Nursing alumni celebrate Homecoming

Nursing alumni celebrate Homecoming
October 25
05:00 2018

In 1953, the institution known as Winston-Salem Teacher’s College established its School of Nursing for African-Americans who had a passion for medicine and helping others. Today, nearly 50,000 Winston-Salem State University students have received their degree in nursing from the illustrious HBCU and the program is regarded as one of the best in the country. 

On Thursday, Oct. 18, dozens of graduates returned to campus to celebrate the rich history of the program and raise funds for the next generation of Rams in the School of Nursing. The annual Nurses Alumni Gala serves as a fundraiser for the Nursing Hardship Fund, a scholarship designed to help nursing students who have fallen on hard times earn their degree. 

During this year’s red carpet event held inside the McNeil Ballroom at the Anderson Center, the 2017 Nursing Hardship Fund recipients talked about how the scholarship helped them when they had nowhere else to turn. 

Junior Mejii Jackson, who is also a mother and first generation college student, said on the day she received her acceptance letter into the School of Nursing, she was in a car accident that left her with medical bills and threatened to force her to leave Nursing School. Jackson said after talking to faculty and staff, she heard about the alumni scholarship program and decided to apply.

“… Without that assistance, I wouldn’t have been able to continue here at the university and even graduate. I hope I can give back to the students that are in need.”

Junior Adegbenjo Aderounmu, who works part-time at Chic-fil-A, fell on hard times when his car broke down and he didn’t have transportation to campus for class or work. Aderounmu said at the same time he was facing countless fees from the Nursing program, in addition to rent and other bills. 

“After asking people for rides to class, work, clinical and everywhere else I had to go for nearly a month, this is when the Nursing Alumni Organization stepped in,” he said. “I’m deeply appreciative of the Nursing Alumni Organization and what they’ve done for me.

“… Words cannot begin to express my gratitude for this opportunity and I look forward to continuing to make the best of it.”

Following dinner and the keynote address by Dr. Cecil Holland, a 1989 WSSU graduate and current Associate Dean of Nursing, alumni and other supporters of the School of Nursing danced the night away. 

While discussing the success of the School of Nursing with Dr. Clifton Kenon Jr., president of the Nursing Alumni Organization, Chancellor Elwood Robinson said he believes with the work they’ve done in Nursing and other areas of the medical field, WSSU has one of the best Health Science Departments in the country. 

“I’m proud of not only Nursing but our entire School of Health Sciences. I believe that we have the top School of Health Sciences in the country,” Robinson said. 

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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