Ingram honored for her creativity during Kwanzaa celebration

Ingram honored for her creativity during Kwanzaa celebration
January 05
07:30 2017

Photo by Tevin Stinson



To celebrate the sixth principle of Kwanzaa, kumaba or creativity, fittingly the NC Black Repertory Company honored recently retired WSSU professor Dr. Elwanda Ingram.

Before she joined the Ram Family in 1979, Ingram, a native of Kingston, N.C., attended Morgan State University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She then went on to earn her masters from the University of Illinois. On the first official day of her retirement last Saturday, Dec. 31, Ingram said it took a lot of patience and creativity to adapt to the changing needs of the students over the years.

“I had to be creative in teaching and reaching a diverse student population who has changed over the years from readers, writers, speakers and thinkers, to those who spend too many hours reading what’s on their phone than what’s in a book,” laughed Ingram. “I’ve learned a lot about the importance of creativity.”

Ingram’s professional affiliations include The College Language Association, the Langston Hughes Literary Society, The Middle Atlantic Writers Association, and the National Council of English Teachers, just to name a few. She is also very active in the community and has won multiple awards for her service including The Chronicle’s Woman of the Year Award, Curator of the Year Award, Wachovia Excellence in Teaching Award, and the N.C. Governors Excellence in Teaching Award.

Outside of the classroom, Ingram is also a longtime supporter of the NC Black Repertory Company (NCBRC). For more than 35 years, Ingram has helped with fundraising efforts and other events. She also helps coordinate the biennial National Black Theatre Festival and is an active member of the Marvtastic Society.

“I’ve always had a passion for the African-American cultural arts. It just feeds my inner being,” said Ingram. “There is nothing like it.”

Before presenting Ingram with a plaque during the event last weekend, NCBRC executive director Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin said seeing Ingram retire is bitter sweet. She said although she is happy that Ingram will now have more free time to help with the NBRC, it’s also dishearten-ing to know that the next generation of students won’t get the chance to learn from Ingram.

“The North Carolina Black Repertory Company is happy to have Dr.Ingram, but the students are going to be missing out on so much by not having her teach classes,” said Sprinkle-Hamlin. “This is a woman that’s  done a lot for this community and I’m glad we took the chance to honor her here today. She really defines what being creative really means.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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