and consultants in education by “Insight Publishing” and International Speakers Network.

After getting peer mentors and faculty on stage to do the Cupid Shuffle, a popular line dance, Brown engaged the audience, made up also of Upward Bound students, with a speech sprinkled with memorable quotes and catchphrases, such as:

  • Anybody can be a student, it takes effort to be a scholar;
  • The way you dress is the way you will be addressed;
  • I’m a prospect, not a suspect;
  • The company you keep will determine the levels you reach;
  • Those who laugh at you today will pay you tomorrow;
  • Dwell where you are celebrated, not tolerated;
  • A bus pass will keep you local; a passport will take you globally;
  • We need more reading over ringtones and more textbooks over text messages;
  • Television is “telling a vision” it wants you to see, but it’s not real; and
  • In order to change your situation, you must say: I love myself, I believe in myself, I’m proud of myself, I’m a genius. 

Brown told the students to start seeing themselves as who they want to be. For example, if you want to become a lawyer or a doctor, start referring to yourself as one. “Name it, claim it, frame it,” he said.

His son, for instance, wants to become a lawyer, so he refers to his son as Attorney Brown. “When someone asks you what you want to be, respond by saying, ‘I am,’” he said.

“You have two options,” he told the students. “Either you’re going to make it or you’re going to make it.”

Lessons Learned
Jeevan Brown, a business analyst and journalist, was the program’s second speaker during orientation.
He is the author of “A Lesson Learned,” which features 16 true college stories designed to help young adults and college students navigate through the pitfalls of college life.

A Landover, Md., native, Brown told his own story about how his GPA was a 2.29 in high school and that he attended Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte because it was the only school that accepted him.

He took advantage of opportunities in college and started working with the bi-weekly campus newspaper. One of his professors noticed he had a knack for engaging readers and quickly propelled him to feature editor of the paper.
While still a student, he worked as a feature writer for CharlotteVibe.com and was a correspondent for the Charlotte Bobcats NBA team. After graduation, he started writing for “OZONE Magazine” and interviewed several hip hop artists such as Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Young Jeezy and The Underground Kings.

He encouraged students to write down their goals with timelines, and to make vision boards.

“If you want to kill your big dream, tell it to a small-minded person,” he said.

Using a PowerPoint presentation, he outlined highlights of the book including a chapter on achieving while grieving that tells the story of his best friend who died while he was in college; a chapter on HIGHway patrol about a friend who was smoking marijuana on the highway and got pulled over by a cop; and chapters on time management, focus and finance.

He gave students a quiz on the information using the Kahoot.it app and gave out prizes, as well as giving each student an autographed copy of his book.

“Don’t be influenced by your peers or music,” he said. “Watch the company that you keep. Don’t rush to be in a relationship. Stay focused.”

According to the Journal of Media, one of the biggest distractions for students is using digital devices in the classroom for non-classroom purposes.

“Elevation requires alienation,” he said. “Cut off distractions.”

Brown interviewed Livingstone’s police chief, Gloria Blaire, during the program, in which she talked about protocols students should follow if pulled over by an officer. “Don’t give them a reason to be hostile. Be courteous, watch your tone and voice level and make no sudden moves,” she said.

He also brought with him a special guest, Jamie Miller of Pageland, S.C., who owns 518 Media Group. Miller said she always wanted to own her own business, but a guidance counselor encouraged her to be an administrative assistant instead.

She followed her own heart and though financially challenged, she and her family managed to raise enough money to send her to college. Before her sophomore year, her father died of lung cancer and she considered dropping out of college to help her mother, but she resolved to continue.

After college, she landed a corporate job making good money, but a client made a racially insensitive comment about her hair. She eventually quit and started her own media group company. Her first project was the album release party of R&B’s Fantasia in 2014.

“Allow the mistakes others make to be the blueprint for what you shouldn’t do,” she said.

In addition to academics, the Bridge Program, which was started by President Dr. Jimmy Jenkins, Sr. in 2006, also places a strong focus on attitude and behavior in preparing students for college life. For more information about the program, call (704) 216-6874.