More than 250 Winston-Salem State University students were inducted into the allied health honor society on Wednesday, April 25 at the Old Salem Visitor Center.
It was the third induction ceremony for the Epsilon Tau Sigma National Honor Society, which is dedicated to promoting academic achievement, scholarship and professionalism among Winston-Salem State University School of Health Sciences students. The Society also strives to exemplify the tenets of the legacy of educator Mary McLeod Bethune by pursuing excellence through service to humankind and the precepts of faith, courage, brotherhood/sisterhood, dignity, ambition and responsibility.
Marina A. Skinner, director of student advisement for the School of Health Sciences at WSSU, brought the welcome and introduced keynote speaker Dr. Felecia Piggott-Long, an educator, author and minister.
Piggott-Long praised Bethune in her remarks.
“Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune’s teacher recommended her for a scholarship to the Scotia Seminary in Concord, where she studied Greek, Latin, the Bible and American Democracy. She wanted to give back what she learned; therefore, she decided to become a missionary to her own people back in Africa,” said Piggott-Long. “She attended Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and when she graduated and applied to the Presbyterian Mission Board, she was told that they had no openings for a colored missionary in Africa. Of course, she was very disappointed, but she did not allow this roadblock to deter her. She decided that if she could not go to Africa, she would teach her people at home in the South. So in 1904, with $1.50 in her pocket, a heart full of faith and a dream in her spirit, she and her family set out to begin a school for the girls in the shantytowns of Daytona (a school that would become Buthune-Cookman University). You represent that powerful legacy today as you are inducted into this prestigious honor society.”
Dr. Peggy A. Valentine, dean of the School of Health Sciences, also brought greetings.
“To be inducted into this prestigious society means that you have excelled. Everyone is not a scholar. You undoubtedly worked hard, sacrificed sleep, stayed in to read ahead while others partied, and you probably burned the candle on both ends to prepare yourself for classes,” said Dr. Valentine. “I am impressed, for I know that you are enrolled in a very challenging curriculum.”