GROWTH MINDSET: THE POWER OF YOUR PERSPECTIVE
STUDENTS FOR THE WORLD AS ITâ€™S GOING TO BE
YOUR GOD-GIVEN POTENTIAL
VALUE IN A COMPETITIVE GLOBAL MARKETPLACE
HPU’S TRANSFORMATION CHRONICLED IN NEW BOOK To celebrate the first decade of leadership under Dr. Nido Qubein’s tenure, the Board of Trustees commissioned a book, titled “Faithful Courage: A Decade of Transformation at High Point University,” to capture the transformational journey of this ever-evolving institution. Chronicling 2005–2015, the 180-page book recognizes the academic growth that’s taken place, including the addition of five new academic schools, increasing the number of faculty from 100 to 300, more than tripling student enrollment from 1,450 to 5,000, and the complete overhaul of a 90-acre campus into more than 430 acres. As Dr. Dick Vert, immediate past chair of the Board of Trustees, writes in the book’s opening letter: “We have been fascinated by the journey we’ve taken with our president and we are grateful for the results. We look to the future with faithful anticipation. If the past decade is any indication of what HPU can accomplish, we can only dream of what might be coming next. The future of HPU is very exciting indeed.” For information on obtaining a copy of this book, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
High Point University Magazine
High Point University Board Leadership
Board of Trustees Jack Finch, Chairman Bob Brown, Vice Chairman
Board of Visitors A.B. Henley, Chairman Alumni Board Jason Walters (‘05), President Panther Club Jamie Amos, President SEND QUESTIONS OR COMMENTS ABOUT HPU MAGAZINE TO: Pam Haynes, Director of Media Relations High Point University One University Parkway High Point, NC 27268 USA 336-841-9055 email@example.com SEND INFORMATION FOR CLASS NOTES AND ADDRESS CHANGES TO: Hayley Harris Director of Alumni Engagement High Point University One University Parkway High Point, NC 27268 USA 336-841-9548 firstname.lastname@example.org High Point University website: highpoint.edu Facebook.com/HighPointU Twitter.com/HighPointU Instagram.com/HighPointU HPU Magazine is published for alumni, parents and friends of High Point University.
EXTRAORDINARY EDUCATION Growth Mindset: Unlocking Your Potential
INSPIRING ENVIRONMENT A Campus of Intention: Designed with the Student in Mind
CARING PEOPLE Digging Deep: Investing in Others
Numbers to know: Admissions: 800-345-6993 Campus Concierge: 336-841-4636 Alumni and Family Engagement: 336-841-9127 Athletics: 336-841-9281 Security: 336-841-9112
On the cover: High Point University embraces a growth mindset — the belief that your intelligence, talent and skills can always improve. The artistic rendering of an iceberg illustrates this sentiment. Only 10 percent of icebergs are visible above the surface. But, when you dig deeper and realize the power in changing your perspective, you uncover a world of opportunity.
Higher Learning & Higher Living Dear HPU Friend: Would you agree with me that personal growth should be a lifelong pursuit? Of course you would. Yet, somehow, our attitudes and behaviors often demonstrate a fixed mental state. At High Point University, we strive to prepare students for the
President Nido R. Qubein
world as it is going to be, not as it is or as it was. And to do that, we must instill within our students the entrepreneurial spirit, which invites a growth mindset.
How We Change Is How We Succeed What is a growth mindset? It’s our capacity to see opportunities instead of obligations. It’s our ever-evolving ability to provide permanent, thoughtful solutions rather than being a temporary solver of problems. It’s our choice to see a resource instead of a roadblock. How we change our mindset is how we succeed. And when we forge a connection between our determination to render value in the world with our commitment to live a values-based life, no one can stop us.
A Distinguished Learning Model HPU’s Quality Enhancement Plan, our academic road map for continually improving student learning, is based on Stanford University professor Carol Dweck’s research and book titled “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” And while I encourage you to read her book, let me share with you in simple terms what her empirical data demonstrates: You can do more. You can achieve more. You have the capacity to evolve, improve and thrive.
This, in a nutshell, is what we obsessively pursue each day on our campus. I, for one, believe that our students can change the world. And so can you.
Of course, I share this same philosophy in my Life Skills Seminar for all freshmen and a companion course for senior students. And our faculty pursue opportunities both inside and outside the classroom to help students understand that growth and change can be good.
The holistic education HPU students receive is both science and art — a collaborative effort of faculty and staff who serve as heroes, models and mentors. They are all enablers of learning.
Failure is not a destination; it’s merely a step along the journey. Every moment is an opportunity to learn and grow. Think about that: Every moment is an opportunity to learn and grow.
When people invest time on our campus and begin to think vertically about why our environment is unique, they begin to understand how much this institution values every moment as a learning opportunity. Our culture is one of energy and enthusiasm, sacred values and patient scholarship.
$2 Billion Investment in Holistic Education Since 2005, we have faithfully and courageously invested $2 billion to build a highly relevant academy which seeks to educate the mind, nurture the heart and nourish the soul. And while learning opportunities exist in every corner of our campus, we are anchored by the traditions of the liberal arts. Our recent growth includes the founding of five new academic schools with facilities and technology to support innovative teaching and perpetual learning. We’ve expanded our campus from 90 to 430 acres, increased scholarship opportunities from $8 million to $36 million annually, tripled the number of faculty, and increased enrollment from 1,450 to 5,000 — attracting students from all 50 states and 65 countries. HPU’s recent 12-year transformation demonstrates our capacity to expand our mindset, nurture our growth and thrive abundantly. When you see the types of world leaders and innovators we bring to campus, you begin to appreciate our approach to preparing students for the future. We are truly blessed that parents entrust their students to us, along with generous philanthropic investors who believe in our mission and support us with their time, energy and resources.
You’re Invited to Discover Why Students and Parents Choose HPU Parents invest a lifetime instilling wholesome values in their children, and they look for a college that nurtures those same values. At HPU, we are a God, family and country school. We believe in private enterprise, personal initiative and perseverance. We believe that our nation, though not perfect, is one of the greatest nations on the planet, and we should be grateful for the blessing of living freely in the United States. On our Kester International Promenade, you’ll find this quote from Winston Churchill: “You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.” We want to ensure that our students reside in a continuum of learning and serving that enriches their professional and personal development. We are, after all, an institution of higher learning and higher living. If you haven’t visited our campus, please consider this a friendly invitation. At HPU, our focus is not on being perfect. Our focus is on being excellent. Our purpose is not centered on graduating job takers. Our emphasis is on graduating job creators. The future belongs to those who faithfully use their God-given gifts to learn, to grow, to serve. To be more. To do more. To give more. Sincerely, Nido R. Qubein President email@example.com
EXTRAORDINARY EDUCATION APPLE CO-FOUNDER STEVE WOZNIAK MENTORS & MIXES WITH STUDENTS Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple and the man who made your computer, iPad or iPhone possible, is one of many faculty mentors at High Point University. Wozniak serves as HPU’s Innovator in Residence, bringing his wisdom and entrepreneurial spirit to students across different majors and corners of campus. Computer science and physics students strike a natural spark with Wozniak. Together, they’re working to build a self-driving vehicle that can make deliveries around campus. Students in the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy develop apps to streamline patient care and pitch their ideas to Wozniak, who gives direct feedback. Even exercise science majors work with “the Woz,” as he’s affectionately known on campus, to study wearable technology and ways to improve human health. Wozniak is a humble hero and an impactful mentor, and he’s opened students’ eyes to the art of the possible. “It’s been a dream come true working with Steve Wozniak on this innovative, hands-on project,” says Michael Welter, a physics major from Toledo, Ohio. “It’s an honor to work with such an intelligent, down-to-earth inventor — right alongside my classmates and friends. I would not have gotten this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity anywhere but here at High Point University.”
GROWTH Growth mindset is not new to HPU. For years, HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein has emphasized this transformative concept to every student audience because he believes embracing it will change their understanding of what it means to learn. To Qubein, it’s crucial. Students with growth mindsets believe their intelligence, talent and skills can always improve. They become better prepared for the world as it’s going to be. They’re knowledge seekers. They work hard, they fail, they learn from their mistakes, and thus, they grow.
It’s a big deal. And now, this big deal concept is becoming even bigger. For the next four years, HPU is initiating a multi-faceted approach to apply growth mindset techniques to encourage students to stretch themselves intellectually — and stick to it, even when it’s tough. It started in the fall when Stanford professor Dr. Carol Dweck, author of the best-seller, “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success,” spoke on campus to faculty and staff about how they can integrate growth mindset techniques when they work and teach students.
MINDSET: Unlocking Your Potential High Point University has the potential to become the country’s center of growth mindset expertise in higher education. No other college or university nationwide has infused this philosophy into everything it does. But HPU has. It’s an ambitious endeavor that’s part of the school’s Quality Enhancement Plan, QEP for short: a framework that encourages academic innovation across campus and empowers students to embrace a growth mindset.
Faculty and staff use growth mindset intervention techniques in everything from calculus courses to residence hall discussions, and they evaluate its effectiveness every step of the way. They hold workshops, implement strategies in their classroom and look for new ways to motivate their students. All this work lends credence to the three words seen everywhere on campus:
“Live. Learn. GROW.”
A decade ago during HPU’s last QEP, university officials made experiential learning a staple of campus life. Thanks to those efforts, 25 percent of every course now takes place beyond the classroom. Today, HPU students research, engage in service learning, study abroad, participate in other global opportunities and volunteer more than 100,000 hours in the city of High Point. The last QEP transformed High Point University. Can that happen again? Dr. Dennis Carroll, HPU’s provost, says yes. “This is preparing our students for the work force, and we all know the work force is not predictable,” he says. “How many jobs will today’s students have before they retire?” It can be as many as 40, according to various studies. Employers today want people unafraid of failure and not paralyzed by risk in their intellectual quest to grow.
“Our students can’t be afraid to be flexible and adaptable, all skills that come from a classic liberal arts education,” Carroll says. “The growth mindset supports that. It tells them, ‘Try something new.’”
‘Hard is Good’ Research shows that the brain behaves like a muscle. It changes and gets stronger when you use it. The more challenges, the more brain cells grow. Then, the things that once were incredibly hard become easier. That leads to confidence, Dweck writes. That confidence leads to students exploring the where, when and how of something difficult rather than exclaiming, “I’m not a math person!” “What appeals to me is the chance to expand the attitude and mindset on campus,” says Dr. Jenn Brandt, director of HPU’s Women’s and Gender Studies program. “It’s not what to think.
“Our students can’t be afraid to be flexible and adaptable, all skills that come from a classic liberal arts education. The growth mindset supports that. It tells them, ‘Try something new.’” – Dr. Dennis Carroll, HPU provost
“It’s not what to think. It’s how to think.”
It’s how to think. I joke with my students that you can find the answers on Google, but what are you going to do once you find it?” According to Dweck, mindsets can change, and effort can make anyone smarter or more talented. Then, struggles with anything intellectual or emotional can lead to learning. For HPU, that means students with a growth mindset take ownership of what they do, become better students and embrace what Brandt often says in class:
– Dr. Jenn Brandt, director of HPU’s Women’s and Gender Studies program
“Hard is good.”
A Life Lesson Two years ago, when HPU started looking at QEP topics, Dr. Angela Bauer listened to her colleagues talk about how to enhance the intellectual risk-taking on campus. With each comment, Bauer immediately thought of Dweck’s “Mindset.”
A year ago, Bauer implemented these techniques in two biology classes and saw the achievement gap narrow between students who historically struggled and students who didn’t.
She had been reading it to help her own children. Now, she saw how it could help her students in biology, the department she chairs. Bauer brought up Dweck and the growth mindset concept, and as she and her colleagues all sat around the conference table, Bauer gave them a name — and a philosophy — that fit QEP’s ultimate goal: helping students learn.
This year, Bauer took it a step further. She initiated peer-led workshops that improved understanding, created a sense of academic togetherness and helped students see struggle as a plus.
Bauer and her colleagues in biology — along with professors in chemistry and math — became the first sites for growth mindset intervention techniques because of students’ perceived difficulty in such courses. Other departments followed.
“I’m excited because I was one of those students,” says Bauer. “I didn’t think I was a scientific person, but after going through a research experience, I found a sense of community, and I saw how hard work can pay off.”
The Key to Campus Success According to research, students today spring from a test-taking generation who see their inherent intelligence and worth based on grades. Because of this fixed mindset, a belief that intelligence will never grow, faculty members say the QEP directives will be a tough sell. But two May 2016 graduates who worked on drafting the QEP say they believe it will resonate with their former classmates. “It fits right in with who we are as a university,” says Joshua Gilstrap, the former student body president now working in information technology for Duke Energy. “Dr. Qubein talks about living a life of significance, not just success, and that goes hand in hand with a growth mindset.”
“Not failing, not struggling, not growing is not learning.” – Dr. Jim Trammell, QEP director
“This is huge,” says Sara Katherine Kirkpatrick, a 2016 graduate now working for General Electric in its commercial leadership program. “It’ll raise us to an even higher standard and can differentiate us even more.” That’s where Dr. Jim Trammell comes in.
The Joy of Struggle Trammell teaches media production at HPU. But for the next five years, he’ll be like a symphony director conducting the orchestra of growth mindset efforts across campus. Trammell is HPU’s QEP director. Ask him about growth mindset, and he’ll wheel his office chair to his computer, tap-dance his fingers across the keyboard and pull up a meme on the @HPUQEP Twitter page. It’s a series of still shots from “Saturday Night Live” of comedian Leslie Jones talking about failure. Trammell points to one where Jones mentions Oprah Winfrey getting fired from a job at age 23. “Her path to becoming Oprah was working through a number of failures,” Trammell says. “We need to remind our students that the people we celebrate as successes became successful not despite their failures, but because of their failures. “Not failing, not struggling, not growing is not learning.” ▲
DR. CAROL DWECK Stanford Professor & Author of “Mindset”
SHARED ON THE HPU CAMPUS 1. A growth mindset is empowering. “When people are in a fixed mindset, they believe their basic talents, abilities and intelligence are fixed traits — they have a certain amount, and that’s it. But, in a growth mindset, people understand that talents and abilities can be developed through hard work, learning new strategies, and help from others. This is an empowering belief.”
2. learn what triggers your fixed mindset. “Recognize the circumstances or people that trigger you into a fixed mindset. When we meet someone who’s much better than we are at something we value — do we envy them? Or, do we feel inspired to learn from them? We must learn to recognize our triggers and work with them.”
3. value progress, not perfection. “Don’t tell your child they’re smart, talented or brilliant. Help them understand the processes that lead to learning and growth. Praising intelligence leads to a fixed mindset that limits them. Instead, praising your child’s hard work, strategy and use of resources empowers them to learn in the future.”
4. be willing to work hard. “If you’re trying to do something worthwhile, it’s going to take a lot. There will be heartaches, heartbreaks, failures and setbacks. Understand the kind of fortitude, recovery and resilience you’ll need on the road to becoming who you want to be.”
5. view failures or setbacks as learning opportunities. “We’ve all had our fair shares of trials. Ask yourself, ‘What can I learn from this?’ Be willing to look within. It doesn’t mean you can’t be sorely disappointed when something doesn’t work out. But you learn from it and use it as a springboard for your next attempts.”
RENDERING TO REALITY:
Leading High Point University Forward
The first time Ramiel Ngeve came to the High Point University campus, he saw the steel beams of the new Congdon Hall jutting four stories into the sky.
He and his peers — 60 total — began classes on campus in fall 2016 as the inaugural class in the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy. Before them, in May 2015, came the inaugural physician assistant studies class in the Congdon School of Health Sciences. In May 2017, the first physical therapy doctoral class arrived.
Ngeve knew he was looking at more than a construction site that day. He was looking at the shape of a building that would one day shape him and thousands of future health care providers.
While this corner of campus nears completion, their homes have been state-of-the-art temporary spaces that rival most permanent spaces elsewhere in the country. In August, both academic schools and a cluster of health programs will come together in this facility, serving as the foundation for medical innovation on campus.
“It’s hard to believe that we’re almost there,” Ngeve, from Raleigh, North Carolina by way of Cameroon, says. “We’ve been looking forward to getting into our new building for laboratory work.”
Hard to believe, indeed. Just a decade ago before Dr. Nido Qubein was instated as the seventh president of High Point University, these programs weren’t even blips on the radar. But he shared a passionate vision with everyone on campus to transform a 90-acre university with 1,450 students into a one of the finest institutions in the world. Grow to nearly 500 acres. Triple the number of faculty and students. Establish five new academic schools. Change the fabric of what the world knows to be High Point University. It seemed ambitious, maybe even unthinkable to some, to make it happen in the short timeline set forth. But today, when you take a walk around campus, it’s all there, right in front of you.
“We have a duty to plant seeds of greatness in the minds, of course, but also the hearts and souls of students.” – Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president Putting ‘Growth Mindset’ to Work It happened, in part, thanks to a concept HPU has celebrated heavily this year — a growth mindset. While much change has taken place on campus since 2005, change for the sake of change hasn’t been the goal. Intentionality has. “Studies show college graduates will have dozens of jobs in their lifetimes, and they need to be flexible, develop leadership skills and not shy away from taking calculated risks,” Qubein wrote in a recently published editorial. “High Point University prepares them for that.” The university’s Quality Enhancement Plan implemented over the last few years echoes that sentiment. The plan, titled “Growth Mindset,” reflects concepts in the book “Mindset” by Stanford professor Dr. Carol Dweck. In her research, Dweck explains how those who have a growth mindset — believing they can always learn more, grow and get better — have an advantage in life. Meanwhile,
those who believe they can only achieve a certain level of intelligence and only accomplish so much will be limited by their fixed mindset. The theme makes sense for HPU. If there’s a physical manifestation of growth mindset, the university is it. Qubein and Dweck discussed as much when she visited campus last fall for a Q&A that aired on public television. “Even when we were not really informed about your work, somehow, we understood the concepts of which you speak,” Qubein told Dweck. “We employ them in great measure here, including disciplines of risk management, personal initiative, solution finding, intentional congruence and value interpretation. We use different terms, but all of these things are really supported tremendously by your research. “I so deeply believe, as president of this university, that we have a duty to plant seeds of greatness in the minds, of course, but also the hearts and souls of students, and to allow the student to believe that they were created for a purpose.”
A floor-to-ceiling DNA sculpture will welcome students into the three-story lobby of Congdon Hall.
Fostering Future Leaders By embracing a growth mindset, HPU achieved many milestones, including catapulting the university to a doctoral-degree granting institution, enhancing academic programming on the undergraduate and master’s level, and opening dozens of facilities where students both live and learn. And when Congdon Hall opens this fall to give the Congdon School of Health Sciences and the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy a permanent home on campus, another vision will come to fruition. Students like Ngeve will spend their days in labs and simulated experiences, preparing for clinical and experiential learning opportunities. Congdon Hall, home of the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy and Congdon School of Health Sciences, is the university’s single largest investment in history at $120 million. The facility features 224,000 square feet of research, lab, learning and interactive space, including the following features: • Musculoskeletal lab/classroom • Biomechanics lab • Wet lab • 370-seat tiered auditorium • Licensed pharmacy lab • Gait/motion analysis lab • Neuroscience lab • Physical exam skills lab • Clinical skills lab • 8 problem-based learning rooms • Critical care simulation room • Emergency simulation room • Adult and pediatric simulation room • 8 simulation exam rooms • Operating simulation room • Labor and delivery simulation room • Conference rooms • Faculty labs • Vivarium • Gross anatomy lab • Fresh tissue lab
That includes research, clinical, simulation and practice labs led by faculty who hail from major institutions — Wake Forest, Duke, Johns Hopkins, the University of Dundee in Scotland and more — to mentor students. Their expertise will be complemented by innovative spaces not found in other parts of the world, such as the Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab, where faculty can conduct and publish respected research while leading students to do the same. Already they’ve hosted athletes from the NFL, NASCAR, PGA and UFC for studies and have an ongoing research project sponsored by Adidas. Faculty have built fresh curriculum with a central focus on interprofessional education — the ability for physicians in different fields to effectively work and communicate together. Ngeve was attracted to that approach. His goal is to work in a clinical setting within a hospital surrounded by other health care providers. “The future of the health care profession is interdisciplinary collaboration,” Ngeve says. “All providers must work with nurses and doctors and physician assistants and other areas. It’s important to improve patient care in our world, and that starts with an interdisciplinary focus. “HPU has a unique scenario because we have pharmacists and physician assistants and physical therapists under one roof. We have the opportunity to build up our interdisciplinary experience before we move out into the world to practice.”
Philanthropy Funds New Opportunities While these graduate programs have taken center stage in terms of construction, undergraduate programs are also receiving new investments. Thanks to an anonymous $10 million gift, the university will build a new undergraduate sciences facility. At $60 million, it will accommodate growth in majors including biology, chemistry and physics. A dean will be hired to facilitate the expanding programs held within the new school. The building will also house a state-of-the-art planetarium and will include an adjoining conservatory. “Undergraduate sciences have become one of the largest majors at HPU and reflect our commitment to extraordinary academics,” says Dr. Dennis Carroll, HPU provost. “This new facility and new academic school will reflect the demands of 21st century careers like all programs on our campus.” The school will be located behind Congdon Hall, giving undergraduates close proximity to graduate-level facilities and students. The gift is reflective of a dozen gifts of $10 million or more, including one from Qubein, collected since 2005 and each highlighted on continuing pages. In total, more than $300 million has been raised since Qubein took the helm. “High Point University has strategically focused on enhancing academics, facilities and student programming tremendously in the last decade, and philanthropic supporters have noticed
our distinguished learning model,” Qubein says. “We are grateful for the support of these individuals who have joined us in our mission to prepare students for the world as it is going to be.” With the completion of these academic milestones, new phases of growth lie ahead. Thanks to these new programs, enrollment continues to increase, which leads to a need for more housing. A $23 million residence hall will open this fall for 310 students. It will be the 10th residential facility added to campus since 2005. A $100 million arena and conference center has also been announced to meet the need for major event and athletic space on campus. In addition to hosting the men’s and women’s basketball teams, the space will welcome major concerts and speakers and feature a small hotel. The legacy of Qubein and his family will also be reflected through its naming — the Nido and Mariana Qubein Arena and Conference Center. For details on the space, see page 16. And whether you’re an alumni, a parent, a prospective student or a business leader interested in learning about HPU, be sure to schedule a visit to campus to see faithful courage in action. ▲
The new undergraduate sciences facility will accommodate growth in majors including biology, chemistry and physics. Construction will begin this summer. These programs complement HPU’s new graduate programs in physician assistant studies, pharmacy and physical therapy.
THE NIDO AND MARIANA QUBEIN ARENA AND CONFERENCE CENTER
HONORING A LEGACY appreciation for their leadership, service, and above all, their unwavering belief and dedication that HPU could become an internationally recognized and sought-after institution. Even his philanthropic support has been recognized by The Chronicle of Higher Education Almanac as the third highest donor university president in the country from 2006–2016. In every capacity President Qubein has led the way.”
HPU has announced that construction for a $100 million Arena and Conference Center will begin in 2018.
The Nido and Mariana Qubein Arena and Conference Center will become the home of HPU men’s and women’s basketball programs, as well as a venue for major ceremonial events, educational speakers, concerts, entertainment, other large gatherings and recreational activities. It will seat 4,500 spectators and include suites, locker rooms, staff offices, concession stands, a merchandising area, media suite, film room, press conference room, weight room, athletic training room, hospitality area, high tech audio and video equipment, ticket office and practice gym.
The Board of Trustees proposed and unanimously voted to honor HPU President Nido Qubein and First Lady Mariana Qubein by naming the new facility for their family in appreciation of their $10 million gift and their unending commitment to HPU.
The Conference Center will provide event space for growing undergraduate and graduate programs, student groups and community organizations. It will seat up to 2,500 individuals and have the ability to be subdivided into smaller venues with lighting, sound and video for state-of-the-art presentations. A fully operational catering kitchen will be included for banquets of up to 1,500 people.
“Dr. Qubein’s visionary leadership has ignited the ‘against all odds’ transformation that has taken place at High Point University,” says Dr. Richard Vert, immediate past chair of the HPU Board of Trustees. “This facility will support a student body that has tripled in undergraduate enrollment, flourishing new programs in health sciences and pharmacy, Division I sports teams and major university events that draw thousands of attendees.
The master plan includes a small, executive hotel located adjacent to the arena and conference center to serve the sport and event management major and a proposed hospitality management program. It would also accommodate a growing number of requests by organizations who specifically want to tour the campus and experience HPU’s unique educational environment and culture.
“Naming this university facility in the Qubein family’s honor is a symbol of the board’s profound gratitude and
Last year, 120 colleges and universities requested campus visits and meetings with HPU personnel.
“Dr. Qubein’s visionary leadership has ignited the ‘against all odds’ transformation that has taken place at High Point University.”
“Here at High Point University, we are focused on the art of the possible,” Qubein says. “People have asked how we succeeded in the midst of the greatest recession of our time. We had faith and we had courage, and when you put those two things together, you have faithful courage. With faithful courage, amazing things continue to unfold for the HPU family.”
– Dr. Richard Vert, immediate past chair of the HPU Board of Trustees
Expand to learn more about parents, alumni and advocates who have helped HPU reach $300 million in giving.
Those institutions visit because they can’t believe how quickly HPU continues to transform not only its campus, but the lives of its graduates, too.
MILLION in Giving
High Point University has reached a milestone in fundraising over the last decade, even in the middle of the Great Recession and without a feasibility study, consultants or a campaign. Thanks to the generosity of parents, alumni and advocates, HPU has now received more than $300 million in gifts since 2005, including 12 gifts of $10 million or more. Philanthropic support establishes a caring legacy at HPU that directly impacts the lives of students. In addition to establishing new programs and facilities, many gifts provide endowed scholarships that assist with financial need and experiential learning programs that provide students with access to leadership and professional development opportunities. Each gift paves the way for future advancements. The transformation at HPU is remarkable, yet none of it would have been possible without support of those who believe in HPUâ€™s mission and the vision Dr. Nido Qubein challenged the university to fulfill.
High Point University is grateful for every gift, large and small. We deeply appreciate supporters and advocates who propel our institution forward. With limited space on the following pages, we highlight some committed investors with gratitude. For a full list of donors, please refer to the Presidentâ€™s Circle Honor Roll of Donors, published annually by the Institutional Advancement Office.
$10,000,000+ Visionary Investors, 2006 – 2016 Kathryn W. and Earl E. Congdon, GP David R. Hayworth Pauline L.* and Charles E. (HD ’86)* Hayworth, Jr. Jesse* and James* Millis Family Rena and Mark A. Norcross, P Mariana H. ’77 and Nido R. ’70 (HD ’07) Qubein, P
Joyce and Ronald (HD ’15) Wanek, GP Karen A. and Todd R. Wanek, P Barbara and Frederick E. Wilson, Jr. Dixie and Plato S.* Wilson Anonymous (2)
$1,000,000 – $9,999,999 Visionary Investors, 2006 – 2016 Anonymous (3) Elizabeth H. Aldridge ’94, GP Laura M. and Michael L. Baur, P BB&T Sarah and Thomas M. Belk, Jr., P Cathy S. Bernard, P Kathryn M. ’66 and Mickey W. ’64 Boles, GP, P Marlene L. and John A. Boll L. Paul Brayton, P Sylvia and Richard P. ’63 (HD ’06) Budd, GP, P Christine B. and David E. Cottrell, P Nancy E. and John W. Dwyer, P Giacomo J. Fallucca, P Donna and John L. Finch Jennifer and Martin L. Flanagan, P Teresa and Philip D. Fowler III Leslie D. and Richard B. Gilliam, P Beverly B. ’47* and William D. ’47 Goldston, Jr. Wilma Jordan and George Green, P Martha and Richard B. Handler, P Jennifer and Jason E. Harris Stacey L. and Jeffrey D. ’90 Harris, P A. Frank Hooker, Jr.* HPU Panther Club Independent College Fund of North Carolina, Inc. Randall T. Johnson Anne A. ’48 and Edward L. ’49* Jones
Hildreth G. Jordan ’38* Jane and Gene C. ’66 Kester Kathleen and John A. Luke, Jr., P Mary and Peter A. Mahler Kristine B. and James T. Mestdagh, P Deborah K. and James H. ’76 Millis, Jr. Molly Millis-Hedgecock Celia Z.* and Laurence* Moh LaVerne* and Patrick (HD ’00)* Norton Pearl ’29* and Paul* Payne Toye C. ’75 and Richard W. Payne Earl N. Phillips, Jr. Phyllis and Darrell L. ’43* Sechrest Sandra G. and Charles M. (HD ’93) Shelton, Sr. Marsha B. (HD ’11) and John C.* Slane Anzelette P. ’32* and Carl M. ’33 (HD ’73)* Smith Louise M.* and Herman (HD ’88)* Smith Margaret T. ’61 and Richard F. ’60 Vert, GP Anne K. ’60 and Lawrence C.* Walker, Jr. Jerri F. and Mark A. ’83 Webb Laura S. and Stephen D. Wehrle, P Western NC Conference UMC Susan and Coy O. Williard, Jr., P Douglas S. Witcher ’77 Ann G. and W. Vann York Zaki Oriental Rugs
T his list reflects lifetime gifts and pledges of $1,000,000 or more received by May 31, 2016. HD = honorary degree P = parent of a student GP = grandparent of a student * = deceased
New Gifts Received in 2016-2017 $1,000,000+ Visionary Investors Don (’65) and Teresa Caine David and Christine Cottrell, P David Couch and Stephanie Quayle Michael and Susan Samuel Tubby (’73) and Donna (’76) Smith Bob and Maggie Stout BNC Bank (Rick Callicutt, ’80) Anonymous (1)
Bob and Maggie Stout
Endowed Funds, 2016–2017 Brad and Wendy Calloway Broyhill Family Foundation Jack and Kathy Epstein Peter and Mary Beth Hollett David Korman Kip and Donna Kramer Richard and Marianne Kreider William Lenchinsky and Stephanie George Lenchinsky Dusty and Kay Maynard Harold and Kate Reed Tom Schorn Steve and Nanette Shelley
The Bernard Family Human Relations Initiative
David and Christine Cottrell
Stephanie Quayle and David Couch
Thanks to Cathy Bernard, the mother of two HPU graduates, of Washington, D.C., this endowed fund invests in HPU’s most promising human relations majors. The fund is used to bring nationally recognized lecturers to campus to speak about leadership development. The Bernard fund also provides opportunities for students and faculty to attend the Lead365 National Conference and/or National Conference on Student Leadership.
The Pagon Fund Leonard Pagon and Kata Pagon, of Novelty, Ohio, established this fund to provide real-world experience so students can develop their business ideas, increase the probability of success and foster innovation.
Rick Callicutt, ’80, BNC Bank
Through a competitive application process, it also provides undergraduate student entrepreneurs with direct exposure to mentors, investors, and other capital providers. A committee of faculty consider applicants annually for the fund. Already, 11 student businesses were selected to receive start-up money from the fund. This list reflects gifts and pledges received from June 1, 2016 – March 1, 2017.
Michael and Susan Samuel
Coach Tubby and Donna Smith Give $1 Million University of Memphis head men’s basketball coach Orlando “Tubby” Smith and his wife, Donna Smith, are donating $1 million to support HPU’s new Nido and Mariana Qubein Arena and Conference Center. The arena will become the home of HPU’s men’s and women’s basketball programs, and the basketball court will be named in honor of the Smiths. Tubby Smith captained the basketball team and earned all-conference honors as a senior before graduating from HPU in 1973. The Maryland native also met his wife, Donna, while they were both students on campus. She was the university’s first African-American homecoming queen. Smith went on to lead an illustrious coaching career. Before becoming head coach at Memphis, he served in the same role at five other institutions — Texas Tech, Minnesota, Kentucky, Georgia, and Tulsa — all of which he took to the NCAA Tournament. At Kentucky, he led the Wildcats to the 1998 NCAA championship title.
In total, Smith has amassed more than 576 career victories in 26 seasons of coaching. He is one of only seven still coaching who has reached 500 wins and captured a national title. He has also been honored as National Coach of the Year three times, received the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award, the Mannie Jackson award for humanitarian efforts, helped coach the USA Olympic basketball team to a gold medal in 2000, coached 13 NBA draft picks and had 22 former players go on to play in the NBA. “High Point has been a blessing to my family, and we give back as much as we can to our alma mater and the people who helped us reach our goals and play and coach the game I love,” Smith says. “Tubby and Donna’s legacy began here at HPU and has spread throughout the nation,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president. “The mentorship they received here prepared them for a life of success and significance, and today they mentor and prepare others to achieve greatness.”
Difference Makers Inaugural Pharmacy Class Prepares to Lead in a Collaborative Care Environment harity Amenya was still living in Raleigh when she drove to High Point, North Carolina, to volunteer with a group of High Point University pharmacy faculty. Together, they distributed thousands of dollars of over-the-counter medication to families who couldnâ€™t otherwise afford it, and Amenya knew it then. This was the university for her. It was spring 2015, before she was an official member of the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacyâ€™s first class. She visited HPU previously to see if it was a good fit. She asked questions about the new curriculum faculty were building, and they told her it included a focus on innovation, interprofessional education and patient care. The backdrop for that program included a campus designed to inspire and a colossal new 224,000-squarefoot facility opening in August.
That day, as she worked alongside her future mentors to help others, she saw it all come together.
simulate an experience that shows them a very real example of how that principle will be applied.”
“I knew this would be an environment where I could really excel, and that caught my attention,” Amenya says. “I made up my mind that this was the place to be.”
That approach showed Amani Cobert, a Virginia native, that HPU’s program was unique.
In August, Amenya became one of 60 students to receive their white coats, signaling the start of their academic career as HPU’s first pharmacy students. The class is filled with diverse students and experiences. Less than one year into their studies, they’ve learned that HPU’s program is grounded in rigorous academics. But it’s focused on people. “As pharmacists, we go out into our community and we help people understand their medications and important aspects of their health,” says Dr. Ronald Ragan, founding dean of the school. “Our students are learning early that our product isn’t only the tablets in that vial.”
“I looked at top programs in the country, and I knew HPU designed an upper echelon program.” – Amani Cobert, HPU pharmacy student from Virginia
Pushing the Profession Forward Amenya grew up in Ghana. Before coming to the United States as a teenager, she watched some of her family members serve as pharmacists in the African nation. But pharmacy is different in Ghana; there are no policies or communication between pharmacists and physicians. Often, pharmacies are independent stores that sell over-the-counter medication. That’s what drew her to the HPU program — she wanted to learn from faculty who would prepare her to make a difference on a global scale. In order to create impact, faculty know that students need an integrated approach to learning. “Sometimes what we see in early pharmacy education is that students don’t understand why they have to know certain things,” says Dr. Mary Jayne Kennedy, chair of the Department of Clinical Sciences. “We teach through an integrated method so that at the same time students are learning principles in the classroom, we invite a clinician or
“I looked at top programs in the country, and I knew HPU designed an upper echelon program,” says Cobert. “Just three months after we became students, we were certified to provide immunizations in the community. That doesn’t happen in most programs until the third year, but we’re already doing that sort of work.” Most programs focus on working directly with patients in the latter years. HPU faculty knew there was a better way. “We teach them soft skills — how to have conversations, ask difficult questions and communicate with both patients and other physicians,” Kennedy says. “We’re preparing students to push the profession forward, and that means identifying what the need is and creating solutions.”
Rooted in Values The faces of pharmacy students represent many goals, dreams and leaders who are eager to be challenged. There’s Kelly Odegaard, who moved from Arizona with her husband and two children to HPU to become a community pharmacist. And Brady Johnson, a pre-pharmacy student who will apply to join the doctoral program because he wanted to attend a university based on values like generosity, kindness, faith and an entrepreneurial spirit. Values may not sound scientific, but they keep you grounded in a constantly changing world, according to Kennedy. “I never strayed from the core skills, but I always tried to figure out, how can I apply something that makes a difference? Where can I have the most impact?” says Kennedy. “There are no written rules for that.” Johnson saw that when he applied and was accepted as an undergraduate. “HPU represents the values I was taught as a child,” Johnson says. “There is nothing better than attending a college that wraps you in the same love and care as your home.” The dedication, the depth of the curriculum and the shifting sands of health care - “it’s all challenging,” Cobert admits, but so is serving as a full-time health care provider. The perspective they’ll take into health care and the people they’ll help — that makes it worth the commitment. ▲
ABUNDANCE THROUGH ADVERSITY: Oprah’s Mentee Joins HPU
There’s sunlight streaming through the floor-toceiling glass windows of Cottrell Hall’s International Concourse, where Mpumi Nobiva begins her day. With her laptop, phone and a bag of textbooks, she looks like other students. But talk to her, and layers of an unexpected story start to emerge. Her South African accent is noticeable on this North Carolina campus. So are the conversations she has with friends when names like Oprah Winfrey or places like Washington, D.C. come up. And there’s her Starbucks order — the Oprah Cinnamon Chai Tea Latte. It’s more than a caffeine boost. Proceeds from the drink benefit the school she graduated from in South Africa — the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls. 20
It taught her much about life, including how to share her story. “Most people don’t know the power of their story,” says Nobiva, a strategic communication graduate student. “Those who have been through the worst of the worst are afraid to use it, and yet it’s our greatest currency. “But I believe we must be meant to share it.”
Finding Light in Darkness Over the years, Nobiva has become an internationally soughtafter speaker. Last summer, she introduced Winfrey at the first United State of Women Summit in Washington, D.C., where she met former First Lady Michelle Obama backstage. But her story began in a humbler place. Nobiva was born to a young mother in a shack outside Johannesburg. Her father wasn’t part of her life, and her mother
worked jobs away from home to make ends meet. She found strength in her grandparents, who raised her, and weekend visits from her mom.
The Next Step What happened next seemed like a whirlwind.
When she was 8, Nobiva and her mother sat down for a conversation that changed her life.
Nobiva excelled academically at the academy, emerged as a leader and came to know Winfrey as a mentor she calls “Momma O.” She graduated and came to the United States for college.
“She told me that she had HIV, and that she was dying from it,” she says. “She was heartbroken but somehow optimistic when she talked about my future. She said she knew I was going to be different, make better choices and work very hard in life.”
She completed her undergraduate degree at Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte in May 2016. Winfrey gave the Commencement address.
Life became filled with hospitals and sickness that led to inevitable heart break. Nobiva was an only child who didn’t know her father and had now lost her mother. “That was hard,” she says. “Somehow I stayed calm and centered. I think it was because of that conversation with my mother. She spoke directly to me. Many people were afraid to talk about HIV, but she spoke to me like I would understand, even if I couldn’t articulate it. “Because she spoke to me, I felt included. I felt seen and regarded.”
The Power of Narrative Nobiva made promises to her mother during that conversation to which she committed. Be good to your Grandmom. Do well in school. Never stop believing in God. Her teachers noticed. When Winfrey announced she was building an academy for girls in their country, they told Nobiva to apply. She sent in applications and essays and caught the eyes of recruiters. She passed through rounds of interviews before she was invited to the most important interview of her life. It was in a room where Nobiva saw two chairs facing each other. A woman was sitting in one. As she walked closer, she realized who the woman was: Oprah — the lady on TV, as Nobiva knew her then. Winfrey introduced herself, then asked the 13-year-old girl, “Why do you deserve to be in this academy?” Nobiva’s story spilled out — poverty, losing her mother and finding strength. She shared her narrative with one of the most influential people in the world. And she was accepted.
Nobiva had become a difference maker through storytelling. She published a research project, titled “The Power of Narrative for Oppressed African Women,” that features South African women who’ve been raped but have found purpose in their pain by sharing their stories. In the midst of it all, she discovered HPU through her host family, Bob and Lavern Brown, who live in High Point. “One day after coming from church with my host family, I noticed the brick architecture. It was so stately and made me feel like I could do great things. I knew then that I wanted to be here.” She toured the campus three times, read books written by HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein and landed a full scholarship. To Nobiva, sometimes it’s jolting. Her life has been filled with things meant to pull her down. Instead, she used them to lift herself up. “The very thing meant to kill me and be the biggest barrier has brought value to my life. That’s what’s been incredible,” she says. “I have a place in the world that’s my place, my story and my truth. It helps me show others that what was dark can become the light.” ▲
Mpumi Nobiva, a strategic communication master’s student, is pictured with Oprah Winfrey. Nobiva grew up in South Africa and attended the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls.
Creating Value Employers across the Nation SEEK HPU Graduates
employment and grad school placement within six months of graduation
Data from the Classes of 2015 and 2016. High Point University follows the National Association of Colleges and Employers first destination reporting protocols.
On any given day, except Sundays, people line up for a chicken sandwich at the nation’s number one fastfood restaurant: Chick-fil-A. Meanwhile, Chick-fil-A’s corporate office is lining up to recruit HPU students.
As Williams concluded her internship and returned to school in the fall, she had one final assignment from Chick-fil-A: Work with the company to establish a recruiting relationship with HPU.
Lexie Williams found out about an internship with Chick-fil-A from a fellow student and was prepared to apply thanks to her time at HPU.
“Based on our experience with Lexie, the students who attend HPU exert a level of professionalism that’s above average when compared to other universities we’ve visited,” says Shayna Lewis of Chick-fil-A’s university talent acquisition team. “We want to find the best students out there, the brightest, the gems.”
“I got connected by a student who had interned there before me,” says Williams. “I had researched internships for months, and when I saw it, I knew it was the experience I wanted.” Williams’ first week at the company included an orientation tour through Atlanta, Georgia, led by Chick-fil-A’s President and CEO, Dan Cathy. While the city’s attractions caught Williams’ eye, she caught the attention of someone else. “Dan Cathy called me over, smiled and said, ‘Lexie, will you tell Dr. Nido Qubein [HPU president] that I said hello?”’ says Williams. “He knew my name, knew where I went to school and didn’t hesitate to reach out. I was in awe.” It was then that Williams realized the impact of being an HPU student. And while her decision to attend HPU drew instant attention to Williams, that was just the beginning. Giving credit to HPU’s focus on career preparation, Williams became a standout employee that summer. Kelli Easley, a member of the talent acquisition team at Chick-fil-A, was one of Williams’ supervisors. “Lexie stood out from others first during the interview process,” says Easley. “During her internship, it was clear that Lexie was a culture add. She came in and began to form relationships with ease. She was proactive, anticipated the needs of others and added value quickly.”
Now, they will be one of the many companies that looks to HPU for talent acquisition — a common occurrence thanks to the Career and Professional Development team at HPU.
Linking Up Career preparation is woven into every student’s academic curriculum from the first moment they arrive on campus. Students complete LinkedIn profiles, take part in mock interviews, partner with career advisors and faculty to create career-centric plans and more. As a result, 95 percent of HPU students are employed or in graduate school six months after graduation. And, for many, the first job comes even sooner. Caroline Tucker entered her senior year career-focused and ready to job hunt. Little did she know, a major company was already hunting for her. “Amazon reached out to me through LinkedIn to start,” says Tucker. “They reached out in early fall and told me to apply, saying that I was a good fit based on my profile.” One month and an interview later, Tucker was offered a full-time position with the world’s largest online retailer. She says that it’s all because of the guidance she received at HPU.
“I spent endless hours on my resume, taking it to Career and Professional Development for feedback,” says Tucker. “Then I used that resume on my LinkedIn profile, and in retrospect, that’s what got things started.”
after graduation. He is instrumental in arranging careers fairs, recruiting and professional networking opportunities, all while making extensive efforts to train and prepare his students.
And, although Career and Professional Development has its own department at HPU, preparation for life after graduation is a concept that permeates through every sector of the university.
His efforts have connected students with Big Four accounting firms such as KPMG LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers, who are drawn to HPU students for numerous reasons.
Tucker not only attended resume workshops and career fairs at HPU, but took classes that required a professional LinkedIn profile.
“KPMG is looking for people with integrity — good team members who can build effective relationships, learn from experience and bring out the best in others,” says Bob Slappey, audit partner at KPMG LLP. “High Point University recruits not only demonstrate these qualities, but also have the technical aptitude to meet the growing demands and expectations of the companies we serve.”
“A lot of my professors required us to have a LinkedIn profile that was polished,” says the international business major. “While it seemed like added work at the time, I can now thank them for helping me land a job with Amazon.” Similarly, HPU provides major-specific career and internship fairs. Professor George Noxon, chair of the department of accounting and finance, serves as an advocate to help students secure jobs
“Colleges don’t always prepare you for the real world, but at HPU they encourage and ready you from day one,” says Tucker. “HPU has your best interest at heart.”
Below is a glimpse of leading companies that have hired HPU students and graduates for internships and full-time careers.
Relaying Relevance From their freshman year and beyond, Career and Professional Development equips students with the practical knowledge and insider nuances to excel in life after college, no matter who or where they want to be. Many students choose to further their education through graduate school. “We work with students throughout the graduate school application process, from helping students learn how to research programs to reviewing personal statements and CVs to conducting mock interviews,” says career advisor Elizabeth Walker Illig. Of those continuing their education, 93.2 percent are accepted into their first choice graduate school. “Our goal is for students to tell their professional stories in a way that shows their commitment to graduate study,” says Illig. “By teaching students to provide the evidence that they have excelled in the past, have experience in the field, and have defined their career goals, we teach them to articulate their value to graduate programs.” That’s the mission of Career and Professional Development. It’s about providing students the tools they need to pursue success and significance for the rest of their lives. Valuable indeed. ▲
HPU in the City Students have opportunities for career development all over the world thanks to experiential programs like HPU in the City. During the university’s fall break, a group of students traveled to New York City and explored some of the world’s top employers for a behindthe-scenes look at what it takes to work for those companies. Students visited Bloomberg Financial, Goldman Sachs, Fox Television, PVH Corp. and Hollis Taggart Galleries. Their journey included tours of the former NYMEX Trading Floor, Fox News studios and a Calvin Klein showroom, meetings with company CEOs and presidents, insight into their hiring processes and a networking event with successful alumni who’ve established careers in New York. “I’m grateful for the opportunity we had to learn more about companies I had not even thought of as possibilities for my future,” says Dallas native Kaitlyn Doshier, a junior visual merchandising major. “I really stepped out of my comfort zone talking to business professionals and alumni who work at these impressive companies.” This is the program’s second year. Last year, students also visited Ralph Lauren; Jordan, Edmiston Group Inc.; and Specialist Staffing Group. “We know our students will go on to attain stellar internships and job offers thanks, in part, to this program,” says Chris Dudley, senior vice president for Institutional Advancement. “Our strong alumni and family network is a big factor in that. We have many people in the HPU family who provide incredible mentorship to our students.”
Jodi Guglielmi, a 2015 HPU communication graduate, is now a writer for People Magazine in New York City.
Setting the Standard Students Exceed Industry Expectations in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication
“I wouldn’t be the writer I am today if it weren’t for my time at HPU or the extraordinary mentorship of my professors.” – Jodi Guglielmi, ‘15 writer at People Magazine
Beginning with the
End in Mind
Kate Hudson, Leonardo DiCaprio, and John Krasinski walk into a room. It might sound like the beginning to a joke, but it’s actually a dream-turned-reality for High Point University alumna Jodi Guglielmi. A 2015 graduate, Guglielmi is a writer for People Magazine. Working in both digital and print, the Orlando, Florida, native now lives in New York City and has worked for the magazine for over a year. In that time, her duties as a member of the editorial team have expanded greatly, affording her opportunities to meet and interview celebrities and attend exclusive events like the Toronto International Film Festival. “While I was there, I helped out in our photo and video studio where numerous casts from the films premiering at the festival gathered to take portrait photos and record video interviews,” says Guglielmi. “I spent time escorting A-list stars including Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Jennifer Garner, Jason Sudeikis and more around the studio and even conducted a few of the video interviews.”
Even while attending Hollywood’s most exclusive affairs, Guglielmi often finds herself right back in Dr. Bobby Hayes’ copy editing class in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication. She finds herself going back to the fundamentals of journalism she gained at HPU. As an undergraduate, Guglielmi was taught by industry professionals who prioritized experiential learning and real-world lessons, preparing her for the workforce. “My professors really took a personal interest in making sure that I succeeded,” she says. “Whenever I had any questions, they were always available to assist me.” She catches herself referring to the Associated Press Stylebook, a guide she practically memorized at HPU, and thinks of the times professors drilled her on grammar rules. She speaks to lawyers or consults court documents for a story in her work for People, all the while recalling lessons she learned from her time covering the courts for Dr. Nahed Eltantawy’s convergent journalism class. “I learned my most important writing lessons this way,” says Guglielmi. “I definitely wouldn’t be the writer I am today if it weren’t for my time at HPU or the extraordinary mentorship of my professors.”
Guglielmi is an example of journalism success. Opportunities abound for students in a number of other concentrations too. That’s why two professors have recently created student-run organizations. Professor John Mims, a public relations and marketing professional with 20 years of experience, teaches courses on public relations messaging and social media for strategic communication. He also advises Ascension336, HPU’s first student-run public relations agency. Ascension336 started in the fall semester with a group of 20 students in Mim’s class. It has grown to include over 64 additional students who “intern” for the agency, making Ascension336 the largest PR agency in the Triad. The agency caters to 10 clients, all local nonprofit organizations. Students are divided into teams that consult with their client and assess the organization’s needs. From there, students build social media plans, create websites and blogs, determine branding strategies and create graphics. Mims says that while he’s there as an advisor, he aims to let the students make the majority of decisions on their own, only offering advice or guidance when asked. “Where they can do things, I want them to handle it,” says Mims. “I may lend my opinion at times, but they don’t have to take it. This organization is all theirs, from the name to the logo and website — they have built it from the ground up.”
One Ascension336 client is housed nearby in the School of Communication — Triad News. Triad News, a new student-produced newscast, is advised by Professor Steve Harvey, an Emmy Award winner with 35 years of experience in broadcast and photojournalism with WBNS-TV in Columbus, Ohio. Harvey teaches studio production, TV production and multimedia reporting classes in the School of Communication. His goal as a professor and advisor is to bring out students’ passion and pass along the skills he’s learned over the years. “I create an atmosphere for the students to understand how broadcast journalism is created, how they can produce quality content and find their own passion for the industry,” says Harvey. “My career has been a wonderful adventure, but now it is time to pay it forward by using my experience to coach the next generation of journalists.”
Learn from the Best to
Become the Best
Another concentration is the event management track within the School of Communication. Added in 2015, it quickly established a reputable name for itself by earning international recognition as the best event management bachelor’s degree.
Lauren Abott, one of three co-directors for Ascension336, says the experience she’s gained from working with the agency is preparing her to make important career moves after she graduates.
The Haas & Wilkerson Pinnacle Gold Award was presented to HPU’s Dr. Vern Biaett by the International Festival & Events Association in the fall. The award recognizes the quality, excellence, creativity and achievement of the festival and event industry, including the top bachelor’s degree in event management education.
“I am fortunate that High Point University professors encourage students to pursue their passions,” says Abott. “Ascension336 allows students to experience the culture and atmosphere of a public relations agency right on campus.”
Students majoring in event management are uniquely positioned to land jobs in public, nonprofit, or private event management and marketing organizations, run their own small event management company or attend graduate school.
This new concentration and others added in recent years — sports communication, documentary media and more — reflect the school’s focus to produce outcomes-based results. Students engage in real-world learning by participating in classes and programs that simulate industry expectations. They are led by experienced professionals and Ph.D. professors who aim to prepare their students for the career goals they hope to accomplish. “At HPU we have attempted to create a unique, acrossthe-board type of event management major,” says Biaett. “It is the only event management major housed in a school of communication in the world, so it uniquely requires core communication courses. Rather than focusing on a specific subset of event management, such as meeting planning, tourism and hospitality, or community and cultural events, our major covers the entire industry with classes like marketing, sponsorship and experience design that address aspects pertinent to the entire field of event management.”
The major also includes a highly experiential practicum, internship opportunities and senior seminar classes led by faculty with impressive industry experience and academic qualifications. Biaett also contributes the success of the program through student interaction with the local community. Event management majors gain valuable experience by working community events throughout the year. They can be found at the John Coltrane International Jazz and Blues Festival, the National Folk Festival or the High Point Furniture Market, to name a few. “Our aim within the School of Communication is to prepare students to become leaders within the industry and the community,” says Dr. Wilfred Tremblay, dean of the school. “Receiving this award at the international level shows that the hard work of our faculty and students is paying off as we build the event management sequence and minor into a world-class educational offering.” ▲
There’s a group of students at HPU who set the bar high for communication majors, the university’s second largest major. Led by industry professional Charisse McGhee-Lazarou, a Harvard University graduate and former vice president of primetime programming at NBC, the High Point University Media Fellows Program grants membership to the top 16 incoming communication majors each year. Fellows partake in real-world projects in a client/agency model, work together to develop and oversee unique research projects and travel domestically and internationally to examine trends in the media industry.
Most recently, the program became the first academic chapter of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society (HRTS). The society is the entertainment industry’s premier information and networking forum, and is comprised of West Coast executives from broadcast and cable networks, stations, studios, talent and management companies, advertisers, media companies and more. Media Fellows have the opportunity to work with HRTS, giving them unprecedented access to how the business works and providing students with insight into the thoughts and strategies of CEOs, presidents and producers of major studios and networks.
Each summer, students gain a career-defining experience through the program. An annual trip takes students behind the scenes at television networks and production studios, including NBC, USA, BRAVO and more, all in preparation for future careers in the media industry. And while HPU’s Media Fellows are learning inside industry expectations, they are also setting a stellar standard at HPU.
You see it everywhere: DIY. The world is moving toward a do-it-yourself mindset where anyone can do anything, thanks to an unlimited pool of knowledge available at your fingertips. There’s an entire industry dedicated to DIY — complete with television networks, bloggers, YouTube channels and more. Anyone can go to Ikea to pick out furniture, copy a bedroom design from Pinterest, or add a filter to a photo. Professors in High Point University’s School of Art and Design know this. They’ve seen the trends. Their job is to ensure that HPU students stand out and stay relevant in a world that’s quickly moving toward a new and now mentality.
Tech Tools New technologies have opened up a world of opportunity in art and design. For example, 3D printers allow HPU students to quickly create small-scale models of their designs, which speeds up their creative process and gives them more time to push their designs further. Graphic design majors can create and change compelling imagery in Adobe Illustrator with a few mouse clicks. Photography students capture life instantly at the press of a button. It’s easy to lean on technology for creativity. However, HPU professors teach students how to effectively and appropriately use technology as a tool for creating — and not overlook craftsmanship by hand. “Students who come to us know how to use the computer because they grew up with it,” says Mark Brown, assistant professor of art. “But they sometimes view the computer as their art. Instead, we teach students that technology is a means to an end, so that their creativity isn’t limited by their ability to use that tool.”
Decoration vs. Communication In technology-heavy fields, the urgency to keep up with new programs, software updates and industry trends that change every day is demanding. Molly Seabrook is an instructor of graphic design at HPU. She knows there are numerous websites that can teach users to master the ins and outs of a computer program. But those tutorials don’t teach the most important aspect of it all: the why behind it. “I boil it down to one question,” Seabrook says. “Are you communicating an original idea, or are you decorating someone else’s? Pinterest is decoration. Design is communication. That’s the difference between going to school and doing it yourself.
Turning Dreams into Reality Ashley Hengerer could hardly contain her excitement when she saw it. It stood twice as tall as she was, nearly 25 feet long, and wrapped along a curved wall in HPU’s Slane Student Center.
“We provide students with critical thinking tools and processes. Students learn brainstorming techniques, ways to approach problems and fundamental concepts that are useful beyond the immediacy of the classroom. Those are deeply foundational skills.”
The Portfolio Life Studies show that today’s college graduates change jobs more frequently than their predecessors. Being able to market your resourcefulness to different industries is vital. HPU prepares students for the portfolio life of the 21st century workforce — to be creative problem solvers across the board. Dr. Jane Nichols, chair of HPU’s Department of Home Furnishings and Interior Design, agrees. “Our graduates are hired not only for their technology skills, but for their ideas and creativity,” Nichols says. “That’s why we emphasize the process instead of the product. This makes creative students very marketable and employable in many different fields. It’s about teaching them how to problem solve, how to work in teams, how to communicate their ideas — all the skills employers are looking for.”
It was a growth mindset wall decal she designed for a campus internship — a culmination of her four years of graphic design studies at HPU. “It was a turning point for me. I had never felt that proud of my work until that time,” Hengerer says. “Seeing my designs come to life right before graduation was so amazing. It reassured me that I would be capable of designing large-scale artwork for a company after graduation.” Hengerer graduated in 2016. Her experiences at HPU propelled her to launch her design career at Johnson & Johnson, and later start her own apparel business, Charitee, with fellow alumni. “Each of my professors in the School of Art and Design pushed me to be more creative, innovative and to think outside of the box. They gave me the skills and confidence that I needed, and I am forever grateful for their enthusiasm toward art and the support they gave me throughout my college career.”
Employers notice, too. HGTV Home, Johnson & Johnson, Kate Spade, Bassett Furniture and Marriott International have selected HPU students for jobs and internships because students understand the value of their creative degrees. So, the need for adaptability in this do-it-yourself world is certain. Technology, trends and aesthetics will change. But the creative thinking process will always remain the core of HPU’s curriculum and the advantage graduates have in the marketplace. ▲
JOURNEY TOWARD SUCCESS THE
THE PATHWAY TO SUCCESS IS A STAIRCASE, NOT AN ELEVATOR.
Dr. Jim Wehrley likes to call it a toolbox. He’ll stand before a class of sophomores and juniors, go over the three-column worksheet they’ll fill out and dig into the importance of hard skills, soft skills and exploring a particular career. He deciphers his toolbox language and gives them examples — a hard skill is graphic design, a soft skill is a strong work ethic, and career exploration is networking, job shadowing or getting an internship. The worksheet may change with every semester, he tells them. Keep at it. Then, the dean of HPU’s Earl N. Phillips School of Business peers over his glasses and delivers the kicker.
“You don’t want students waking up as a senior and saying, ‘I don’t know what I want to do.’ You want them saying, ‘I know what I want to do, and I know how to get there.’” – Dr. Jim Wehrley, dean of the Earl N. Phillips School of Business
“This will change your life,” he says. He believes that. So do his colleagues. They all have this deep-seated sense of responsibility as they teach, guide and mentor the students enrolled in HPU’s largest school. Twenty-seven percent of HPU’s student body, or 1,200 students, major in business. And more than 98 percent of them get a job or go to graduate school six months after graduation. In the world of business, where change is the one constant, Wehrley and his colleagues want them to be ready. So, they have students do research, participate in sales and entrepreneurship competitions, attend career fairs, get involved with clubs, work with career advisors, network with
area professionals and see a toolbox worksheet as a vital roadmap to their future. They take a broad spectrum of business courses that help differentiate them from the job competition they face. Meanwhile, they can pick up an iPad and learn about economics through an app created by their peers. It’s all an example of what the Phillips School of Business has become — the Applied School of Business. Application is a part of every course, every endeavor. It has to be. “You don’t want students waking up as a senior and saying, ‘I don’t know what I want to do,’’’ Wehrley says. “You want them waking up and saying, ‘I know what I want to do, and I know how to get there.’”
Computer science majors developed an app that gives students hands-on experience with economics concepts.
‘The Best Way to Learn’ Dr. Daniel Hall loves his iPads. Every semester, he’ll bring into his economics class at least 30 iPads for his students to use to learn the ebbs and flows of a market economy. It works. Hall, chair of HPU’s Department of Economics, along with associate dean and economics professor Dr. Stephanie Crofton, dreamed up this idea in 2011 of using an app to teach students economics. They received more than $42,000 in grants and enlisted seven computer science majors to create an app that helps students understand the ever-changing nature of buyers and sellers. Students learn by doing. They walk around the room, exchanging trading information on their iPads. They turn a classroom into a live trading floor. Hall started using EconApps in late 2012. Since then, about 600 students have used it in class. Students like Sam Berlin.
Dr. Daniel Hall, chair of HPU’s Department of Economics, has helped secure multiple grants for his EconApps project.
“The best way to learn is by doing,” says Berlin, a sophomore marketing major from Manassas, Virginia. “It’s not real life. But it’s one step closer.” And that’s what Hall wants. “It shows students there is more to economics than the graph on an exam,” he says. “I could lecture them to death, but once they experience it for themselves, they’re more likely to take it outside class and into their lives. Then, it becomes memorable.”
The Path toward Differentiation EconApps is just the beginning. Many freshmen business majors take an eight-week course taught by Wehrley, success coach Akir Khan and Bridget Holcombe, director of Career and Professional Development. In that class, students see the multiple career opportunities available in business. Freshmen listen to panelists from different business fields. They also talk to professors, network with upperclassmen about leadership opportunities and internships, learn how to ace an interview, leverage their soft skills and polish their resumes and cover letters.
ANGIE’S ILLUMINATING PATH
They write weekly reflection papers on what they hear in class and carry out what Holcombe calls the “heart and soul of the course” — interviewing someone in a career they’d like to pursue and asking, “What do you look for when you hire?”
Growing up on a 12-acre farm in southwest Minnesota, Angie Paskewitz didn’t see the world as hers.
That’s how it starts, the business school’s stair-step process that molds students into confident graduates. Take Alexa Crawford McGraw. She and her husband, Cameron, graduated from HPU in 2013 with business entrepreneurship degrees, and they used the $12,500 they won in HPU’s business competitions as seed money to start Luxury Home Magazine in Nashville, Tennessee. They had no connections when they started in January 2015. Today, the McGraws’ bi-monthly magazine has grown from 40 to 60 pages and is considered the fastest growing among the nearly 20 other LHM publications nationwide. Alexa McGraw knows why that happened. “We walked into this situation with confidence, and 100 percent of that came from High Point University,” she says. “High Point gave us the courage.” ▲
She does now, thanks to her HPU experience. At a restaurant, surrounded by family, she once turned a conversation about her insulin pump into a job interview with a salesman. Her dad laughed; her mom looked amazed. Their oldest daughter, one of their four children, had grown up. Paskewitz is an HPU junior, a marketing major with a minor in sales. She takes business classes, competes in selling competitions and helps 20 other HPU students run United Apparel, a nonprofit that sells T-shirts to raise money for homeless veterans. As vice president of philanthropy for the Phillips School of Business Selling Club, she collects donations to buy turkeys for 75 local families at Thanksgiving. Two years ago, she approached 50 businesses over two days and collected $1,100. When she delivered the turkeys, she met a mother. The woman hugged her and cried. It was her family’s first Thanksgiving meal. That’s when it hit her. With her business education and her work beyond the classroom, she realized she could change her world — and herself. “That is what higher education is all about,” she says. “To see things differently.”
HOW UNDERGRADUATES CAN
One faculty member’s mentorship has given students out-of-this-world opportunities. By Dr. Brad Barlow, assistant professor of astrophysics The study of astrophysics begs big questions and presents real challenges. There are complex terms and theories, and unlike much of physics, chemistry or biology, we can’t even physically touch the objects we study in astronomy. In fact, the closest object I have ever studied is a mere 900 trillion miles from Earth. Compared to most other stars in our own Milky Way galaxy, that star is practically our next-door neighbor! So how then do we create hands-on learning opportunities in astronomy and measure their impact? There is certainly important data we track — grades, research presentations and publications, and job placement after graduation — all of which tell us we’re taking the right steps. But there are other things, too, that show you a difference is being made, and students really are being instilled with both an understanding of and passion for the field. For me, I saw it clearly one day on the faces of Ryan Hegedus, Alan Vasquez and Paddy Clancy. After hours of stargazing one night in Chile, their calculations told these students they had just become the first human beings to find a rare star system — one that no one else on the planet knew about just yet. The wonder in their eyes was confirmation for me that we’re achieving phenomenal things in our approach to experiential learning here at High Point University.
“The wonder in their eyes was confirmation for me that we’re achieving phenomenal things in our approach to experiential learning here at High Point University.” – Dr. Brad Barlow, assistant professor of astrophysics
Students Ryan Hegedus, Paddy Clancy and Alan Vasquez (pictured left to right in the photo on the right) helped discover a new pulsating star using telescopes at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile.
A Classroom without Walls I had invited these three physics majors to join me on a summer trip and experience the life of a researcher at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory. At an elevation of 9,000 feet in the Andes Mountains, it provided an opportunity for students to gain first-hand experience in a different part of the world. Our two-week stay in Chile included many adventures like lost luggage, tarantulas and rain. But the students were dedicated. Using skills they learned in their introductory physics courses, they helped me monitor pulsating stars, which have brightness that changes from our perspective on Earth, and extreme binary star systems, which are pairs of stars that orbit one another within a few hours. Using the 0.9-m CTIO telescope and the 4.1-meter SOAR telescope, these students took charge of the work by moving the telescopes into place, obtaining images of our targets, and analyzing the data using software they had written themselves in the Python programming language. 38
We had a stroke of luck when astronomers from West Virginia University asked for our help in confirming a potentially exciting discovery. They had found what looked like a pulsar — the dead relic of a massive star — orbiting an invisible object in the sky. While it sounds like something out of “Star Wars,” our team took a series of very long exposures of this part of the sky and uncovered an incredibly faint optical companion nearby. Through their commitment to the project and knowledge of the field, they helped discover a low-mass, cool white dwarf star in orbit around the pulsar. Not only is this a relatively rare find, but we’ll also soon publish our findings in The Astrophysical Journal. Such an accomplishment was exciting for this small group of undergraduates and will hopefully play an important role in their unfolding academic careers. For me, it was exciting in a different way.
HPU Joins S.M.A.R.T.S. Consortium There’s plenty of opportunity on the horizon for students interested in undergraduate sciences at HPU. In addition to the university’s announcement that it will soon begin building a new undergraduate sciences facility and planetarium, national and international research partnerships are also being established.
Impactful Mentorship Remember when I said astronomy had complex terms? For the past six years, my research has focused primarily on an area of study known as “asteroseismology” (the fluctuations of stars). I have used professional telescopes, some with mirrors 32 feet across, in Australia, Chile, the United States and South Africa to monitor the vibrations of stars and determine their properties. The results of these studies have been published in more than three dozen peer-reviewed publications and proceedings, and we have presented this work at research conferences on four continents around the world.
For example, the Department of Physics joined the Small and Moderate Aperture Research Telescope System (SMARTS) Consortium. SMARTS is a network of universities, including Yale, Georgia State and now High Point University, that maintain and operate four professional telescopes near the Atacama Desert in Chile.
In two cases, my students and I discovered new pulsating stars that were not previously known to astronomers. One of these, assigned the mundane name “CS 1246,” turned out to be one of the most interesting pulsators ever found within its class of stars. Every six minutes, this particular star grows and shrinks in size by more than 1,000 miles, and its temperature goes up and down by more than 1,000 degrees. The pulsations are so violent that the vibrations themselves are changing the structure of the star and slowly destroying the pulsations. For the first time, we are observing the “death” of this type of pulsating star.
Faculty and students have access to these facilities over the next several years and also hold a seat on the SMARTS Board of Directors, which sets the science goals of the consortium each year. Students and faculty have devoted their observing time to monitor the velocities of dozens of stars in binary star systems — pairs of stars that orbit around each other.
Ever since my graduate work opened up the joy of discovery for me, my goal in teaching undergraduates has been to transmit that joy to my students early in their education. On that night in Chile, when my three students realized they were the first human beings to find this particular rare star system, they also discovered something else — a new sense of accomplishment and capability.
The department will also begin assisting a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill research group in analyzing data from their recently-deployed “Evryscope,” an array of smaller telescopes on Cerro Tololo in Chile that will monitor the brightness of millions of stars over several years.
We’ve been able to take a very hands-off subject and find ways to make it hands-on for students through an approach that’s grounded in mentorship. Why? Because we want them to succeed in a way that creates impact. We believe that the earlier they learn to ask big, bold questions, the sooner they become confident when searching for the answers.
Through these research collaborations and others, HPU’s Department of Physics hopes to discover new pulsating stars and binary star systems from a rich data set by writing specialized software to sift through and analyze data.
These students showed me that we’re succeeding. ▲
Preparing 21st Century Teachers Rachel Lawrence remembers when the heads of 30 children turned toward her as she stepped into a real classroom for the first time. The looks on their faces begged an overwhelming question —
“Are you my teacher?” But Lawrence wasn’t a teacher then. She was a freshman in her first semester at High Point University following a path her professors crafted intentionally for education majors. “I remember asking myself, ‘Can I actually manage a classroom?’” says Lawrence, an Ohio native who graduated in 2012. “But over time I became comfortable with that challenge. Getting in the classroom early validated that this was something I wanted to do.” HPU’s Stout School of Education has a mission to prepare 21st century educational leaders. That means exposing future teachers to the demands of public education early in their academic careers. It starts with a freshman practicum — two years earlier than most universities put education majors inside of real classrooms. The experiential element continues in their sophomore year, followed by student teaching in their junior and senior years. 40
Dr. Mariann Tillery, dean of the School of Education, knows the “early and often” approach to putting her students in real classrooms is key to the success of her graduates. “The fieldwork our students complete in their freshman year is vital not only to their future,” Tillery says, “but also the future of thousands of children.”
CHAMPIONING STEM PRACTICES When faculty mentors combine the experiential components they’ve designed with a network of tools and resources they’ve also established for students, it pays off after graduation. They’ve seen it happen in alumni like Lawrence. “What I say to everyone about HPU is that they prepare teachers with phenomenal resources in technology, pedagogy — you name it,” says Lawrence, now an eighth grade science teacher at the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation in Raleigh, North Carolina. “You’re provided with high expectations as an HPU student, but then you step into your first classroom and you realize you’ve already been given the workload of being a real educator.” Faculty begin by infusing their years of experience as administrators, principals and teachers into challenging curriculum, then share that inside of the LEED-certified School of Education. The facility opened in 2012 and features SMART Boards, a children’s book library, math and science touch screen games, and a methods lab designed to look and feel like a real elementary school classroom. Melissa Martins is a sophomore, but she was still a high school senior when she saw the School of Education for the first time. She knew then that HPU was the place for her. “I had never seen a school so up-to-date with technology,” Martins, a Chicago native, says. “I really thought, ‘I can excel here and become the teacher I need to be.’” This year, Martins tackled the sophomore level practicum. Every Monday, she assisted a teacher at Union Hill Elementary by leading math study groups, crafting lesson plans or managing the daily needs of the classroom while learning how to interact with school staff. Meanwhile, on campus, she’s learned from faculty like Dr. Jane Bowser, chair of the Department of Specialized Curriculum and Instructional Technology, who shows students not only how to use technology in the classrooms, but how to do so effectively. Bowser even trained teachers at Montlieu Academy of Technology, a local magnet school, how to use iPads for engaged learning in their classrooms. Coupled with a major gift from HPU to purchase the iPads, Montlieu is now an official Apple School.
Then there’s Dr. Shirley Disseler, who’s established a one-of-a-kind Lego Institute on campus that welcomes thousands of area children to compete in robotic building exercises led by HPU students. “With Legos, we teach children how to think, not what to think,” Disseler says. “Now we’re seeing school districts seek out our graduates because of their knowledge in STEM practices.” Like Lawrence, Martins will be prepared to put theory into practice when she graduates. She’ll already have four years of experience doing just that. “In my classes, I’ve reaffirmed my dream to teach,” she says. “I know I’ll be ready.”
A Path to Leadership In addition to leading classrooms, education majors also want to achieve higher leadership opportunities in the field someday. Tillery has seen that happen. Just last fall, one of her doctoral graduates, Myra Cox, became the superintendent of Elkin City Schools in North Carolina. Educational leadership was HPU’s first doctoral program, and it reflects the different degree options crafted for students. Whether an administrator, a principal or a superintendent, HPU offers a path. That includes the opportunity to obtain an undergraduate degree and a master’s degree in just five years. A nearly $2 million grant the School of Education secured last fall paved the way for a principal training program that began in January. Forty-one of the state’s top teachers were selected by HPU for studies and fieldwork that will prepare them to lead as a principal someday. “This program ensures that our local districts have a pipeline of leaders ready to lead our schools,” Tillery says. That focus is central to the school’s mission — preparing teachers to shape the future of children. “Twenty-first century teachers are challenged to teach all kinds of students in all kinds of ways,” Tillery says. “Being located in the third largest school district in North Carolina gives our students an incredible opportunity to get critical experience, and there’s no limit to the amount of preparation we’re willing to give our students to make their impact a positive one.” ▲
THE NEW HONORS PROGRAM:
Discovery, Discernment & Drive To hear students tell it, HPU’s Honors Scholar Program gives them that spark they need. They take classes that help them develop, as one student says, “thoughts beyond thoughts.” They do research, put together projects, go on trips and organize their own clubs. In the process, they find their own community. They talk about everything from poetry to politics way past midnight and use the lobby of the honors residence hall as a clubhouse where they create intellectual exercises that let their minds play.
“I’ve developed thoughts beyond thoughts, thinking beyond thinking. It has pushed all of us to the next level.” – Sam Entwistle, HPU senior and New Jersey native 42
Last fall, the Honors Scholar Program expanded. Students were given more honors classes to choose from and saw more teams of professors across disciplines collaborating together for courses that teach students the necessary habits of an inquisitive mind. It’s what Dr. Bill Carpenter, the program’s new director, calls “qualitatively different.” Honors scholar students take courses that combine ideas from various academic disciplines to show how knowledge can connect. By the time they’re seniors, they have an electronic portfolio and research experience with professors. Then, at graduation, they walk across the stage with a medallion around their neck for All University Honors, the highest academic honor a student can receive. They write, present and collaborate with classmates, refining the very skills companies want and employees need in today’s global economy. This fall, all of that will begin in a new home. Honors scholar students will move their headquarters to Finch, a residence hall undergoing a renovation. They’ll have roommates, a communal kitchen, a new faculty-in-residence and a seminar room for their regular intellectual programs. But it’s bigger than that. It’s the symbolism of it all.
Finch Hall sits in the middle of campus beside the Kester International Promenade and the statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks. And as the program continues to grow, Carpenter sees the location as indicative of what HPU values — intellectual curiosity, intellectual risk-taking, intellectual growth. With HPU’s honors scholars, that does take root.
The Discovery of Drive The recast honors program is five years in the making. Its aim: Recruit and prepare students for post-graduate work and complement the school’s liberal arts curriculum. It also gives students the intellectual vigor to go after some of the world’s best scholarships, from Roosevelt to Rhodes. Right now, the Honors Scholar Program has about 260 students. Carpenter says they hope to get about 100 more every year — students who feel just like senior Sam Entwistle. Entwistle first learned about business at age 9 by running the cash register at her mom’s Hallmark store in Tewksbury, New Jersey. After she graduates in May with degrees in business entrepreneurship and education, she will enroll in HPU’s master’s degree program in educational leadership.
It did that for Cara Sinicropi. She’s 24, an HPU honors alum. She graduated with a degree in creative writing and international relations and went to work for Redhype, an ad agency in Greenville, South Carolina, her hometown. Two years ago, she started as a junior copywriter. After two promotions, she now works as Redhype’s brand strategist. She supervises four people, drinks coffee from a purple HPU mug and works in an office with a view of downtown Greenville. Her honors work at HPU, she says, helped her get there. “It forced me to step out of my comfort zone,” she says of the program. “I accomplished more than I thought I could.”
A Fountain of Knowledge Honors scholar students take courses that use the faculty’s strengths to encourage students to step out of their academic comfort zone so they can learn and grow. It’s that holistic approach to higher education, unveiled in the new program’s mission statement as “empowering students to cultivate contemplative inner-selves and to build meaningful public lives.”
She knows how the honors program helped her.
HPU junior Devon Cosgrove, an honors scholar from Devon, Pennsylvania, has a name for that: the “fountain of knowledge.”
“I’ve developed thoughts beyond thoughts, thinking beyond thinking,” Entwistle says. “It has pushed all of us to the next level.”
“I never felt that in high school, and I was the president of my class,” Cosgrove says. “But I felt that here at High Point. It made me realize I’m part of something special.” ▲
Benefits of the Honors Scholar Program: • Research assistantships • Scholarship opportunities • Electronic portfolios for career readiness • Project-based learning in interdisciplinary courses • Co-curricular experiences for personal and professional development
: e c n e i r e p x E n o m m o C s ’ HPU
e h t s t n e d u t s g n i w Sho eatre ent of Th ed m t r a p e HPU’s D d Dance perform an ath,” this es of Wr Watch. p a r G e h “T mmon year’s Co
At High Point University, incoming students hear their first year in college is the first year of their career. It’s a time when they can begin making their own path, and dig into their own thinking to figure out who they are and what they want to become — both inside and out. That, they hear, is the Common Experience. HPU’s Common Experience helps acclimate new students to the intellectual rigors of college by focusing on a common theme. This year, HPU chose “Growing Our Future.” For HPU’s 1,500 incoming students last fall, the largest class in the school’s 92-year history, this year’s Common Experience 44
meant finding out how land feeds the human spirit and how poverty, hunger, wage inequality and lack of food availability can starve it. Two literary bookends framed these discussions: Tracie McMillan’s 2012 book, “The American Way of Eating,” the Common Read; and the play adaptation of John Steinbeck’s 1939 classic, “The Grapes of Wrath,” the Common Watch. McMillan came for two days in September for a discussion with students, and afterward, her visit and her book coincided with film screenings, an art exhibit and a book discussion during Family Weekend. But it also sparked conversations in all sorts of places. Like residence halls. Known as Panther Chats, these residence-hall conversations bounce from one topic to another — from reading a book to talking about the world to finding a new friend. Big-life stuff. Students know that.
e f i l f o ’ y h ‘w “You realize we’re more alike than different.” – Joshua Caudle, HPU junior
Finding Similarities, Not Differences At first, during last year’s Common Experience, Josh Caudle wasn’t so psyched about Panther Chats. He was a resident assistant, in charge of at least 65 students, and he didn’t really want to set aside time to talk. But when he did, he saw students become open-minded and compassionate, responsible and focused in the most ordinary of places: their suites.
The Exhilaration of Discovery The Common Experience weaves its work with two other programs: HPU’s First Year Seminars, a slate of courses known as FYS; and English 1103, known as College Writing and Public Life. These programs zero in on the thought-provoking, the poignant and the cool to prepare students for exploring the why of life. Together, all three get first-year students examining what’s around them from different angles and support the holistic education HPU provides so students emerge from campus life with the skills needed for life after graduation. The result? The Common Experience, FYS and English 1103 get new students more involved and keep them anchored, happy and doing better academically at college. Research backs that up. But students do, too. Scott Wojciechowski knows that. As HPU’s director of first year residential education, he works to keep incoming students engaged and involved. But last year, he thought he lost one.
Friendships blossomed. It happened to Caudle with last year’s Common Read, Wes Moore’s “The Work.”
A student he had met through last year’s Common Experience was doing well academically, but she was homesick.
“When you come to college, you meet people you don’t have one thing in common with except you started college together, but when you read the book, you get to share ideas and you realize we’re more alike than different,” says Caudle, a junior from High Point, North Carolina, majoring in strategic communication.
Then, last April, at the concert by hip-hop star Jeremih on the sprawling lawn of Roberts Hall, she saw Wojciechowski and made a beeline to tell him her news.
“This is what the world is like — you start having all these conversations, sharing your opinion, hearing other people’s opinions and that can shape you for years to come,” he says. “That’s important.” Caudle has seen firsthand the impact of the Common Experience on students. But he also has seen the impact on parents as well. “It eases their mind,” he says. “They know that someone cares, that someone is reaching out to make sure their student is OK.”
“Hey, I want to let you know I’ve finally found my group of people,” she told him. “I’ve decided to stay.” For the student, the connections made possible by the Common Experience worked. “In college, students are in a state of flux,” he says. “They’re trying to figure out who they are, and they’re looking into themselves and how they fit into a larger community. She understood that. “She got to see what she wanted and learned how to adjust to her new environment, and that will help her with any challenge after she leaves here because that skill is not limited to our walls. “That skill will stick with her for the rest of her life.” ▲
THE RELEVANCE OF RESEARCH: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH & CREATIVE WORKS
SUMMER RESEARCH PROGRAMS
RESEARCH & CREATIVITY SYMPOSIUM
Why It Matters to Employers and How It Prepares Students for Anything “Undergraduate research helps differentiate students as they apply for jobs or graduate school,” says Dr. Stephanie Crofton, associate dean of the Earl N. Phillips School of Business. “In an increasingly information-driven world, students are expected to be able to show that they have the skills gained from doing independent research.” Research helps High Point University students stand out and gain the skills employers are looking for. From binding molecules in a lab to producing documentary films, HPU offers almost endless access to research opportunities and faculty who are experts in their field. Students of all class years and majors are encouraged to participate, regardless of whether they plan on pursuing research as a career.
Critical thinking, problem solving and communication.
“I tell students, ‘You don’t do research in college because you’re going to do it in your future. You do research because it’s going to make you marketable for anything and everything,’” says Dr. Joanne Altman, director of Undergraduate Research and Creative Works.
These are the skills employers look for most often when hiring recent college graduates. Across all disciplines, soft skills give students the edge whether they’re applying to graduate school or a job. That edge is crucial in today’s competitive landscape. The class of 2020 will graduate with 1.9 million people and compete with about 100,000 others with the same college major.
Altman’s office is a resource for those looking to get involved. She helps connect students with faculty mentors and coordinates programs that give students the skills to design, create, publish and share their work. The end result: college graduates who take their next step with great confidence, passion and depth of knowledge in a unique subject area.
So how can graduates distinguish themselves in a sea of qualified prospects?
“Who wouldn’t want to hire someone like that?” she says.
HPU’s Undergraduate Research and Creative Works program participation has grown 208% since it began in 2012.
Developing Skills and Focus Undergraduate research at HPU provides experiences that many students receive only in graduate school or as a capstone their senior year. Altman encourages students to take full advantage of what’s available by jumping into research from the beginning. “When we start students out early, they can work on a faculty member’s research first, and then by their junior year, they can conceptualize a project from start to finish and take it to a conference,” she explains. “By their senior year, they can expand their research, prepare it for publication and talk about having done it in their applications for jobs or graduate school.” That’s where Research Rookies comes in. HPU is unique in offering a program designed specifically to introduce freshmen to the research and creative process. Each year, the program grows as more students get involved in research right away. More than 70 students signed up in fall 2016. Over the course of two semesters, students complete 15 tasks and a final project. Workshops in critical thinking, ethics, data analysis and the creative process help them improve on the skills they’ll need to work with a faculty member or conduct their own independent research. Research also helps students develop better focus, both in their course of study and career goals, a clear vision for what they want to achieve in the future.
Students Take on MVP Research Roles
High Point University is involved in research sponsored by major brands such as Adidas, and students aren’t watching from the sidelines — they’re in the game. Working with Drs. Kevin Ford, Jeffrey Taylor and Yum Nguyen of the Congdon School of Health Sciences, students are involved in a project to better understand how footwear could prevent injuries. By testing a variety of footwear and performance factors, their work may directly translate to improvements in the design of football cleats. Senior Lindsay Tiberi is project coordinator for the research partnership, which is funded by Adidas. She coordinates and schedules athletes to
participate in the research and leads many aspects of the data collection. Using advanced instrumentation in HPU’s Human Biomechanics and Physiology Lab, researchers measure the movements athletes make while simulating what happens on the field during a game. With Tiberi’s help, more than 100 local high school football players have participated in the study. “Working closely with my professors has been exceptionally beneficial to my growth and development,” she says. “The practical learning environment provided by the faculty at HPU has allowed me to experience it all. Their support, dedication and mentorship have stimulated my growth as a student and researcher, which encourages me to strive for my fullest potential.”
Support from Expert Faculty Mentors To be successful in presenting and publishing their research, students need faculty who are both expert scholars and caring mentors to lead the way. At HPU, they collaborate with professors on cuttingedge projects with major scientific impact. They work with physicists on research for NASA, support children and the elderly through narrative medicine with Allison Walker, develop new approaches to STEM education using Lego bricks with Dr. Shirley Disseler, conduct research with pharmacy faculty on regulated substances and antibiotic resistant bacteria, and the list goes on. All of these experiences are relevant to real challenges in a student’s field, and the opportunities are abundant. Last year, HPU was the leading institution nationally in the number of research positions available to students through ScholarBridge, a website that connects students and faculty with shared research interests. Visit scholarbridge.com to learn more about HPU’s faculty research and creative works. Crofton, who received HPU’s Ruth Ridenhour Scholarly and Professional Achievement Award for her research and its application in the classroom, explains the importance of the faculty-student connection. “Professors who are themselves active researchers are better teachers of research techniques and skills,” says Crofton. “Also,
professors who are actively engaged in research are more likely to be known in their fields and the community, and thus are likely to be able to help students more as they seek employment in their field or as they apply for graduate schools.” Crofton also says savvy students seek to know the breadth and impact of professors’ research. In fact, HPU’s growing undergraduate research program has attracted both talented students and stellar faculty to campus. In 2015 –16, more than 388 students engaged in undergraduate research and creative works by working on projects, presenting at symposiums, attending conferences and publishing in HPU’s scholarly journal.
Leveraging Your Credentials Last summer, 55 students stayed on campus to work with faculty during three intensive summer research programs — Summer Research Institute (SuRI), open to students in all disciplines, Summer Research Program in the Sciences (SuRPS) for biology, chemistry and physics majors, and Congdon School of Health Sciences Summer Research Fellowship (SuRF) for the health sciences. While engaging in a research project with faculty, students in these three programs also practice those sought-after skills. In particular, they learn how to talk about their research in a way that effectively demonstrates their knowledge and passion, a skill that later will help them share their work with potential employers. Through a speed dating-style event, many students practice explaining their research to others. They give their elevator pitch and then answer questions while being evaluated on their presentation style, enthusiasm, eye contact and ability to speak to a lay audience. When students are passionate about something, it shows. And it helps them stand out. “The research process is evidence that a student has the relevant skills,” says Altman. “They’ve shown great depth of knowledge, that they have grit, and that they can talk about something no one else has done in an exciting and impressive way.” ▲
CLASSROOM Dr. Amanda Mbuvi Engages Students What is community, and how do we find our identity? These are profound questions for Dr. Amanda Mbuvi, assistant professor of religion. They are pivotal to her scholarship, and she finds that students are curious about them too. Mbuvi’s classes on biblical studies, Jewish studies, and religion and literature are spaces for students to explore these questions. They bring students from different backgrounds and points of view together and require them to consider perspectives different from their own. “My undergraduate years were a time of profound growth during which I began to ask the personal and intellectual questions that still preoccupy me,” she says. “It seems appropriate that continuing that journey should be bound up in helping others along theirs.” Mbuvi’s own background and perspective are her motivation for mentoring students and encouraging their growth. Born into an interracial family, she grew up Jewish in the black church, an experience that immersed her in multiple streams of tradition. She also lived in Columbia, Maryland, a planned community that brought people of different economic backgrounds together. From these experiences, Mbuvi developed an interest in the relationship between identity and religion, which is reflected in her book, “Belonging in Genesis: Biblical Israel and the Politics of Identity Formation.” She also learned important lessons she takes to heart as she nurtures community in her classroom. “I encourage students to take ownership of their learning and of their lives in general,” Mbuvi says. “I love coming alongside them as they step into the role of responsible adults, helping them think about the contribution they want to make to the world.” 50
“I love coming alongside students as they step into the role of responsible adults, helping them think about the contribution they want to make to the world.” – Dr. Amanda Mbuvi, Assistant Professor of Religion
She also challenges students’ pre-held ideas of the learning process. She helps them develop a growth mindset — one in which they don’t have all the right answers but are willing to share their ideas and listen to others. “Helping students reconceptualize what learning looks like is a big part of introducing them to college-level humanities,” Mbuvi says. “Sometimes a good day means leaving class with more uncertainty than going in, because they traded an easy answer for a question that reflects a fuller understanding of the world.” Mbuvi, who joined the faculty in fall 2016, is looking for opportunities to apply this perspective more broadly in her classes, especially when it comes to the topic of diversity. “The fixed mindset that exists in public conversations about diversity makes it difficult for students to learn and grow,” she says. “I want to make the classroom a space where respecting others doesn’t keep students from experiencing freedom to talk about and even fail at diversity. When students from all backgrounds come together in such a constructive space, they’ll be able to hear and understand each other on a whole new level.” That is true community. ▲
Communication for Social Change Dr. Sojung Kim’s classes focus on experiential and service learning
How can we use persuasive strategies and different media platforms to promote positive social changes? That’s a question Dr. Sojung Claire Kim and her students tackle every day. Kim is an assistant professor of strategic communication in the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication at High Point University. She teaches courses in public relations, campaign management, health communication and research methods. “I have diverse and international backgrounds,” says Kim. “Based on my experiences, I bring unique insights into classroom dynamics and contribute to enhancing student learning and success.” In addition to teaching, Kim is a productive scholar. Her research program focuses on social marketing, interactive digital technologies and health communication. Her work has been published in top tier peer-reviewed journals such as Computer-Mediated Communication, Psychology & Health and Health Communication. For example, in Kim’s campaign management course, the senior capstone class in the strategic communication major, students have an opportunity to work with a local nonprofit as
“Dr. Sojung Kim’s knowledge, support, honesty and enthusiasm inspired me to work hard toward achieving my goals.” – Courtney Sullivan, 2016 HPU graduate
a client to solve its communication and PR challenges. Through the class, students experience the entire process of creating a communication campaign — from start to finish — as a team. “I value service learning and contextualized community engagement in my courses,” Kim says. “This semester, students worked with the FIDO Parks of High Point, the first dog park initiative in High Point, to raise awareness and donations. To develop a tailored campaign for the client, students created a PR agency, participated in their community events as volunteers, and held a series of fundraising events in the community to support the cause. The client was overwhelmed with joy and appreciation for all the hard work students put forth to help them out. “This class teaches them professionalism and work ethics,” Kim says. “After the course ends, students are left with a professional portfolio with all of the campaign materials they produced, so that they can take it as a work sample to future job interviews.” Students appreciate the real-life scenarios the class offers, too. “Many of them said that this class was an eye-opener for them and they appreciated their experience working with a real client.” She has seen graduates work at some of the nation’s top PR firms in Dallas; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; New York City and more. Others have launched their own businesses in the field of PR and strategic planning. “Dr. Sojung Kim was a crucial part of my education in strategic communication,” says 2016 graduate Courtney Sullivan, who now works as a sales rep in nearby Raleigh, North Carolina. “Her knowledge, support, honesty and enthusiasm inspired me to work hard toward achieving my goals and made me feel confident that I chose the right path.” ▲
THIN SLICES While the 2016 Rio Olympic Games captivated the world, they also provided an unmatched internship for communication major Madison Depner, who worked with NBCUniversal Media LLC in Rio de Janeiro. Sheâ€™s pictured in the back right corner alongside the Fierce Five.
Students Laura Carskadden, Rowan Grieb and Laura Hutchins participated in the highly selective Promising Artists Program in Costa Rica and took the stage during a week of musical performances.
Dr. John Turpin, dean of HPUâ€™s School of Art and Design, was appointed to an advisory board of the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to provide guidance on the interior design curriculum.
Pharmacy professor Dr. Aurijit Sarkar authored a research paper published in the journal Glycobiology. His research has opened doors to the discovery of a new class of drugs.
HPUâ€™s new Draelos Science Scholars Program paired local high school students with a university faculty member to collaborate on a research project for six weeks.
Liz Reichart, 2017 graduate, is the recipient of a Fulbright U.S. Student Program Grant. The prestigious award is supporting her research on the economics of renewable energy in Germany.
Taking advantage of an opportunity only found in the city of High Point, students gained experience and built industry contacts at the fall and spring High Point Furniture Markets.
Eight graduate students and seven local teachers suited up and traveled to the U.S. Space and Rocket Center for two weeks of hands-on learning at the Space Academy for Educators.
The New York Times featured the High Point University Survey Research Center, the HPU Poll and a Q&A with the pollâ€™s associate director, Brian McDonald.
Physics students Jacob Brooks, Michael Cantor, Matt Iczkowski, Simeon Simeonides, Hallie Stidham and Alan Vasquez Soto published a peer-reviewed article in Explorations journal on a device they designed, built and tested for NASA.
Adrian Boggs, an art instructor at HPU, created a custom hanging LED stage lighting display for the Avett Brothers and then joined them for the first week of their tour.
HPU concluded Global Entrepreneurship Week with the annual Elevator Pitch Competition. Winner Charlotte Thompson received the top prize for her water conservation product.
5 WAYS THE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT CONCOURSE INSPIRES COLLABORATION The International Student Concourse inside Cottrell Hall anchors the building’s international theme. There’s a constant hum of activity as students walk to class and meet with their peers. It’s a space with limitless opportunities. Here are five ways HPU students take advantage of it:
1. Fuselage A focal point of the concourse is the airplane fuselage — a profile of a plane’s interior, complete with power outlets for laptops, reclining seats and inspirational quotes that scroll through the windows of the plane. Sales students even practice professional interactions here. The fuselage is pictured on the far right.
2. Glass walls Throughout Cottrell Hall, classrooms, offices, hallways and meeting spaces are surrounded by glass walls. This open concept design conveys the limitless possibilities for this generation and prepares them for the modern workplace.
3. Study space The second story of the International Student Concourse offers three group-study rooms and an open space with seating. A quote on the wall outside of the study rooms reminds students to live lives of success and significance. It reads, “In a world filled with people, only some want to fly. Isn’t that crazy?”
4. GLOBAL INSIGHT International data is projected on the wall above the fuselage to encourage students to connect with their world. A large wall graphic of the continents outlines the three coffee-growing regions of the world. It’s another way that HPU ensures learning takes place everywhere — even while waiting in line for coffee.
5. Starbucks Students experience a boost in creative energy at the Starbucks in Cottrell Hall. Whether they meet with peers to collaborate on group projects, catch up with a faculty member over a cup of joe, or nestle in the corner table for a paper-writing session, the collaborative environment fostered here is contagious. 56
A Campus OF
INTENTION Every detail is designed with the student in mind
The air is crisp on this blue-sky day, and Hannah Rowell has found a moment to break away from her studies and settle into the grass on the Kester International Promenade. Fall leaves swirl around its brick pathways lined with flags that represent students’ home countries. Some of history’s most famous leaders have taken up residence here in the form of bronze sculptures: Amelia Earhart, Gandhi, Beethoven and others. There’s classical music flowing up and down this central stretch of campus that Rowell loves — an outdoor meeting place where students and faculty catch up on their way to classes and meetings. And if she had to sum it all up in a few words, it would be this:
An inspiring home. Home was once a different concept to Rowell. She was born in Alabama to a military family but frequently moved because of her father’s career as a helicopter pilot. “People would ask me where I was from, and I wouldn’t know what to say,” she says. “Every time we left a place, I would wonder if they’d remember me after I was gone.” Then Rowell found High Point University — a place that offered the study abroad, experiential learning and academic opportunities she wanted — and more. “Here, I don’t wonder about that,” says Rowell, now a senior at HPU. “After I graduate, I know there are people on this campus who care about me and will remember me.”
A Distinctive Environment Today, Rowell knows where home is. It’s a place, but also a sense of belonging to a family she discovered nearly four years ago when she first visited HPU. DJ Hargrave felt it, too. Hargrave is a North Carolina native who grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, a neighboring city to High Point. He was a high school senior when he drove to campus with his mom to experience HPU — a place he heard was constantly growing and changing. They pulled up to their designated parking space, and Hargrave saw something he’d never seen before. His name was spelled in lights on a welcome sign. “I fell in love the moment I saw my name on the screen,” Hargrave, now a junior, remembers. “It started this personal element that’s grown throughout my experience here. I knew I would be paid attention to and engaged.”
A.J. DiRosa traveled from Easton, Pennsylvania, to visit schools in the South, and he visited plenty. But he knew the moment he stepped onto campus — HPU was the place for him. “I had heard people say, ‘You’ll know when you find the right college. You’ll just feel it,’” DiRosa, a junior, says. “I didn’t believe that, but then that happened when I came to HPU. For me, it was the fact that everyone was friendly and wanted to be here. The environment inspired happiness in them.” These experiences stem from a campus HPU has intentionally created for its students. It’s physical in nature — the clean and well-kept grounds, facilities that mimic Silicon Valley and Wall Street, and collaborative spaces with open seating and whiteboard walls that encourage them to connect. The beauty on HPU’s campus can’t go unnoticed; it’s an environment that’s visually different.
It’s where DiRosa and members of the newly founded Selling Club had their very own career expo with dozens of employers coming to find students with sales skills.
But underneath are layers to a promise — one that faculty and staff strive to deliver to every student, every day.
“I was offered two internships — one in Florida and one in Wisconsin — at the expo,” he says. “Resources like that are the biggest asset of HPU.”
Being exposed to these resources sparks change in students throughout their four years. They arrive as freshmen with a network of support — success coaches who guide them holistically; peer mentors who guide them socially; and peer navigators who share their academic major and extend wisdom from someone who’s been there and done that.
When the HPU campus began to transform 12 years ago under the leadership of Dr. Nido Qubein, university president, it didn’t just get bigger, though it has quadrupled in size. It became more student focused, with each element begging a fundamental question. How does this benefit our students? The answers to that question built an experiential campus — one that embodies learning both inside and outside of the classroom. It emboldens students to get out of their comfort zone and talk to a new face, ask questions as they pass the sculpture of Aristotle or network with major companies who set up shop for career expos inside Cottrell Hall. That’s what happened for DiRosa. As a freshman, he spent time learning inside Wilson School of Commerce, a facility that includes a live stock ticker, board room and grand lobby — the kind he’ll find inside the major corporations he wants to work for someday. 60
During his sophomore year, a sales major and minor launched inside a brand new home called Cottrell Hall. Inside, it reflects the transparent workspaces of today’s most innovative companies.
For Hargrave, the abundance of opportunities continued the one-on-one attention that first drew him here. There was always someone with whom he could connect or collaborate. “Something is always happening that helps me find myself and figure out who I am,” Hargrave, who studies strategic communication, says. “I’ve joined the Entrepreneurship Club, I’ve started my own club and I’ve changed my major. Now I’m in the Toastmaster’s Club, and that has been so good for me. I’ve had the opportunity for self-discovery.” Classes are experiential even during their freshman year, with at least 25 percent focused on out-of-class learning experiences, and students find that their mentorship from faculty is key in forming it all into a plan for their future.
Things You Should Know About the HPU Campus
The HPU experience is distinctive, in part, because of its unique learning environment that encourages students to grow holistically inside and outside of the classroom. Here are five aspects that set HPU’s campus apart.
1 Everything has a purpose.
From the 25 botanical gardens with 3,000 taxa of plants, inspirational quotes and historic sculptures lining the Promenade, every aspect of HPU’s campus was strategically designed to surround students with learning opportunities.
“The dedication of the faculty is something I’ll never forget,” DiRosa says. “They make sure I’m learning, but also that I’m retaining information and applying it at the same time. They go above and beyond their class schedules and office hours.” Students rise to sophomore and junior years and start digging into things that stretch and challenge their comfort zones — like studying in another country. Rowell did that. She went to Italy during the spring semester of her junior year, thanks to a program pioneered by HPU’s School of Art and Design. It encourages HPU students to study at the Lorenzo de Medici International Institute in Florence where they earn international certificates. Her professor also connected her with an internship in the furniture industry. And in the fall, she was honored by the International Furniture Design Association with the “Rising Star” award that’s presented to top students in 11 design programs across the South. She graduates in May with a stellar resume, along with a home she wasn’t expecting to find on a college campus. “This place is a total package,” she says. “Yes, it’s beautiful, but it’s up to you to utilize what’s here. It’s about what you’re willing to learn from it.” They leave mentored but challenged. Prepared but thirsty for continual growth. Ready yet open to change — just like their campus. “Being able to say you live and study at a place that cares about what they’re doing and how everything comes together for their students is important,” Rowell says. “I wouldn’t want to be somewhere that didn’t care as much as High Point University.” ▲
2 Acreage has QUADRUPLED.
Since 2005, HPU has grown immensely and invested more than $2 billion in academics, facilities, student life, technology and scholarships. The original 92-acre campus has grown to 430 — with 90 new or recently renovated academic, residential and student-life buildings, two new athletic stadiums and a field house.
spaces reflect 3 Learning industry standards. Communication majors broadcast live shows in the full-sized TV studio. Game design students create new worlds with virtual reality technology. Sales majors practice their pitching in sales labs that mimic real-world settings. Health science and pharmacy students conduct research in labs that rival major research university spaces. And in Cottrell Hall, glass walls and collaborative areas prepare students for Silicon Valley-style work environments.
4 Energy abounds.
There’s always something to do. There are film screenings, guest speakers, athletic games, volunteer opportunities, religious life events, concerts, theater performances, Greek life philanthropy efforts and more. The result is an engaging environment in which students get involved, build relationships, discover their passions and strive to reach their potential.
filled with heroes, 5 It’s models and mentors. HPU is focused on values-based living and learning. Faculty serve as mentors and advisors, staff members provide support, and both model values such as joy, generosity and service.
Women Leaders Inspire Students at
Conference Be authentic. Never underestimate relationships. Don’t hold a grudge. And, always say “thank you.” According to Rebecca Sykes, president of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, these are the rules that leaders, like herself, should strive to live by. From left to right, HPU hosted Shannon Vickery, director and producer of UNC-TV; Tina Wilson and Patty Congdon of IBM; and Rebecca Sykes, president of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, for a networking conference. 62
“Be bold. Take risks. Go for it.” – Tina Wilson, manager of corporate citizenship and media relations for IBM Students networked with and sought career advice from the panelists and other women leaders at the event, which was held during Alumni Weekend.
Sykes was one of four panelists who spoke to young alumni and current students at a networking conference and luncheon hosted by High Point University’s Women and Gender Equity Leadership Project, known as WAGE. Patty Congdon, the global business development executive for IBM’s Watson IOT Predictive & Optimization Center of Excellence; Tina Wilson, manager of corporate citizenship and media relations for IBM; and Shannon Vickery, director and producer of UNC-TV, spoke about being a woman in a leadership role in today’s job market. The networking event also included a Q&A session and a mentoring luncheon with the panelists stationed at each table. Each speaker shared stories of their professional journey and lessons in leadership. Their remarks, though unique, shared common themes. Congdon has worked for IBM for the last 17 years. While her day job consists of working with global analytics, she has spent the past five years leading a series of mission trips to Kenya, where she and her team provide hands-on support at the Scofield Orphanage and K–12 school. Her years at IBM have allowed her to establish connections that she now utilizes when searching for assistance with projects in Kenya, allowing her work to come full circle. “Where I ended up in my job placement, it was not a coincidence,” said Congdon. “It was meant to be.” Sykes, echoing Congdon’s thoughts on destiny, titled her message: “I may not have gone where I intended to be, but I ended up exactly where I needed to be.” As president of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, Sykes was denied jobs and opportunities that, in hindsight, led her to her dream job she has now. “I certainly never had the aspiration to do something that would make me a leader,” said Sykes. “When I was growing up, people didn’t talk about leadership for girls. There was no notion that women became leaders.” Now, Sykes works to develop young, disadvantaged women in South Africa into aspiring leaders with the skill sets to make their dreams come true. At the networking luncheon, she shared her personal rules for being a successful leader, focusing on one rule that’s uncommonly heard.
“Don’t hold a grudge,” Sykes said. “If you write people off, that’s to your own detriment. Keep relationships and always try to truly connect with people.” Vickery agreed that she also ended up in a career that she never expected to have. After 21 years with UNC-TV, Vickery said that she owes her success to keeping her eyes open. “Every opportunity is a chance to learn,” said Vickery. “You should always take a look at every opportunity that comes along, whether it’s expected or unexpected, as an opportunity to learn.” Wilson told the audience to stay open to opportunities and be bold in their ventures. “Be bold. Take risks. Go for it,” she said. “Being bold means to walk into that TV station, like I did, or wherever it is you want to work, and take that internship.” Wilson, who has walked down many different career paths, shared what she believes to be the most important factor for success. “Networking is everything,” she said. “It lets you get your foot in the door of the place where you want to work. And then, it becomes a lot easier to move.” Following their speeches, each panelist met with students over lunch to compare career goals, exchange business cards and give advice. Junior Sydney Cheuvront, a journalism major and women’s and gender studies minor, said that the experience provided her with access to inspirational women. “I think a lot of times we are not exposed to women who are leading the way,” Cheuvront said. “It has been great to meet and hear from so many women who are successful and empowering.” Dr. Jenn Brandt, director of women’s and gender studies at HPU, organized the event. “The WAGE Leadership Project is committed to giving our students the opportunity to learn from leaders in an array of fields,” Brandt said. “The advice imparted by our speakers today was outstanding, and the networking portion of the event gave students the ability to interact with these incredibly accomplished women one-on-one. We are thrilled with the connections that were made today.” ▲
HPU Arboretum A Place Where God Exists By: Mariana Qubein, HPU first lady
I see beauty wherever I walk on campus. With our 25 gardens at High Point University, it’s hard not to. But I see beyond the beauty. I see opportunity. Every small bud is a sign of new life, and every garden is a chance to begin anew. I want our students to embrace that while they’re here and take it with them when they graduate. This year, they’ve studied the concept of a growth mindset, and really, our gardens are a physical manifestation of that. It’s an extension of the learning laboratory that is High Point University and shows students how a valuesbased education can open their minds as well as their hearts and make them more resilient with whatever they face in life. Think of our 90 different kinds of roses in front of the library. During the winter, you see nothing but sticks of wood. But they’re strong. They endure. They survive, come back and start all over again. I first saw that happen as a little girl when I was planting flowers with my mother. 64
When I came to High Point years ago, I majored in biology. But a botany class and a professor’s passion sparked my own curiosity about plants and their natural world. Since then, that has only grown. Today, my three grandchildren help me plant flowers in my garden because I want it to spark their curiosity of how things grow. Gardens can inspire us, soothe us and give us strength. So, in 2005, when my husband, Nido Qubein, became the president of HPU, I saw so much potential. I saw potential in new facilities, programs and people. But I also saw potential in nature. I saw how we could educate our students about the wonders of nature if they only took a moment to stop and see the name of a tree or a label underneath a plant. That was how the campus arboretum began. Today, Jon Roethling, the university’s curator of the grounds, constantly adds quality and not just quantity to our gardens, and every month, we along with HPU’s arboretum team spend hours walking through the gardens to see what needs to be improved. Meanwhile, Matt Mahoney, the director of landscaping, has a crew of 15 to 20 people maintaining everything you see on campus. Matt and his crew are even out there when it snows. I may be the one who started and visualized the gardens and arboretum, but Jon and Matt have the knowledge and education to help create and maintain what we all see. Students and community volunteers also help. They’re crucial in making our gardens beautiful. They have become like family because they volunteer their time in the gardens to create a place that sustains life. A bud forms on a branch, grows into a blossom and drops its petals to make room for the
leaves on a tree. Follow that daily, and it’s like seeing a baby experiencing their first steps. God has given us nature as a gift, and it is our responsibility to take care of it. At High Point University, we do. We know why we do it. It’s for our students. With so much going on in their lives, students can feel isolated and alone because they’re from different parts of the country. But our gardens are a place for them to sit, and you can sit alone outside more easily than indoors for some reason. Still, there is that chance that someone will say, “Can I sit here?” and you can start a conversation and not feel so alone. Nature is like therapy. Its beauty can draw you in. A bird will land near you, you’ll start watching it, and it’s this whole interaction of life that you don’t see sitting indoors. That is what our gardens offer. They show how every season has its own surprises. It shows how life goes on. For me, the most exciting time is spring because you see things sprouting. Fall is a unique time because you see things are dying. But fall has its own beauty with all different changes in color, and plants and flowers show their best and explode, die and then come back. Last spring, under the eyes of everyone, in a place that could scare any feathered creature, a bird built a nest between the talons of the eagle sculpture in front of the library. When I first saw it, I said to myself, “Oh my gosh, look how life is!” That is so true. You want a garden to be a nurturing place, and here at HPU, when you see the roses in front of the library or walk through any of the other gardens on campus, it reminds you how it all happened. God is here.
HPU’s HILLEL Fosters Jewish Tradition on Campus Every December, Sam Berg sees it in her sorority house. It’s on a table near her sorority’s Christmas tree, an iconic image she often saw inside her synagogue, around her neighborhood and always in her home just west of Boston. It’s the nine-armed candelabrum, the menorah, the traditional symbol of Judaism. When she sees that, Berg feels a little closer to home. “Most of my sorority sisters aren’t Jewish, but they’re open to it,” says Berg, an HPU sophomore from Newton, Massachusetts, and a member of Alpha Chi Omega. “They understand.” HPU has at least 150 Jewish students, or 3 percent of the school’s population. So Jewish students like Berg connect with one another and build a community at a Methodist-affiliated school where the Hayworth Chapel is a campus centerpiece. 66
When they first saw the chapel, some Jewish students say they wondered how they would fit in. But HPU makes sure they do through a campus organization and the common ground of tradition. That tradition includes organized events across campus — from the monthly Shabbat dinner to the Interfaith Passover Seder that celebrates the beginning of the annual holiday. Then comes the year’s highlight: Hanukkah, the eight-day celebration remembering the rededication centuries ago of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Participants play the spinning-top game of dreidel and dine on matzo ball soup, potato pancakes and jelly doughnuts known as sufganiyot. But the dinner is not complete without lighting the menorah to mark the miracle from long ago that kept a candelabrum without enough oil lit for eight days. All this happens under the auspices of Hillel, the largest Jewish campus organization in the world.
‘Interfaith Work is Methodist Work’ You can’t help but hear it.
Berg, a double major in special education and psychology, belongs to it. She’s the vice president of events. So does Jordan Kenter. She’s a sophomore from Atlanta; she’s the president. Samantha Rubenstein, a first-year student from Miami, is involved, too. She’s Hillel’s engagement coordinator at HPU, and she helps bring in new members. But she makes a point with anyone who asks about that. “Being Jewish is to be in Hillel,” says Rubenstein, an elementary education major. “But you want it open to everybody.” “And if I don’t educate people on Judaism, who will?” adds Kenter, an exercise science major. “There is so much negativity around us, and it’s not going to change unless someone steps up, and I believe God put me on this Earth to do that.” The person who guides them is Ron Yardenay. Students call him “Rabbi Ron.” He’s a business analyst for a local company that makes heat exchangers for heavy equipment. That’s his occupation. But his avocation is working part-time as HPU’s Jewish life coordinator. He knows how important it is. As a high school student, he went on what’s known as the March of the Living. He saw the remnants of two concentration camps, walked the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City and visited other emotional monuments to Jewish resilience. As an undergrad, he helped establish the Jewish Studies program at his school and wrote his senior seminar paper on his maternal grandfather, a Polish Jew who, as a teenager, escaped the Nazis only to wind up in a Russian labor camp. Now at 28, Yardenay sees himself as a guide for students who were just like him. “My objective is to be there for the students,” he says. “I want to help them identify how they can have an active Jewish life and foster their own personal growth. It has to be a journey, and I know I can help.” ▲
A worship band practices or a choir rehearses in the sanctuary. In another room down the hall, students read and discuss scripture. Then, somewhere, someone laughs. Yes, inside Hayworth Chapel and David R. Hayworth Hall, there is deep engagement and joy — particularly on Monday and Wednesday nights. It’s a hub of praise, study and witness, and that activity underscores how a Methodist-affiliated institution like HPU guides every student’s walk of faith. “To do interfaith work is to do Methodist work,” says the Rev. Preston Davis, the minister to the university. “We’re forming lives in Christ. The closer you get to Jesus, the closer you get to compassion and walking around in the dust of the Earth with all people.” With every religion, every view of faith, that concept of love varies. Muslim students can pray five times a day in the building’s Multifaith Prayer Room and roll out a big spread of food inside the Wilson Ballroom for Eid al-Adha, or the “Sacrifice Feast.” Once a month, other students come together for the Interfaith Dinner Club to discuss scriptures and texts from various traditions, including the words of Ayn Rand and Wendell Berry. So, by collaborating with every corner of campus, HPU’s Chapel and Religious Life Office helps students from every tradition get involved and feel welcome as they seek their place in their world — and their faith. How? Three students have an idea. Even though High Point is a smaller city, it’s a diverse and welcoming community. Everyone here is so supportive, and that gives me comfort because I know this is a place where I can practice my faith. – Zishawn Qureshi, freshman from West Palm Beach, Florida. He is Muslim. Preston’s sermons during Wednesday night Chapels are so relatable to what students need. You hear about the word of God and how it relates to you, and you realize it’s OK that you’re exploring this faith journey because you’re not alone. – Lexie Williams, senior from Mason, Michigan. She is Catholic. I see my faith as an extension of me, and High Point University has given me the opportunity to recognize that and help me realize how I can empower others and make a difference as well. – Tiffany Jones, senior from Weaverville, North Carolina. She is Methodist.
MENTORSHIP MATTERS Student Success Coach Britt Carl Helps Students Grow Britt Carl is an original — one of HPU’s first student success coaches. Four years ago, she came to the university with the dream of advising students, and now, the freshmen she mentored in her first year are seniors. Carl met with them regularly — guiding their course selection, connecting them with resources and giving advice. Her mentorship has made a lasting impression. “It’s great to see their growth,” says Carl. “Some of them started off struggling with their transition to college life, and now they’re among the top students in their major and are taking on leadership roles. To see the impact they’re making on freshmen and sophomores is huge for me.” At HPU, every freshman is paired with a success coach to assist during the first year of college. Success coaches act as academic advisors, life coaches, liaisons to other faculty and staff who can help, and activity coordinators promoting student involvement in campus life. Above all, they instill passion, purpose, professionalism and a positive attitude. “Relationship building is essential to the work we do,” says Carl. “It’s all about helping students persist, utilize the resources available for their success and achieve their goals.” 68
Hailey Parry, a senior from Stamford, Connecticut, is one of those students. Carl helped Parry determine her major in chemistry and exercise science and gave her advice about working with others as a physiology tutor. “Britt has become a mentor to me,” Parry says. “I try and get lunch or coffee with her as much as I can. She has been an incredible resource throughout my four years, not only academically but also with life in general.” Having studied exercise science in college just like the students she advises, Carl relates to their challenges and has honest conversations with them. She meets with each of her mentees monthly, but many choose to see her more often to check in. She greets them from her spot in the Mestdagh Creative Commons at Cottrell Hall, where students meet with success coaches in an open, comfortable environment.
“For students, we’re a support person in their corner, a cheerleader who can guide them and talk about whatever challenges they are facing,” says Carl. “I help them with choosing classes, but I also help with strategies in the classroom, how to utilize resources, how to get connected and find their niche. That’s what I enjoy most about the job. It’s so rewarding to see students grow and evolve.” “Britt is a tremendous asset to HPU in helping students make the huge transition to college,” says Dr. Beth Holder, associate dean for student success. “For many students, this is a positive ‘next step’ from high school to college. Others need more guidance to successfully make the leap. Britt is great at forming relationships with these students and assisting based on their individual needs and goals.” ▲
“Relationship building is essential to the work we do. It’s all about helping students persist, utilize the resources available for their success and achieve their goals.” – Britt Carl, student success coach
‘HERE TO HELP’ Dear Dr. Qubein, HPU parent John Fisher sent this letter about HPU Campus Enhancement employees Jeff Collis, Larry Alls and Tim Grey (pictured above from left to right) to HPU President Dr. Nido Qubein following move-in weekend.
“This singular expression of outreach confirms that Greg is at the perfect school to grow as a student and as a young man.” – John E. Fisher, father of sophomore Greg Fisher
As the father of a High Point sophomore, Greg Fisher, I am writing to convey an experience enjoyed on the occasion of his move into the R.G. Wanek Center. Greg has the privilege and honor of having been invited to join University Ambassadors, a distinction about which both he and I are most proud. His training was scheduled for Aug. 17 and 18, so Greg was able to access his dorm room on Aug. 16. Never imagining we could jam so much stuff into our vehicle, the prospect of lugging Greg’s worldly belongings from the ground level to the fourth floor seemed daunting, especially considering the 105-degree temperature of that day. Faced with this minor challenge, I engaged three individuals from the maintenance department to explain our circumstances. The individuals on your staff are Tim Grey, Jeff Collis and Larry Alls. Their collective response was, “We are here to help.” They provided ground level loading dock access, a cart and patience with our parking throughout the course of our six round trips to the fourth floor. Please know how grateful I am for the cooperation and helpfulness extended by these three gentlemen in welcoming Greg back to his “home” for the next three years. This singular expression of outreach confirms that Greg is at the perfect school to grow as a student and as a young man. I fondly recall, and have told the story many times, your comment at Greg’s convocation about how High Point is the student’s new home away from home. You advised that as students accessed and egressed buildings, to look behind them to see if they could hold the door for someone following them. You suggested this to be a good idea because the person following the student might be you; and if they didn’t hold the door, you could make their life miserable. What a great message, perfectly communicated. This is the essence of engagement, responsibility, gentlemanliness and concern for others, all prerequisites to grow as an individual. Please recognize Tim, Jeff and Larry as bearers of your message, one which has been heard loud and clear by my son. For that I thank you. I express my appreciation for your vision, and how you have so powerfully and positively impacted my son. Sincerely, John E. Fisher Connecticut
For the fourth year in a row, HPU made Security magazineâ€™s list of top campus security programs. HPU is ranked 16th in the nation.
The 2016 Security 500 Rankings
HPU earned the Tree Campus USA recognition for the eighth consecutive year. HPU is one of 12 colleges and universities in the state to receive the honor and one of only four to have achieved it for eight or more years.
The HPU Department of Theatre and Dance was named one of the Top 10 BA Theatre programs in the nation by OnStage.
Dr. Carol Folt, the first woman chancellor of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, visited campus for an interview with Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president.
HPUâ€™s fall concert featured breakout group DNCE singing their hit songs.
The womenâ€™s club field hockey team qualified and competed in the 2016 national championships.
Putting the in Student-Athlete SCHOLAR-Athlete
Tyler Cook (’16), Men’s Lacrosse – 4.0 GPA, Psychology (Warrenville, Illinois)
PROFILING HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY’S ACADEMIC ALL-AMERICANS
Two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District pick. Team captain in 2016. Selflessly switched from the offensive midfield to a spot in the defensive midfield as a senior to help add depth for the team at that position. One of just three Division I men’s lacrosse athletes in the nation to be named Academic All-American. Accepted into the University of Chicago’s master’s program in psychology. Currently earning clinical hours with physicians in Chicago researching Parkinson’s Disease.
“Our student-athletes have established High Point University athletics as the premier academic department in the Big South.” – Dan Hauser, athletic director High Point University athletic teams enter each season with the goal of winning a Big South Championship. And many often do.
addition, a record six student-athletes were named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while a department-record three individuals were named Academic All-Americans.
But in addition to this success on the court or on the field, HPU student-athletes are also known for their prowess and performance in the classroom.
“Our student-athletes have established High Point University athletics as the premier academic department in the Big South,” athletic director Dan Hauser says. “Breaking academic records has become the norm, not the exception, for our athletic programs, and I expect that trend to continue in the semesters to come.”
Over the past two years, HPU has topped the conference standings in Big South Presidential Honor Roll, which recognizes athletes in the conference who post a 3.0 GPA or better for the academic year. In 2015 –16, a record 74 percent of Panther student-athletes garnered this prestigious accolade. HPU also ranked No. 1 in the Big South Conference this past year when combining academic and athletic achievement. The student-athlete experience at HPU is filled with rigorous time commitments. Athletes must balance practice time, strength and conditioning work, away-game travel and team-oriented community service with a full class load and other academic responsibilities. As a result, they learn to budget their hours wisely to perform in the classroom and prepare themselves for life after college. And they are prospering in doing so. This past year, the Panthers set a new school record for cumulative GPA (3.24) among the more than 300 athletes in the department. In
Each year, the HPU athletic department hosts a Millis ScholarAthlete recognition night to honor athletes who hold a 3.0 in one or both semesters of a given year. In 2015 –16, a record 306 HPU student-athletes, pep band performers and spirit squad members garnered the recognition and received a hearty round of applause from the sold out Millis Center crowd. However, the most impressive accolade of them all happens when the academic calendar comes to a close. In 2016, 100 percent of student-athletes who completed their eligibility crossed the Roberts Hall lawn and graduated. High Point University’s belief in a growth mindset is evident in the hundreds of student-athletes who work tirelessly during their undergraduate careers. The benchmark of academic success continues to grow higher, and there’s no doubt that the Panthers are ready to keep smashing records in the classroom and on the court. ▲
Paul O’Donoghue (’16), Men’s Track & Field – 3.90 GPA, Mathematics (Franklin, Massachusetts)
Christine Rickert (’16), Women’s Track & Field – 3.94 GPA, International Relations/Spanish/Political Science (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
Three-time Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District pick. 12-time Big South All-Conference selection. 2015 Big South 800-meter champion. Holds school records in the 1,000-meter run and the distance medley relay. Currently pursuing his master’s degree in education at Bridgewater State University with the goal of becoming a high school mathematics teacher and track coach.
2016 Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District pick. Qualified for the 2016 United States Olympic Trials and finished an impressive ninth in the event in Eugene, Oregon. HPU women’s track & field’s first ever All-American and Academic All-American. First athlete in Big South history to win threestraight conference javelin titles. Three-time team captain. Currently training with HPU associate head coach Scott Cherry to pursue amateur javelin and has been offered a position with Mississippi Teacher Corps. Read an essay about Rickert’s Olympic experiences on page 100.
The Bond of
In his bedroom at HPU, beside his closet, Tarique Thompson has a wood-carved etching of his brother in an Army beret. Thompson looks at it every day, especially when he wakes up. It reminds him of the young man who helped turn Thompson into a college student and a talented 6-foot-5 forward his teammates call “the hustle guy.”
That person is his older brother, Gifford Hurt Jr., whom Thompson calls “GJ.” Thompson always thinks about his brother. He even feels his presence. Thompson will be sitting at his desk, and he’ll feel this cool breeze on his neck that lasts no more than two seconds. Then comes a slight tap on his left shoulder. It gives Thompson cold chills. But that’s a good thing. For those precious few seconds, he feels his brother is close by, even if his brother isn’t close by anymore. It’s because of a day Thompson knows like his own birthday: Jan. 20, 2010. Hurt was a year into what he hoped would be a long career in the Army, and he was following the footsteps of his mother, who had served in the Army for 22 years before she retired. On Jan. 20, 2010, Hurt was killed in a one-car accident in Iraq when the driver of his Humvee lost control. Hurt had only been in Iraq for three months. He died instantly, four months after his 19th birthday. Thompson was 14 when he got the news. He came home from a basketball game only to meet two soldiers at his house. When he saw the uniforms, he knew. His brother. Gone. 74
thers GJ: Brother, Boxer, Protector
When their parents divorced, Thompson was 6; Hurt was 10. Afterward, Hurt became Thompson’s father figure, his protector, the brother who kept him focused and on point. The two grew up sharing a bedroom and playing with GI Joes. They later turned their living room into a boxing ring. They moved the furniture, and Hurt taught Thompson how to stand, how to throw a jab, how to be tough. Hurt also helped teach Thompson how to play basketball. Their mom was in the Army, and with every move, the first thing pulled from the moving truck was the family’s portable basketball goal. They’d park it on the street, and they’d play. Hurt always won. Sometimes on the weekends, they’d play until midnight under a streetlight. But like he did in the living room, Hurt taught Thompson how to be tough on the court. Hurt also taught Thompson how to be tough with his studies. Thompson struggled; Hurt made sure he worked hard. “He knew there was potential with Tarique,” says his mom, Lisa Davis, now a team manager at a call center in Georgia. “Tarique had a basketball in his hands since he was 2 or 3 years old, but we all knew if Tarique was going to make it to college, to go to a good school, we knew it would be through basketball.” And that has happened. Thompson is reminded of that every time he looks at the wood-carved etching that hangs in his bedroom. “If it wasn’t for him,” Thompson says, “I wouldn’t be in this position.”
Tarique, The Player In practice, Thompson is all over the floor. He crouches like a spider on defense. He’s all elbows and knees. His face is intense, and his frequent smile disappears. He hustles around the floor, yelling “Help! Help!” and “Ball! Ball!”
“He’s with me wherever I go. I still feel protected.” – Tarique Thompson, HPU basketball player As he lopes up and down the court, the tattoos that cover both arms are a blur. The tattoos on his left arm are a tribute to his brother. One is a portrait of his brother in uniform. To Thompson, it gives him strength. “He’s with me wherever I go,” Thompson says. “I still feel protected.” Why? “Once my dad left, he became the other male figure I looked up to,” Thompson says. “He helped me stay out of trouble, and every day when I got home from school, he made sure I did my homework. He was like a father honestly until the day he passed.” Thompson graduated in May with a degree in human relations and is pursuing a career in sales while also considering options to play professional basketball overseas. But before he walks across the stage at graduation, he is HPU’s “hustle guy” on the court. He’s one of three Panther seniors, a team leader with a sweet 15-foot jumper. He also is the player with the pre-game ritual. When he hears “The Star Spangled Banner,” he taps his heart twice or taps his left arm twice, right on the ink portrait of his brother. Then, he looks up. He knows his brother is there, watching. That helps. ▲
HPU’s Postseason Star While the Chicago Cubs celebrated their miraculous comeback to win the franchise’s first World Series in 108 years, Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen stood in the depths of Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, answering the question no athlete ever wants to answer: How did you lose?
“It stinks,” Allen told the crowd of reporters. “It absolutely stinks right now, but I couldn’t be more proud of every guy in this room. We were so close to winning that whole thing, but we just ran into a buzzsaw.”
In the 2016 World Series, the former 2011 HPU All-Big South Second Team selection kept his best for last, striking out a dozen of the 24 batters he faced. Likewise, in the dramatic Game 7, Allen came out of the bullpen to pitch two scoreless innings allowing just one walk while the Indians fought back from a 6–3 deficit to fall in extra innings.
But just as he did on the mound throughout the playoffs, Allen continued to make the High Point University family proud. 76
The Orlando, Florida, native had one of the best playoff runs in MLB history in 2016. The right-hander appeared in 10 games allowing no runs and just 14 baserunners in 14 innings. Allen also nailed down six saves in Cleveland’s 10 wins while averaging 16.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Yet despite the loss, Allen’s October heroics won’t soon be forgotten by his fans — Indians and Panthers included.
“When Cody came to HPU, the whole atmosphere and inspirational environment of High Point University really inspired him to dream big.” – Craig Cozart, HPU head baseball coach
Pitching for the Panthers Before being selected by the Indians in the 23rd round of the 2011 MLB Draft, Allen starred for HPU head baseball coach Craig Cozart. During that 2011 season, Allen led the Purple & White with 89 strikeouts in 83.2 innings as the team’s ace. “I’ve known Cody since he was 12,” Cozart says. “When he came to HPU, the whole atmosphere and inspirational environment of High Point University really inspired him to dream big as far as his baseball career was concerned.” Cozart can see how those experiences as a Panther helped develop Allen into a big league player physically, but also as a person who could succeed. Just two years into his professional career, Allen finished sixth in the American League Rookie of the Year voting, and has continued to turn himself into a top-notch MLB closer. “The exposure that High Point University and our baseball program have received from what he has accomplished on the world stage has been incredible,” Cozart says. “Cody’s success has created a lot of traffic from people checking out High Point and seeing what we have to offer from an athletic, academic and college experience perspective.”
Starting a Pipeline Alongside Allen, alumnus Jaime Schultz appears to be on his way to joining the big leagues. Schultz is rated by MLB.com as the No. 13 prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays’ system. Additionally, eight other High Point University baseball student-athletes have been drafted since 2010, including three Panthers who were chosen in 2016.
Panthers in the Pros Since 2010, High Point University has sent dozens of student-athletes into professional leagues or international competition. MLB Draft Picks since 2010: Tyler Britton – 2016 Major League Baseball (Houston Astros, 23rd Round) Chris Claire – 2016 Major League Baseball (Baltimore Orioles, 21st Round) Andre Scrubb – 2016 Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Dodgers, 8th Round) Willie Medina – 2013 Major League Baseball (Washington Nationals, 31st Round) Sean Townsley – 2013 Major League Baseball (Miami Marlins, 25th Round) Jacob Newberry – 2013 Major League Baseball (Colorado Rockies, 18th Round) Jaime Schultz – 2013 Major League Baseball (Tampa Bay Rays, 14th Round) Kyle Mahoney – 2011 Major League Baseball (Los Angeles Angels, 43rd Round) Cody Allen – 2011 Major League Baseball (Cleveland Indians, 23rd Round) Nate Roberts – 2010 Major League Baseball (Minnesota Twins, 5th Round)
Men’s Lacrosse: Dan Lomas – 2016 National Lacrosse League (Rochester Knighthawks, 2nd Round); 2016 Major League Lacrosse (Ohio Machine, 5th Round) Matt Thistle – 2016 Major League Lacrosse (Boston Cannons, 7th Round) Austin Geisler – 2015 Major League Lacrosse (Ohio Machine, 7th Round) Pat Farrell – 2015 Major League Lacrosse (Florida Launch, 7th Round)
Men’s Basketball: John Brown – 2016 Acea Virtus Roma (Italian Second Division) Lorenzo Cugini – 2016 SAM Basket Massagno (Swiss Ligue Nationale de Basket) Devante Wallace – 2015 WBC Raiffeisen Weis (Austrian Basketball League) Corey Law – 2013 Harlem Globetrotters Shay Shine – 2012 Texas Legends (NBA Developmental League) Nick Barbour – 2012 Ourense Baloncesto (Spanish Second Division)
The Los Angeles Dodgers selected Andre Scrubb in the eighth round of last year’s draft. Chris Claire (Baltimore Orioles, 21st round) and Tyler Britton (Houston Astros, 23rd round) joined him in the draft to mark the most Panthers drafted since 2013.
“Now the guys here at HPU know,” Cozart says, “if their talent allows it and their work ethic gets them to that point, they can be in a position to realize their dream of playing professionally.” ▲
Austin Yearwood – 2015 Charlotte Independence (USL) Mamade Nyepon – 2014 Carolina Railhawks (NASL) Fejiro Okiomah – 2012 Charlotte Eagles (USL)
Stacia Robertson – 2015 Bendigo Braves (SEABL)
S T U D E N T AT H L E T E
Track & field standout Erika Bridges knows a thing or two about balancing responsibilities. As a heptathlete, Bridges has the task of mastering not one, but seven events during her career, from the 800-meter run, to the high jump and the javelin throw. The Williamsburg, Virginia, native has carried that delicate balancing act over to her academic experiences at HPU, where she has used skills from her business administration classes to start her own charitable business.
How does High Point University’s holistic learning model help students further their career goals? The holistic model that HPU implements helps us stand out in daily life and in the workplace — whether it be learning table etiquette skills at 1924 PRIME, engaging in classes that open your eyes to different religions or interacting with peers in a professional environment. What does it mean to you to represent HPU on the track? It’s a privilege and a blessing to represent a place that I love, competing in a sport that I love. Our team is so close. I wanted to be a part of a smaller program because I wanted to matter. It’s awesome to hear my other teammates say that too. Our coaches and staff know us all and care about each of us. They want what’s best for us on and off of the track. Who at HPU has had the most important influence on you? My track coach, Scott Hall, knows how to push me and get under my skin to bring the best out of me. He sees
more potential in me than I see in myself, which has brought me to a new level as a student-athlete and as an individual. When it comes to professors, Randy Moser (assistant professor of marketing) is amazing. I’ve started my own charitable business, and he has supported me and challenged me to think outside of the box. What made you decide to start Knot Average, your charitable business? I make custom hair ties by hand. Every other month, a percentage of profits go to different charities. I decided to start my own business so that I could not only give back to the community, but also give other people the opportunity to make a difference. Everyone at HPU is so supportive, too. Whoever I talk to about Knot Average is eager to help me in whatever way they can. Academically, the classes have taught me how to successfully run a business on my own. The environment of HPU is so stimulating; it makes me want to learn, push myself and develop new ideas. ▲
Q&A S T U D E N T AT H L E T E
In your opinion, what makes HPU extraordinary?
What are your career goals after graduation?
High Point University is an extraordinary place because of everything it has to offer socially, academically and athletically. I was attracted to the school for its health sciences programs and the opportunity to be a top lacrosse competitor in the Big South Conference. More importantly, the compassion that everyone shows on the campus — from the staff in the cafeterias to each of my professors and coaches — is exceptional. It is evident that they want to help me achieve my goals.
I plan to attend grad school to obtain my doctorate in physical therapy, with the hopes of working with children who have experienced traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries.
What are the greatest lessons you’ve learned from competing as a Division I student-athlete? Being a Division I student-athlete is a lot of work and can be very tiring — even painful — at times, but I always remember that I am fortunate to be able to play the sport I love at this level. I’ve learned lessons in extreme time management, what it truly means to be dedicated, and what it means to push your limits and persevere through different forms of adversity.
Your parents manage the Bennett Blazers, a sports program for physically challenged individuals. How has that made an impact on your life? The compassion I’ve developed for working with children has definitely stemmed from working with the athletes in the Bennett Blazers. At a young age, I was a friend and teammate to many of the kids because I participated in many of the programs. As I got older, I became a role model and a coach, helping the participants reach their athletic goals. My goal was to leave a positive impact in every athlete’s life, but in return I have gained so much more. The kids I’ve worked with have shown me the importance of making the most of every opportunity and valuing each day we are blessed to experience. ▲
Samantha Herman Samantha Herman joined the High Point University women’s lacrosse team in fall 2015 and immediately made an impact both on the field and as a young leader for the Purple & White. A native of Abingdon, Maryland, Herman is proud to be a member of a Panther program that has won four conference titles in six years. In addition to pursuing her exercise science degree, Herman volunteers with a family-owned sports program for physically challenged children and teens.
CARING PEOPLE 80
100,000 HOURS: IT ALL ADDS UP High Point University students, faculty and staff contribute 100,000 hours of volunteer service each year at a variety of organizations. Here are a few highlights of those efforts:
In the fall… • Children trick or treat through residence halls on campus for Halloween. • Hundreds of veterans and their families are honored and treated to a meal on Veterans Day. • Community Christmas brings 20,000 community members to campus for complimentary entertainment, hot food, Christmas decorations and more.
In the spring… • More than 600 volunteers contribute 1,500 hours of service on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Students organize dozens of service projects across the city and invite everyone in the community to participate. • The HPU family supports the United Way of Greater High Point and its partner agencies. In 2016, $240,580 was raised — a 533 percent increase from 2005.
In the summer… • Local children enjoy Lego robotics, rocket building, Minecraft mazes and more during the School of Education’s STEM Camp. • HPU partners with the High Point Police Department to host the Youth Leadership Academy on the HPU campus, which engages local teens in service and leadership development.
Year-round… • HPU hosts nine full-time AmeriCorps VISTAs who coordinate and support students’ service at community organizations. • Students work with inner city school children through the Community Writing Center after-school care program at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. • Students enrolled in a “Narrative Medicine in Action” course spend time with residents of Pennybyrn at Maryfield, a retirement living community, each weekend writing poems together, laughing and learning from each other. • The Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy partners with local organizations to host Over-the-Counter Medicine Giveaways. • During alternative fall and spring breaks, students construct Habitat for Humanity houses, help with hurricane and flood relief efforts, donate supplies, build schools and much more at home and abroad.
The HPU family is committed to community. “Dig deep.” That’s Jakki Davis’ mission. Davis is the executive director of D-UP, a local nonprofit that aims to keep kids healthy using basketball as a platform. High Point University students help Davis and other local organizations dig deep and invest in the community that surrounds them. As one of the city’s anchor institutions, the HPU family gives time, energy and resources to these organizations to show its commitment to its neighbors. Davis sees the efforts of that volunteerism at D-UP every day. Students in HPU’s Exercise Science Club run fitness and nutrition classes. Pharmacy faculty offer free health assessments for community members. The Employee Wellness program donates proceeds to the nonprofit to use for supplies and snacks. Together, HPU students, faculty and staff contribute more than 100,000 volunteer hours each year to nonprofits, schools, centers, shelters and other organizations because they care about their community. That volunteerism is valued at $2.3 million, according to the United Way. But really, the impact it has on the community is priceless.
Starting Out Right
Fighting Hunger in High Point
HPU’s commitment to community manifests itself early.
Then, there’s the Food Recovery Network.
It’s seen through initiatives that happen right after move-in, like when the Class of 2020 began their freshman year by donating more than 1,000 books to local schools last fall. Students at T. Wingate Andrews High School, Kirkman Park Elementary, Welborn Academy of Science and Technology and Montlieu Academy of Technology received dozens of boxes of books inscribed with messages from HPU freshmen.
Like all initiatives, it started with a vision. Student Haley Slone saw an opportunity to donate surplus meals to those battling hunger in the city of High Point. She and a few of her classmates began packaging surplus food from HPU dining locations to give to Open Door Ministries, a local nonprofit that provides housing, food, job and education assistance to families in need. Together, they started the HPU chapter of the Food Recovery Network (FRN), a national food donation program for college campuses.
Dr. Jenn Brandt is the director of this year’s Common Experience. Through the program, Brandt and her first-year seminar students delivered the books into the hands of eager Montlieu Academy students. Children expressed their appreciation with enthusiastic “thank yous” and even a few hugs. “I’m really excited for our scholars to get to experience this,” said Kim Scott, an HPU alumna and the principal of Montlieu Academy. “We often talk to our students about being college bound, so for them to see HPU students here means the world. It’s building their interest in reading and scholastics and speaks a lot to our partnership with HPU.”
Since it began in fall 2015, the HPU FRN has donated about 45,000 pounds of food. That’s roughly 30,000 meals to help Open Door fulfill its mission of offering three meals a day, seven days a week, to anyone in need. “The donated food that we receive from HPU’s Food Recovery Network is very important to Open Door Ministries’ Father’s Table,” says Steve Key, executive director of Open Door Ministries. “The quality and quantity is wonderful and is extremely helpful at providing food for the meals that we serve to the people who come to us for assistance.”
Slone graduated in 2015 and now works in Denver, Colorado. But her vision lives on through students like Lily Wingate, the club’s current president who helps package food three times a week. “The leaders before me created a wonderful foundation for the HPU chapter of the FRN,” says Wingate, a nonprofit leadership major from Bainbridge Island, Washington. “I wanted to make sure that we continued to grow and become more efficient. I don’t mind volunteering because I know that the food we deliver is going to people who truly need it. It feels very good to know that we’re helping feed the hungry population of High Point. Food is so important for anyone to be successful in life, and that’s really all we want for people.” 84
‘A Win-Win’ Digging deep makes waves in the community. Arionna Wilkerson gets that. She’s one of 29 student Bonner Leaders who each contribute 300 hours of community service each year. Wilkerson, a sophomore, volunteers at the Macedonia Family Resource Center each week. She and the other four Bonners stationed there provide homework help and snacks for children in an after-school care-style environment.
Ode to the Ice Cream Truck
But it’s so much more than that. Wilkerson digs deep by building relationships with the families at Macedonia. She’s an only child, so this lets her be an older mentor to children who may really need it.
By: Connor Harris, HPU junior and Trinity, North Carolina, native
She puts her psychology and Spanish double majors to work every time she visits. Wilkerson learns how the children see things while she helps them with their English. It’s good practice for the future — she hopes to one day run her own psychology practice for children.
Community outreach is one of my favorite parts of being an HPU student. I’m a student employee at Campus Concierge, so I get to impact the lives of students and community members every day.
It’s good practice for the community, too. “Being a Bonner is my connection to the city,” says Wilkerson, a native of Kannapolis, North Carolina. “When I’m out in the community talking to these organizations, I tell them about our Bonner program and how we can get volunteers for them. And they tell me about all the resources they offer to students like me. It’s a win-win.
The HPU ice cream truck is one of the most fulfilling aspects of my job. Yes, that’s right — HPU has an ice cream truck! When local schools want to reward their students for good behavior or their teachers for a successful year, the HPU ice cream truck pays a visit. Local families appreciate frequently seeing the truck at after school programs, summer camps and nonprofit events, and HPU students value the truck as a vehicle for community engagement.
“Mahatma Gandhi said, ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ The Bonner Program gives me the opportunity to do just that and so much more. While we are relatively small in number, we’re big at heart. We all love High Point University. We all love the community. And we get to bring it all together.”
Filling the Gaps
Traveling to an event in the truck is always a fun process. Nostalgic jingles play through the speakers as children flock to the truck to pick out their ice cream, free of charge. It warms my heart to see the children light up with excitement, and it’s one of the many ways that the university embraces its community.
Digging deep in the community takes on many different forms, depending on whom you ask. Mentoring children. Feeding the hungry. Promoting literacy. Modeling healthy lifestyles. For Davis, it boils down to one thing: investing in people. “Just the other day,” Davis says, “Bonner leaders assigned to our after-school care program were having a conversation with one of our kids who had done something wrong. The students made the child think about their actions, how it affected other people and what they’ll do in the future. It’s about mentorship and guiding them on the right path, but also teaching them about character and consequences. It’s amazing to see the students in that role.
But why an ice cream truck? Simple: It models the university’s values of service and generosity to the HPU family and beyond. Through this vehicle of outreach, we as students learn what it takes to create a wonderful experience for the greater High Point community.
“The impact of service from HPU students, faculty and staff is so important to us and this city. It would be challenging for us to do as much as we do for our program’s participants without the Bonners, or without HPU hosting so many events for us. We are indeed grateful recipients.” ▲
It’s one of the many reasons I chose HPU’s holistic environment. And I wouldn’t trade it for a thing.
‘We Thank HPU to Veterans: You’ It was an early Friday morning in November when they came in wheelchairs, with canes, wearing everything from coats and ties to American Legion hats.
‘Hall of Fame Players’
They were all veterans, from recent and long ago, and they came to celebrate the federal holiday that highlights honor and heroism, duty and sacrifice.
For the sixth straight year, HPU celebrated Veterans Day. But this year, the celebration was much bigger with 1,100 people around dozens of tables at the Millis Center, where everything was awash in red, white and blue.
Veterans Day. Jim Dunham sat up front. He flew helicopters during the Vietnam War. Aaron Emerson sat in back. He fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Richard Neel sat near the stage in his wheelchair. He can’t hear well, but he wanted to hear the band. World War II caused Neel’s hearing loss. He was a gunner on a B-29 heading to Japan when his plane got shellacked with bullets in May 1945, and he was so badly injured he spent seven months in the hospital. He earned a Purple Heart and Silver Star. At the time, he was 25. He is now 97. And as he sat near the stage with his daughter, Melissa McQueen, he teared up when he saw the HPU ROTC bring in the American flag and heard “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Many memories. But so needed. “Let us remember the words of President Coolidge,” HPU President Nido Qubein told the audience inside the Millis Center. “’The nation that forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.’ We always need to remember that we can never forget you, your sacrifices and your service. “Veterans, on this day, we thank God for you, and we thank you.” 86
The North Carolina Brass Band played patriotic melodies, and the Congressional Medal of Honor, earned by HPU alumnus Jack Lucas during World War II, sat in a shadow box display in the back. Meanwhile, speaker after speaker came to the stage. Flanked by six American flags, they delivered their take on patriotism and the role they have served. Two HPU students talked about the money they raised for military veterans. HPU’s Kappa Sigma chapter has raised $10,000 to help wounded veterans, and last spring, HPU’s Kappa Alpha Chapter collected $27,000 in donations to buy a special motorized wheelchair for a disabled veteran. Then came Major General Kevin O’Connell. He graduated from HPU in 1982 and went on to a distinguished 34-year career. In his address, he talked about the “Hall of Fame players”— the veterans seated in front of him. Following O’Connell was Celia Sandys. She is a writer, speaker and granddaughter of Winston Churchill, Great Britain’s prime minister known for his vigor during World War II. She has written six books on the man she called Grandpapa.
HPU HONORS VETERANS THE 2016 VETERANS DAY CELEBRATION INCLUDED:
Like Neel, she teared up when she heard “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” because she remembered it from her grandfather’s funeral. It reminds her of the ultimate sacrifice — lives lost serving their country.
DONATED TO COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS
“They gave us their tomorrows,” she said, “so we could have today.”
Stories to Remember Dunham knows about personal sacrifice. He is now 78, a retired controller who taught business at HPU. He walks with a cane because he has peripheral neuropathy in his arms and legs. He believes it was caused by his exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.
AND THEIR FAMILY MEMBERS WERE SERVED BREAKFAST AT THE EVENT
Emerson knows about personal loss. He is 27, a security officer at HPU. In Afghanistan, he was a squad leader. He survived firefights that came all too frequent every day. Some of his fellow soldiers didn’t. He knows them all by first name.
And then there is Neel, the World War II veteran. He knows he’s lucky to be alive. He still has shrapnel in his body from his injuries 72 years ago.
MADE IT POSSIBLE
Ask him about that, and he doesn’t talk about his wounds. He talks about his crewmembers. He calls them “my brethren.”
HPU IS A
“I go back to that day many times, and I get emotionally wrought because I think of the men who served with me,” he says. “I miss them; I’ll never forget.”
During the ceremony, HPU students and staff carried out a card stunt during the end of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and their coordinated move spelled out “We (Heart) Our Veterans.” It got a standing ovation.
Then, as veterans filed out after the two-hour ceremony, they received from HPU ROTC students a big HPU blanket with an American flag. Dr. Qubein calls it “the blanket of freedom.”
Neel keeps his blanket on his bed. He lives with his daughter in a town 30 minutes north of campus, and every night before bed, his daughter says he pats it and straightens it out.
“The nation that forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten.” – President Calvin Coolidge
It’s his own blanket of freedom. He likes that. ▲
BUILDING COMMUNITY THROUGH Conversation Douglas McCollum understands the power of words. He’s a freshman at High Point University, but he’s wise well beyond his years. McCollum is one of more than a dozen Bonner Leaders at HPU. That means every year, he and the other 28 Bonners on campus each contribute 300 hours of volunteer service at a community organization. McCollum spends most of his time at the Community Writing Center (CWC), just a few blocks from HPU. He wears a lot of hats there. He’s the homework tutor, who helps children with their multiplication tables. The team coach, who ensures everyone has a fun time during recess. The poet, who brings out their creativity and imagination. The mentor, who provides a listening ear and an encouraging word. But above all, he’s the community builder.
“We can always build; we can always grow.” – Douglas McCollum, HPU student
Finding Purpose in Poetry Growing up in High Point, just a stone’s throw away from HPU, McCollum always had a knack for poetry. He worked for years with the Poetry Project in Greensboro, North Carolina — an initiative that teaches, inspires and creates a safe space for youth to express themselves through poetry. Now, he’s a First Generation and Say Yes Scholar at HPU. The Guilford Countybased scholarships allow him to dream big and be the first in his family to go to college. Through the Poetry Project and his own experiences, McCollum has learned that words have the power to create meaningful change. That’s his goal not only for the children at the writing center, but for his life in general: Make sure everyone’s voice is heard. “Using poetry, I teach the kids how to be better writers and presenters,” says McCollum. “But it’s more than just getting in front of an audience and talking.
Concrete, head knowledge is great, but they need social skills too. It’s about making sure they know how to communicate.” To teach them those skills, McCollum leads writing and poetry workshops at the CWC. He gives them a prompt to get started: If you were a super hero, what would your power be? He teaches the children how similes and metaphors can add depth to their work. Then McCollum works one-on-one with them to revise until their piece is finished. “Douglas brings his infectious passion for poetry to the Community Writing Center,” says Dr. Charmaine Cadeau, assistant professor of English and CWC co-director. “As a member of the Poetry Project, Douglas uses his knowledge of creative writing to inspire the artistic and intellectual development of the children at the center.”
‘This is Home’ But McCollum envisions his work going beyond that singular writing session. He wants to teach other Bonners and community members how to lead these workshops, so everyone can get involved too. “To be able to bridge a gap between communities in High Point is important for me,” he says. “I’m a firm believer that we can always build; we can always grow. And the first step to building a strong community is to start a conversation. After that, you go out and do the work.” That work and those conversations can be tough at times. McCollum knows that. But he believes it’s his duty to invest in his city and help it reach its potential. “You see the Bonner leaders working in the community gardens. You see students helping children in the neighborhood through the STEM program, or with their English, or with poetry,” he says. “This type of work isn’t easy, yet it’s necessary. “Sometimes it’s hard to see what’s going on around you in your community. But the Bonner program is a great opportunity to get out there and serve. I’ve always said if I ever make it big and become rich and famous, that I would always come back because this is home. And my home needs to be taken care of.” ▲
HPU Awards Say Yes and First Generation Scholarship Recipients HPU awarded five Say Yes Scholarships to Guilford County Schools students for the 2016 –17 academic year, including two scholarships dedicated to students who are the first in their family to pursue a college degree. The scholarships cover full tuition, fees and books for four years. From left to right in the photo, HPU’s Class of 2020 recipients are as follows: MARY HANNAH SHINN: Biology major, graduated from Weaver Academy in Greensboro, where she was a member of the National Honor Society and National Art Honor Society NATALIE LUCAS: Graduated from Penn-Griffin School for the Arts, where she served as co-president of the Ukulele Club and played in the school’s guitar ensemble DOUGLAS MCCOLLUM: First Generation Scholar, communication major, graduated from High Point Central High School, where he participated in JV basketball, track, the International Baccalaureate Program and served as president of the Poetry Club EMILY YACUZZO: Political science major, graduated from Penn-Griffin School for the Arts, where she played flute in the concert band and was a member of the theatre program, the Art Club, Beta Club and the National Honor Society KAYLA QUICK: First Generation Scholar, psychology and criminal justice major, graduated from Southwest Guilford High School, where she was a varsity cheerleader and member of the Beta Club, the National Honor Society, chorus, the Baking Club and a service learning ambassador
PEOPLE AT HPU
Community Clinic of High Point Bisharat Khan sought out opportunities to serve others from the moment he stepped onto campus. The freshman from High Point, North Carolina, volunteers in the pharmacy at the Community Clinic of High Point. Since he speaks four languages, he is able to help Pakistani and Indian patients communicate with the pharmacists and get the medications they need. A Bonner Leader and a pre-pharmacy major, he is also practicing skills he will use in his career while making a positive impact within the city. While he pursues his doctor of pharmacy degree, he also plans on becoming a certified pharmacy technician so he can get more involved and find ways to help the pharmacy expand its services. “I want to devote my time to our city and the people here by making a positive impact. The community clinic pharmacy is a very special place for me. It’s so nice and wonderful to see the smiles on the patients’ faces when they hear me speak their language. I go to sleep at night knowing I’ve done something positive. Service is a vital part of my life, and it’s great that at HPU I can do what I love while helping others at the same time.” 90
Military Child Access and Assistance Program
Elizabeth O’Brien is committed to serving members of the military and their families. She has volunteered with the nonprofit Military Missions In Action for more than five years. While in high school, the freshman from Aberdeen, North Carolina, created the Military Child Access and Assistance Program, which is dedicated to assisting disabled military children both socially and physically, and has raised $30,000 for the cause. O’Brien, an elementary education major, received the inaugural Booz Allen Hamilton Innovation Award in partnership with Operation Homefront’s Military Child of the Year. She has also received the Bronze and Gold Presidential Service awards, the Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Service Award, the Certificate of Prudential Spirit of Community Award, and a President’s Volunteer Service Award on behalf of former President Barack Obama. Her service is inspired by her own experience living in five different states as a military child and seeing her father, a command sergeant major in the 82nd Airborne Division, serve his country. “To me, it’s important to volunteer because I know there are so many people out there who aren’t as lucky as I am. I get to see what my father does, how he protects us and the whole nation. I’m so proud.”
HPU Bonner Leader Program
To Write Love On Her Arms
Ebony Gillette is a talented servant leader who inspires others to get involved in the community. The only senior in HPU’s Bonner program, Gillette is a business administration major and event management minor from Laurel, Maryland. She has worked to strengthen the growing program, completed summer work with the National Bonner Foundation and developed a handbook to orient new HPU Bonners. In the community, she has expanded tutoring programs that connect HPU with the Boys & Girls Club and West End Ministries, and she has taken part in various projects through the co-ed service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega. She also helped host World Café conversations at HPU that focused on politics and race during a tense election season. For her commitment, Gillette received the Community Impact Award from North Carolina Campus Compact, a statewide network of colleges and universities with a shared commitment to civic engagement.
Brooke Liberto wanted to major in psychology and minor in criminal justice to help people who are broken and traumatized. She got involved in HPU’s chapter of To Write Love On Her Arms, which raises awareness about the importance of mental health. Now, the senior from Sewell, New Jersey, is the organization’s president. Through her involvement, she’s created events that have educated hundreds of people. She invited snowboarder Kevin Pearce to speak about his experience with traumatic brain injury. She also helped with the group’s screening of more than 300 people for eating disorder risk factors and a suicide prevention campaign that reached more than 1,000 students. For these programs, she received the Extraordinary Programmer Award in 2015 and the Community Builder of the Year Award in 2016. Liberto is also an advocate for making mental health services accessible to low-income and underprivileged populations.
“I’m an avid believer in the phrase, ‘It takes a village to raise a child,’ and I feel as though it can be applied to many things. For a community to become stronger, it needs a zealous contribution from the ‘village.’ We need to educate and empower others to be even greater contributors in the community.”
“Everywhere you turn at HPU, there is this sense of ‘You can do it.’ It’s a mindset of limitless possibilities for your future. If you work hard enough, you can have it all. I believe that.”
Give Back Going Greek at High Point University not only provides unparalleled opportunities for lifelong friendships and connections, but it also serves as a springboard for philanthropy efforts around the High Point community. This semester alone, HPU sororities and fraternities completed thousands of service hours and raised tens of thousands more for charitable foundations and relief efforts. Here are a few highlights from the past year: Making Wishes Comes True One special child led the Beta Theta Pi fraternity to raise funds for the Make-AWish Foundation and beat a Guinness World Record at the same time. The fraternity is sponsoring a young boy with cancer and raising funds so his “wish” can come true through the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Central and Western North Carolina. Beta Theta Pi raised $2,000 through a cornhole tournament that brought hundreds of people out for the cause. Fraternity members Ryan Fox, Eric Donovan, Liam Barger and Carter Hering also broke the Guinness World Record for the longest marathon of cornhole: a 26-hour, 16-minute and 28-second game. The fraternity later raised an additional $2,000 for the cause through other campaigns. “What got me through the 26 hours wasn’t just pure will; it was knowing that
if a child is fighting for his life with cancer, I can do this for 26 hours,” said Hering. “It was mentally and physically challenging, but knowing who we did it for kept all of us going.”
Planting Seeds of Hope Hoffman Amphitheater turned pink in October as a crowd of men and women sporting pink ribbons gathered to honor those who have won or lost their battle with breast cancer, as well as those who are currently fighting. Seeds of Hope, an annual ceremony hosted by Zeta Tau Alpha, is part of the sorority’s Think Pink Week — a weeklong effort to promote breast cancer research, awareness and early detection. The event included a performance by the HPU Petal Points, a candle lighting and speakers who shared the story of their personal connection to breast cancer. ZTA’s national philanthropy is breast cancer education and awareness.
A SNAPSHOT OF GREEK LIFE EFFORTS n Zeta Tau Alpha raised $25,500 for breast cancer education and awareness
during the Crown Classic Golf tournament. n Sigma Nu raised $4,000 for Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, an
organization that provides care and support for military families. n Kappa Sigma served food and gave thank-you cards to first responders at the
High Point Fire Department. n Alpha Kappa Alpha co-hosted a diversity event with the Office of Student Life. n Sigma Sigma Sigma hosted the Sigma in Color run and co-hosted a cookie-
decorating fundraiser with Zeta Phi Beta to benefit the March of Dimes. n Kappa Sigma fraternity and Kappa Delta sorority overhauled the garden at
Kirkman Park Elementary School with fresh mulch and flowers.
Fighting Hunger in High Point
Investing in Children
In September, Greek organizations across campus donated $2,742 to the Greater High Point Food Alliance as a part of the annual Greek Week Chili Cook-Off competition. This year’s cook-off winners, Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority and Kappa Alpha Order fraternity, chose to donate the money earned from the week of competition and fundraising to the Greater High Point Food Alliance.
HPU’s Phi Mu sorority raised more than $9,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through philanthropy efforts held last year. Events included a bingo night, bake sale, “Acapalooza” a cappella concert and the Bonnamu Music Festival. The events raised funds for children’s hospitals, medical research and community awareness of children’s health issues.
“This donation will enable the Greater High Point Food Alliance to print Community Resource Guides that list all of the different sources of food for those facing food insecurity,” said Carl Vierling, executive director of GHPFA. “We will also publish recipes to be given out in different locations. Information and education are key to eliminating food insecurity.”
Pledging to End Domestic Violence The Alpha Chi Omega sorority took a stand against domestic violence during their “These Hands Don’t Hurt” event. Participants dipped their hands in purple paint and left their handprint on a banner to pledge to help end domestic violence. Domestic violence awareness is the national philanthropy of AXO. The organization works year-round to fight against unhealthy relationships and build healthy ones. They also work to educate members, giving them tools to build their own healthy relationships, and educate others on domestic violence and the work being done to end it.
“Philanthropy is something that our sorority loves to do each and every year,” said Phi Mu sorority member Nia Page. “There is no greater feeling than knowing that every effort made and every dollar raised is directly benefiting the lives of children.” ▲
THE CAPTURED M OM ENT S O F
Community Christmas Children and teenagers giggle as they jump and dance through the artificial snow drifting down from HPU’s two student centers, Slane and Wanek. They ham it up for a photo and let the soapy flakes land all over them. Then, they’re off bounding like an awkward ballerina through a curtain of white toward the next stop on their map. That is Community Christmas. 94
Finding the Magic It takes all year to plan with dozens of meetings. Then, for two nights every December, 400 volunteers — faculty and staff, parents and students — bundle up against the cold and unveil HPU’s gift to the community. Community Christmas started six years ago. This past December, 20,000 people came. They ate dinner, heard live music, rode a miniature train, posed in front of 12-foot toy soldiers and saw Santa. They also saw a camel named Curtis — and Erin Moran in purple. She’s HPU’s assistant director for undergraduate admissions. But in December, she became an animal keeper of Santa’s Stable and watched kids beam with every animal they spotted on an outdoor basketball court beside Slane. “This is the magic of Christmas,” she said, “the joy of watching people see things for the first time.” Andrea May, financial and administrative coordinator for HPU’s facility operations, saw that, too. She acted as a conductor of the Polar Express and watched everyone get excited about everything around the miniature train. “It looks like a town in a movie,” May said of campus. “Everyone is walking, talking to people. That’s a good thing.”
“This is the magic of Christmas.” – Erin Moran, HPU assistant director of undergraduate admissions
Father, Daughter Reunion Everyone comes to celebrate. But they also come to create new memories and remember the old ones that still stir the heart. Michael Crane, a retired American Baptist minister from nearby Winston-Salem, knows. He came to pick up his daughter, Elisa, an HPU sophomore in graphic design. But his daughter convinced him to volunteer for Community Christmas because she was so captivated by the event’s images she saw on Instagram. So, in December, Crane and his daughter worked the Holly Jolly Hot Dog Shoppe and watched 14 rows of tables with red and green tablecloths cover HPU’s basketball arena.
The True Meaning of Dec. 25 Community Christmas does stoke fellowship. But it also stokes contemplation in the most ordinary of moments. Families trickle into the Hayworth Chapel to hear Christmas hymns and listen to local ministers, or they stop for portraits in front of the life-sized Nativity scene beside Norton Hall. In December, Lisa Wadelington did just that.
His daughter unpacked packages of soft drinks; he stood 10 steps away, greeting families and watching his daughter work. He smiled. He remembered.
She posed with her four grandchildren, her three young cousins and her 26-year-old daughter, Jackie, in front of the Nativity scene and gave them all an impromptu Bible lesson.
It seems like only yesterday he was standing on a seventh-floor balcony in China, seeing the blinking lights below and singing “Angels Watching Over Me” as he held Elisa in his arms.
She wanted them to know about Mary, Joseph, Jesus and the symbolism of the barn behind them. The grandmother from nearby Greensboro knew why.
She was 15 months old, a toddler he and his wife, Valerie, adopted from China. Today, Elisa is 20; Michael, 71. They volunteered because they wanted to give back to HPU. But they also wanted to be together. That, Elisa says, felt comforting.
“Children need to know the real meaning of Christmas,” she said. “It’s not all about receiving. It’s about giving, and I tell them Jesus was all about giving. He wanted us to love one another. They need to remember that.” ▲
HPUâ€™s Student Government Association donated $2,000 and bottled water to the American Red Cross for families affected by flooding in West Virginia.
HPU welcomed local school children to the Slane Student Center for the annual Fall Festival: an afternoon of face painting, classic carnival games and snacks.
The HPU family completed more than 35 service projects on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Projects included landscaping, preparing and serving meals, providing transportation to refugees, cleaning up community spaces and more.
HPU students spent their fall and spring breaks giving back to communities in Guatemala and Costa Rica. During this year’s Winter Family Weekend, HPU students and families packaged 20,000 meals during a service project organized by the Parent’s Council and Meals of Hope.
The Board of Stewards raised $7,500 to purchase gifts for 75 local families through the Salvation Army’s Angel Tree program.
THIN SLICES HPUâ€™s Book Buddies program hosted local school children for a holiday celebration. Elementary students received gifts, made ornaments and participated in a book-based scavenger hunt with their HPU mentor.
The School of Education hosted the TOPSoccer outreach program to meet the needs of local children with physical or intellectual disabilities.
The High Point University Community Center hosted the Greater High Point Food Alliance Food Summit, multiple blood drives, over-the-counter medicine giveaways and more.
Children from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Central Piedmont were invited to the HPU campus for an afternoon of trick-or-treating.
HPU’s inaugural class in the Fred Wilson School of Pharmacy participated in community service activities to get to know their community and the people they’ll one day serve.
HPU donated $10,000 to the “Learn to Swim” program through Guilford County Schools — an initiative that provides swimming lessons free of charge to every secondgrader in the city of High Point.
HPULovesChrissy # Essay: Cristine By: Christine Rickert, ‘16
Rickert TO COME
The atmosphere at historic Hayward Field in Eugene, Oregon, is unlike any other. Last summer, fans filled the seats of TrackTown USA for the United States Olympic Team Trials for track and field. They endured erratic weather, clapped and chanted as their favorite athletes vied for a spot on the world’s greatest track and field team. Athletes like me. It was overwhelming to step into the arena. As an amateur athlete, I was fighting for a spot on an Olympic team against competitors who dedicated their entire lives to this one single moment. Was it intimidating? A bit. But could I handle it? Absolutely. Four years of preparation with some of the best coaches and teammates in the nation left me well-equipped for the task at hand. During my time as a javelin thrower at High Point University, my coaches pushed me to be my best. Conference championships and the NCAAs prepared me for the tough competition. Two days before my event, I got some practice in at Hayward Field. I ran approaches, warmed up my arm and concentrated on the technical parts. I chose a point in the distance to focus on as I threw. I reminded myself of the bitter taste I still had from the NCAA finals. I had earned Second Team All-American accolades, 100
missing the final and First Team honors by only four spots. I vowed to myself I would not be watching the final from the stands again. My preliminary round finally arrived. I learned I was up against Kara Winger, the female American record holder in javelin. Someone I had looked up to for the majority of my javelin career was sitting next to me as my competition. The words of my coach, Scott Hall, echoed in my head: “Act like you belong here because you do.” So I did. I focused on the technical parts I needed to do right and exceeded my expectations. After the preliminary round, I was sitting in 11th — qualifying me for the final to be held two days later. I competed in the final, but ultimately did not qualify for the Olympics, finishing just nine spots out of a team position. Yet throughout the entire process, I received a huge outpouring of support from my HPU family, friends, teammates and coaches. Every “Good luck!” email from professors and #HPULovesChrissy hashtag pushed me closer to my goals. I would not have been a finalist at the Olympic trials without the extensive support system HPU has given me. Genuine passion is a rarity in today’s society. Competing in the Olympic trials was a reminder that hard work and love for what you do go a long way on the road to success. And I’ll carry the lessons and memories from this experience with me for the rest of my life. ▲
in Las Vegas
A new “Jason Bourne” movie hit theaters last summer. It featured an intense car chase scene on the Las Vegas Strip with explosions, crashes and edge-of-your-seat theatrics.
with crafting timely and effective media pitches, knowing when to and when not to distribute a press release, and implementing new ideas within my department.”
Brittany Harris helped make that happen.
She’s constantly reminded of how her time at HPU prepared her to shine, like during a recent pro boxing match at the T-Mobile Arena.
Harris graduated from High Point University with a communication degree in 2011. Today, she’s the public relations manager at MGM Resorts International in Vegas, where she oversees the company’s domestic and international media affairs. MGM Resorts owns some of the most iconic resorts on The Strip, including Bellagio, MGM Grand, The Mirage and more. It’s a multi-billion dollar corporation that was named one of the world’s most admired companies by Fortune magazine. During filming for “Jason Bourne,” Harris worked with MGM hotel partners and the Clark County traffic team to shut down the entire Las Vegas strip and redirect traffic while the camera crew ran multiple takes of the crash. “I ensured security was in place, all exterior lights on our resorts were on so that they looked great on camera, signs were removed from the valet area, and held visitors so they weren’t in the line of fire,” says Harris, a native of Orangeburg, South Carolina. Working in PR brings new challenges each day. She constantly fields requests from media outlets that want to feature MGM Resorts, and manages PR efforts for the fine art gallery, fountains and conservatory at Bellagio. Harris gives credit to her HPU mentor Dr. Wilfred Tremblay, dean of the Nido R. Qubein School of Communication, in helping set her up for success.
From the floor of the arena, Harris turns on her walkie radio, puts on her flats and prepares for a night of screaming fans and hundreds of media stories and requests. She finds the bright lights, neon signs and constant hum of crowds, cars and casinos invigorating. Yet she doesn’t forget her roots — her family back home in South Carolina, or the four years at HPU that gave her wings to soar in this hectic lifestyle. “From the moment I stepped on campus at HPU, I was treated like an adult — responsible for my own decisions and their outcomes, given the opportunity to prioritize tasks, studies and extracurricular activities on my own. I really think that helped me grow up and prepared me for life on my own. HPU gave me the courage to chase my dreams, because I was constantly instilled with the idea that nothing is impossible.” Because of that idea, Harris thrives. Shining bright indeed. ▲
“Dr. Tremblay told me, ‘Put down your phone and pick up a newspaper. If you want to work in this field, you need to know what’s going on around you.’ To this day, that advice helps me
“HPU gave me the courage to chase my dreams, because I was constantly instilled with the idea that nothing is impossible.” – Brittany Harris, ’11 Public relations manager for MGM Resorts International
Alumni Honored for
Success & Significance Some of High Point University’s best stories are shared each year inside the Extraordinaire Cinema, where graduates fill the seats for the Alumni Awards Ceremony. The 2016 award winners, 13 in total, represent different generations and parts of HPU’s history. But they share two important commonalities — they’re proud to call themselves graduates of High Point University, and they each learned how to work hard enough and smart enough during their time at HPU to go on and create significant impact in their communities. “The seeds of greatness we are planting here at High Point University are paying dividends in our alumni,” Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, said in his keynote address at the event. “We are truly in the business of building leaders for tomorrow’s world who will give God the glory in all they do.” Below are some of the inspiring stories and impressive achievements the 2016 honorees shared with the audience as they accepted their awards.
Anne Kerr Walker, ’60, was awarded Alumna of the Year. Walker graduated from HPU with a degree in English education and was a long-time educator in the public school system where she taught English and journalism for more than 30 years before entering the real estate industry.
Anne Kerr Walker, ’60 Alumna of the Year
Tom Ingram, ’92 Alumni Service Award
Don Haynes, ’55 Lifetime Achievement Award
Her strong work ethic stems from a turning point in her life. When Walker was 9 years old, her father died unexpectedly, leaving her stay-at-home mother to raise four children on her own. “She devoted her life to taking care of her family and sending them all through college,” Walker said. “She brought new meaning to the word resourceful. But we never felt that we had less than others, and we never felt underprivileged in any way.” Walker went on to become an impactful educator. She held positions on many boards and organizations, including president of the North Carolina Association of Educators’ English Teachers and charter president of the Hillsborough Jaycettes. During her time as a teacher, she was named Outstanding Young Educator for Orange County. She was elected to the HPU Board of Trustees in 2011 and is president of the Steel Magnolias, a group of women who graduated from HPU primarily between 1955 and 1965. The group is an active part of the HPU Alumni Association and frequently hosts events on campus. In the past seven years, Walker has devoted tremendous energy and time to High Point University in what she considers her “third career,” and has pledged $1 million to establish the Anne Kerr Walker Community Event Endowment Fund, which kicked off in December.
“I’m thankful for the time I have spent on this beautiful campus called High Point University, and I promise you as long as I live I shall try to be worthy of receiving this honor.” – Anne Kerr Walker, ’60, Alumna of the Year
Wake Forest University Medical Center and served as the director of facilities, planning and construction, where he led a team that completed the Cancer Center expansion and new health care clinics in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, area. He also served as a visiting professor for historically black colleges and universities and has served on numerous boards and committees in the Piedmont Triad region. He served on the HPU Board of Visitors, and in 2008, became a member of the HPU Board of Trustees, where he serves on the Executive Committee and is chair of the Academic Affairs Committee. Ingram is also a proud member of the HPU Panther Club. And to this day, he recalls the words of the keynote speaker at his HPU graduation.
“As a result of the strong work ethic my mother instilled in us, I worked 55 years full time,” Walker said. “I do know that she would be very proud of me tonight. I’m thankful to have had parents who instilled strong values, a sense of decency and the difference between right and wrong. I’m also very thankful for the time I have spent on this beautiful campus called High Point University, and I promise you as long as I live, I shall try to be worthy of receiving this honor.”
Tom Ingram, ’92, received the Alumni Service Award. Ingram graduated from HPU with a degree in business and economics and earned his master’s degree from Wake Forest University. He served in the military for six years and received an honorable discharge after achieving the rank of staff sergeant from the New Jersey Army National Guard in 1974. His path in life did not begin smoothly. But there were two women — his mother and his wife, both in attendance at the awards ceremony — who shaped him and impacted him more than anyone else. Both women were at one time single mothers who worked full-time jobs and devoted their lives to their families. “My mother was the hardest working human being I knew while growing up in Newark, New Jersey,” Ingram said. “As a devout Christian and single parent, she raised four children and acted as both a father and mother, ensuring we were fed, had coats and shoes to wear to school, checked our homework every evening and went to bed with food in our stomachs. “My wife of 34 years was also raising her children as a single mother when I met her. She, too, worked incredibly hard to raise her family and has devoted herself in every way.” Through the influence of these women and his HPU education, Ingram was inspired to dream big. He went on to hold senior-level engineering and management positions with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company and Morrison Knudsen Construction Management Company. From 2004 to 2016, Ingram worked at 104
“You don’t have to be better than anyone else to be good. You don’t have to be superior to be superb. And in all things, believe in God,” Ingram told the crowd. “These encouraging words were rendered by our Commencement speaker, and his name is Nido Qubein.”
Don Haynes, ’55, received the Lifetime Achievement Award. Haynes graduated magna cum laude from HPU with a Bachelor of Arts in history and religion. But he never expected to attend college at all, especially after his father died when he was 12 years old. “We had no money,” Haynes told the crowd. “But my mother said, ‘Son, if we work hard, the Lord will provide.’” That stuck with Haynes, even when he began working on a farm as a high school senior. That’s where — in the middle of a tobacco field — an admissions counselor approached him about studying at High Point College on a scholarship. During his time on campus, Haynes was appointed as student pastor of Oakdale Methodist Church, and in 1976, he received an honorary Doctor of Divinity from Pfeiffer University. Haynes has served as the Western North Carolina Conference Director of Ministries, and in 1993, he received the Harry Denman Award for Evangelism. A columnist for United Methodist Reporter from 2005 to 2014, Haynes also published a book, “On the Threshold of Grace,” in 2010. He is currently completing a book manuscript, “Reading the Bible and Seeing It for the First Time.” For the last 17 years, he has been an adjunct faculty member at Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury. A former member of the Board of Visitors and member of the Class of 1955 Reunion Committee, Haynes has been a loyal supporter of HPU and is a lifetime member of the Board of Trustees. ▲
The 10 Under 10 award winners honored at this year’s Alumni Awards Ceremony were evaluated on their outstanding achievements in their field of endeavor, their demonstrated leadership and their service to HPU and their communities. The ceremony recognized the following:
10 under 10 Young Alumni 2
Patrick Budd, ’13, Communications Manager at Richard Childress Racing
Leni Fragakis, ’12, fifth-grade teacher at Arts Based School in Winston-Salem and Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Brittany Harris, ’11, Public Relations Manager at MGM Resorts International
Brandon Holder, ’16, Founder and Owner of Water the World and current MBA student at HPU
Alex Nelson, ’15, Financial Advisor at Edward Jones
Tyler Steelman, ’14, Ph.D. student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Stephanie Vrettakos, ’15, Marketing Associate at PERI Formwork Systems Inc.
Krista Wagoner, MD, ’08, Resident Physician and Assistant Professor at Medical University of South Carolina
Harris Walker, ’11, Director of Intergovernmental Affairs at the National Nuclear Security Administration
10 Daniel Wolff, ’06, Director of Learning Resource Support and the varsity football and baseball coach at The Potomac School
CLASS NOTES Julia Folger (1946) teaches Israeli folk dancing and lives in Milledgeville, Georgia.
Don Kearns (1957) is a retired social studies teacher. He and his wife Carolyn went on a cruise through the Norwegian Cruise Line. David Gordon (1959) won the 2016 Thomasville Area Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year award for his business, Gordon’s Furniture Discount Center in Thomasville, North Carolina. The company was founded in 1955 by Gordon’s father. Jerry Murdock (1962) is the CEO of IPS Packaging in Fountain Inn, South Carolina. Margarette Damewood Boley (1963) celebrated her 50th wedding anniversary in September 2016. She enjoys volunteering at her church in St. Louis, Missouri. Dina Harris (1963) retired in 2016 after 44 years of teaching throughout North Carolina. During her teaching career, Harris taught in Durham, Guilford and Forsyth counties. Claborne Ripley (1966) is a regional manager at Revelation Software Concepts in California. David Dorsey (1967) retired after 39 years as a teacher and administrator in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system. He has three children, is an active church member and also serves as facility manager for Hawthorn Lane UMC in Charlotte, North Carolina. Dorsey enjoys traveling and doing genealogy research.
Judd Richardson (1968) retired in 2014 from nearly 40 years in real estate management.
and more. He and his wife, Patricia Barnes Rossi, have two sons, Jackson and Harrison.
Nathan Cagle (1972) and Linda Stemple Cagle (1972) retired in May 2013. They live in Boothbay Harbor, Maine, from June to November and Santa Fe from November to May. They enjoy frequently traveling to see their two married sons in New Jersey and California.
Camille Stewart (1985) is a sales consultant at GDS Link in Dallas, Texas.
Jim Everhart (1976) is the president of Camm Inc. in High Point, North Carolina. Gary Meyn (1980) is the executive director of operations at SaveonSP, a pharmaceutical startup in Buffalo, New York. The company exists to save employers and covered employees money on specific specialty drugs. Raymond Wilhoit (1980) is a business development manager at Shearer’s Snacks. He lives in Wallburg, North Carolina. Linda Steele (1981) retired as a systems engineer from the United States government after more than 31 years of service. She and her husband, Ed, are moving to the northern neck of Virginia to a place on the Potomac River. April J’Callahan Marshall (1982) is the director of professional theatre services at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Greensboro, North Carolina. Barbara Phillips (1983) is the lead teacher at Calvary Christian Academy in Ormond Beach, Florida. Jonathan Jackson (1985) is retired, married and plays golf four days a week. Bobby Rossi (1985) began his 20th year as executive vice president at Ruth Eckerd Hall & Capitol Theatre in Clearwater, Florida. In his position, Rossi promotes more than 250 concerts per year around Tampa Bay, including producing the Clearwater Jazz Holiday, Tampa Bay Rays Summer Concert Series, PGA Championship post round concerts
Joseph Fuqua (1987) is the finance director for the City of Henderson, North Carolina. Beth Ramsey (1988) is an assistant planner at Belk in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thomas “Rick” Wilson, Jr. (1992) is a captain for Delta Private Jets, a division of Delta Air Lines. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Karen Thomas (1993) is an inside sales manager at Vertex in Pennsylvania. Vesa Kemppainen (1994) is the director at MSG-Global Solutions. Whipple Spaulding Newell (1997) is an equity sales trader at Wells Fargo in New York. She has three children, Finlay, Whipple and Anders. Carol-Ann Walker Griggs (1998) married Travis James Griggs on May 27, 2016. She works as a student and data manager at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Danita Harris (1999) is the CEO and president of WIDCO Inc., a food manufacturing company for Rated M Wine Infused Foods as well as other private labels. Preston Key (2000) and Cass Arnold Key (2001) recently moved back to High Point, North Carolina, after Preston’s career took him to Chicago, Illinois; Bethesda, Maryland; and Washington, D.C. Preston is now the operations manager at Woodbridge Furniture in High Point.
Maria Coll-Perez (2001) is a traveler registered nurse with AMN Healthcare. She lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Timothy Cross (2001), along with his wife and two children, are missionaries with the North American Mission Board working in partnership with World Relief in High Point. Over the past seven years, the Cross family has helped resettle more than 600 refugees to the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, area, including many families from Burma. Cross helps provide orientation and training to churches and small teams who adopt each refugee family by welcoming them and helping them assimilate to life in the United States. The Cross family previously spent time in Belgium and England doing missionary and refugee work oversees. Tiffany Impson Galloway (2002) married Brian Galloway on October 1, 2016. She is an HRSSC (human resources shared services center) third party labor specialist at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Florida. Candice Rose (2002) is a marketing manager at Capital Lighting Fixture Company in Flowery Branch, Georgia. Themecia Allen (2005) is an admission services associate at Cone Health in High Point, North Carolina. Brandon English (2005) is the director of loss and healing programs for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. In his position, English oversees all loss and healing programs for the national organization. Drew McIntyre (2005) is the pastor of Grace UMC in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. Gena Thomas (2005) authored and published “A Smoldering Wick: Igniting Missions Work With Sustainable Practices,” a book
about charity work and church-based short-term missions. Thomas previously served as a missionary for four and a half years in northern Mexico alongside her husband, Andrew. While there, they started a coffee shop ministry called El Búho. The couple now lives in North Carolina with their children, Cademon and Juniper, and remotely run El Búho. They hope to open another coffee shop ministry in North Carolina. Nicholas Adams (2006) is a doctor at Carolina Foot and Ankle Specialists in Raleigh, North Carolina. Tiffany Wright (2006) is a project manager for the School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ashley Porter Burns (2007) has worked as an elementary art teacher for nine years. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky. Eugene Galloway (2007) is an assistant coach for cross country and track and field at Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia. Sidney Minter (2007) was selected to co-lead the North Carolina Bar Association’s Community Relations Committee. He is an attorney at Fisher Phillips, an office labor and employment law firm in Charlotte. Minter is an active member of the North Carolina Bar Association, where he also serves on the Minorities in the Profession Committee and is an inductee into the 2016 Leadership Academy. Laura Wolf (2007) is an events manager at Bullis School in Potomac, Maryland. Nho Bui (2008) is the CEO at Central Healthcare Business System.
Christa Halsey (2008) is an elementary AIG specialist for Davidson County Schools in North Carolina. After graduating from HPU in 2008, Halsey taught in middle school for six years. She received her AIG certification from HPU in 2011 and her administrative licensure from Gardner Webb University in 2013. She says she credits her success to the wonderful instructors at HPU. Melodie MoorefieldWilson (2008) and her husband Jaysen welcomed their second child, Alexander David, on June 3, 2016. Alexander joins his big brother Aaron, age 6. Kory McCormick (2009) and Kathryn Blandford McCormick (2009) were married on Aug. 29, 2015, at the Westfields Golf Club in Clifton, Virginia. Dozens of HPU alumni, including Zeta Tau Alpha sisters and former HPU soccer players, were in attendance. The newlyweds credit HPU as the reason they were brought together in 2005. They reside in northern Virginia. Roger Best (2010) teaches Spanish for K-12 students, and ESOL for adults. Ryan Cox (2010) is a broker for Allen Tate Realtors in Charlotte, North Carolina. Chad Malpass (2010) graduated magna cum laude from Tuskegee University School of Veterinary Medicine. He has received many awards, including the Robert D. Horne Orthopedic
CLASS NOTES Surgery Award, the Bayer Excellence in Communication Award and the Elanco Parasitology Award. He has contributed to important orthopedics research and articles in veterinary medicine magazines. He currently works as a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in surgery at Westchester Veterinary Hospital in High Point. He and his wife, Alix Inman Malpass, live in Winston-Salem with their 6-year-old boxer, Sookie. He says, “HPU was very instrumental in my professional development. I had an extraordinary experience at High Point University.” Brandon Cross (2011) is a client sales representative at Echo Global Logistics, a third party logistics company in Orange County, California. He credits HPU and Dr. Nido Qubein for instilling in him the importance of perseverance and to never give up on his dreams. Alexis Mutter (2011) graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Nursing with a bachelor’s degree in nursing. She is now a registered nurse in the surgery trauma ICU at VCU Health, a Level I trauma center and inner-city hospital recognized for the exceptional nursing care provided to patients. Thomas Parnelle (2011) is a software engineer at Velocitor Solutions in Charlotte, North Carolina. Parnelle also performs in multiple bands and choirs, and works as a booking/promotional agent for metal bands in Charlotte. Abbey Roarke (2011) is an event coordinator at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. Alyssa Romeo (2011) is the assistant director of education at NACHA — The Electronic Payments Association in Herndon, Virginia. Taylor Schor (2011) is a blogger, technical writer and aspiring fiction author. Schor joined the Writer’s Circle and is currently writing a fiction book.
William Harris Walker (2011) is the director of intergovernmental affairs for the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, D.C. Rebekah Bofinger (2012) graduated from law school, and passed both the Maryland and Virginia bar exams. She is now an associate attorney at Franklin & Prokopik in Herndon, Virginia. Taylor Zickefoose Jamieson (2012) married Christopher Jamieson in August 2016. Taylor is a human resources coordinator at Cornerstone Research in Washington, D.C. LeighAnn Lavalette (2012) is a senior account executive at Octagon, a sports and entertainment agency in Connecticut.
Riley O’Keefe (2012) and Tiffany Welch O’Keefe (2012) were married at the Salem Waterfront Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts, on August 1, 2015. Their guests included many fellow HPU alumni. Meghan Hancock (2013) graduated from Methodist University in December 2015 with a Master of Medical Science in physician assistant studies. She is now working as a physician assistant for Cornerstone Internal Medicine in the Convenience Care Clinic in High Point, North Carolina. Hancock says, “I am so grateful to be back in my hometown taking care of my community. HPU’s biology and pre-professional track helped me set a strong foundation to make me successful in my career.” Breanna Hovan (2013) is a building coordinator at Drissi Advertising/ Lindeman & Associates, an ad agency for
film, television and gaming industries in Los Angeles, California. Gabrielle Hunter (2013) is a coordinator of marketing for the Charlotte Hornets NBA team. She also graduates in May 2017 with her master’s degree in sports administration from the University of Miami. Samantha Izzo (2013) is a designer and salesperson at Anthony George in Walter Mill, New York. Meghan Krasnow (2013) graduated from the University of Denver in 2015 with a master’s degree in sport and performance psychology. To reach her career goal of becoming a sport psychologist, Krasnow is now working toward her Psy.D. in counseling psychology with a concentration in athletic counseling at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. She will graduate in 2020 with her doctorate and enter into her professional career, helping athletes and coaches enhance performance and wellbeing. While at HPU, Krasnow was a student-athlete on the women’s soccer team and a psychology major. Brittany Lugiano (2013) is an account executive at Philadelphia Union. Megan May (2013) is attending nursing school through Western Carolina University’s accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. She attends a satellite campus in Asheville, North Carolina. She is also an EKG technician at Mission Hospital in Asheville, and volunteers at Young Life, an outreach program for middle and high school students. May says, “My message to anyone who is discouraged about their ambitions: Do not give up!” Wade Rothrock (2013) proposed to Leah Villareal (2016) shortly after HPU’s 2016 Commencement ceremonies in Hayworth Park. The
couple was married on Jan. 14, 2017, at Loray Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina. Jacob Talkington (2013) graduated in May 2016 from Duke University’s School of Nursing. He is now working in the emergency department academy with Cone Health in Greensboro, North Carolina. Kellie Canosa Thomas (2013) married Matt Thomas on June 20, 2015. She is a senior marketing specialist at Cushman & Wakefield, one of the world’s largest commercial real estate firms, in Charlotte, North Carolina. In her position, Thomas handles all of the company’s capital markets and multifamily deals in the Carolinas. Tyler Yusko (2013) is a sales manager at Yelp in New York City. Ashley Gass (2014) is a benefits advisor at Zenefits in Tempe, Arizona.
Ben Gjebre (2014) and golf legend Arnold Palmer are two of only three graduates of Greater Latrobe High School to win the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League individual golf title. Gjebre won the title in 2009 and Palmer won in 1946 and 1947. Katherine Hynes (2014) is an associate energy underwriter at SwissRe, a top reinsurance company and a Global Fortune 500 company located in Houston, Connecticut. In her position, Hynes is responsible for underwriting and pricing property insurance policies for mining companies in South America, Africa and North America.
Carmen Jackson (2014) is pursuing her law degree at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Morgan Lambert (2014) is an assistant producer and marketing coordinator at Producers, a video production company in Baltimore.
Ethan Winter (2014) is the sports editor and reporter for the Berkshire Record, a small weekly newspaper serving southern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. Anthony Zirker (2014) is a model builder for Legoland parks in Florida. In his position, Zirker helps create miniature scale models and life-sized organic models for Legolands around the world. Brittany Bonato (2015) is a temporary services coordinator at White House Nannies in Bethesda, Maryland.
Abigail Parsons (2014) is engaged to Christopher Hickey. They will be married on June 17, 2017. Parsons works at John Hancock Investments in Boston, Massachusetts. Jennifer Pearson (2014) is a graduate researcher at the University of Virginia. David Rad (2014) is the assistant principal and director of studies at Bishop McGuinness High School in Kernersville, North Carolina. He is also the youth minister at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church in High Point. Rad received his bachelor’s degree from HPU in 2011 and his master’s degree in 2014. Kevin Russell (2014) is the director of team and event operations at Gazelle Group in Princeton, New Jersey. In his position, he assists with overall event operations for the company’s high-profile college basketball events. He also assists coaches and administrators with scheduling, travel arrangements and other logistics. Chelsie Skroback (2014) is a freelance weekly columnist for the Times-News in Twin Falls, Idaho. In her position, Skroback writes front-page feature stories on people of the community for a weekly publication called The Messenger.
Grace Brinkley (2015) is the social media coordinator at Hilton Worldwide in Addison, Texas. Brinkley found the job through a campus presentation by HPU alumna Megan Hennessey, who manages all social media for Hilton Worldwide. Brinkley says, “I couldn’t be happier with my new position and I am proud to work for such an innovative company alongside a fellow HPU alum!” Laura Chitwood (2015) is a legal administrative assistant at Kellogg Huber Hansen Todd Evans & Figel PLLC in Washington, D.C. Zachary Cocroft (2015) is a sales development representative at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence, a leading global provider of information technologies that drive productivity and quality across geospatial and industrial enterprise applications. Located in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, some of the company’s clients include Boeing, Ford Motor Company and NASA. James Farmer (2015) is a marketing and video representative at Wilkes Communications in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. He works alongside HPU alumnus Adam Foster to create short documentaries, commercials, TV shows and more for all Wilkes Communications customers.
CLASS NOTES Callie Klinkmueller (2015) is a communications and program coordinator at North Dakota State University Research and Technology Park in Fargo, North Dakota.
Erica French (2015) is pursuing her Doctor of Occupational Therapy at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Tom Gisin (2015) is a BOC certified athletic trainer for professional physical therapy, a USAW weight lifting coach, and an NASM corrective exercise specialist. In the clinic, Gisin assists physical therapists with rehab exercises and provides proper exercise technique to the patients. He also took a position with Harrison High School in Harrison, New York, as a strength and conditioning coach. Gisin provides athletic training coverage for local high schools and colleges in Westchester County. Kelly Hardesty (2015) is pursuing her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Zachary Hynoski (2015) is the communications and marketing manager for Habitat for Humanity in Toms River, New Jersey. In his position, Hynoski manages the organization’s social media and web content in addition to developing volunteer, donor and homeowner cultivation strategies. While he was studying strategic communication at HPU, Hynoski was an active member of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and served as the chapter president for 2014–15. He says, “Starting my career in a position that is inclusive of my love for service and my academic major is truly a blessing.” Kenneth Irgens (2015) is a project manager at Verizon Enterprise in Cary, North Carolina.
Jules Leppert (2015) is a senior account executive for Octagon, a sports and entertainment agency in Chicago. In her position, Leppert oversees the company’s BMW account and plans BMW events across the central region. Will Peterson (2015) and Ashley Angle Peterson (2016) were married in May 2016. They live and work in Denver, Colorado. Will is a senior account executive at Bradsby Group, an executive search firm, and Ashley is a front office manager at Keller Williams. Zachary Russell (2015) is pursuing his master’s degree in sport science with a focus in athletic training at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. He has worked with the United States Olympic Training Center covering numerous sports. He also served as the athletic trainer for the U-20 National Ultimate Frisbee team in the 2016 World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) World Junior Ultimate Championships (WJUC) in Wroclaw, Poland. The team won the gold medal in the championship. Loren Safille (2015) is attending medical school through the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.
degree in human sciences through the school. Katherine Albrecht (2016) is an associate merchant at Northern Tool and Equipment in Burnsville, Minnesota. Anthony Boucher (2016) is a sales assistant at CalAtlantic Homes in Charlotte, North Carolina. Brittany Breese (2016) is a business development representative at VMWare in Austin, Texas. In her position, Breese creates relationships with future clients and acts as a liaison between sales representatives and customers. Zoey Chittick (2016) is a resident hall coordinator at Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. Kingsley Floyd (2016) is a youth transitions fellow at The National Council on Independent Living in Washington, D.C. Samantha Hitchcock (2016) works at Townsquare Interactive in Charlotte, North Carolina. Rebecca Irons (2016) is an integrated marketing contractor for Aquent, Lowe’s Home Improvement and PureRED in Mooresville, North Carolina. Mayeesa Mitchell (2016) is an assistant media buyer at Horizon Media in New York City.
John Siciliano (2015) is an assistant project manager at Nielsen Builders in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
Paul O’Donoghue (2016) is an administrative liaison for the town of Franklin, Massachusetts. He is also studying at Bridgewater State University to become certified to teach secondary mathematics.
Cara Sinicropi (2015) is a brand strategist at Redhype in Greenville, South Carolina.
Briana Timberlake (2016) is an associate account executive at BGB Group in New York City.
Whitney Young (2015) is an admissions counselor for Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. She is also pursuing her master’s
Kasey Turner (2016) is a behavioral interventionist at Aces in Hawaii.
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HIGH POINT UNIVERSITY
BILLY QUICK High Point University celebrates the life of Special Olympian and HPU employee Billy Quick, who passed away in 2016.
High Point University celebrates the life of longtime HPU professor Dr. James “Jamie” Stitt, who passed away in 2016.
Quick was a special part of HPU’s Campus Enhancement team. He also had a long career with the Special Olympics as an athlete, advocate and leader. He competed in many marathons and was part of the first U.S. team to run in the Havana, Cuba, marathon in 2000. In addition to competing as an athlete, Quick traveled the nation and world, speaking about how Special Olympics changed his life. Through his travels, Quick met many celebrities, including Muhammad Ali, U2’s lead singer Bono, Whoopi Goldberg, Eric Clapton and many more.
Stitt joined the university in 1969 as a history professor and remained a cornerstone of the institution for the next 47 years. He served as chair of the history department, chief faculty marshal, an advisor to Alpha Chi Honor Society and chair of the faculty council during his tenure. As faculty marshal, Stitt carried the processional mace during Convocation and Commencement proceedings. HPU recognized his commitment to students with the Meredith Clark Slane Distinguished Teaching-Service Award.
Quick served on the boards of directors for Special Olympics North Carolina and the 1999 Special Olympics World Summer Games. Friends remember his ability to break down barriers and bring a smile to anyone’s face. “Billy’s caring spirit and smile were known throughout our campus,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president. “We were blessed to have him as a member of the HPU family and will always remember his passion for life.”
DR. JAMES STITT
He held a doctorate in history from the University of South Carolina, a master’s from the University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s from HPU. In 2006, Stitt published a book, “Joint Industrial Councils in British History: Inception, Adoption, and Utilization, 1917–1939.” He was active in the Canadian Studies Association and served as chairman of the Economic and Business History Society for many years. “Dr. Stitt was a respected member of our family for more than four decades,” says Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president. “He left an indelible mark on our institution and mentored many students over the years.”
BILL WOMBLE High Point University celebrates the life of esteemed lawyer and community leader Dr. William F. Womble, who passed away in 2016. Womble was the longest serving member of HPU’s Board of Trustees. As a 1939 graduate of Duke University School of Law, he was a partner at the law firm now known as Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice in WinstonSalem, North Carolina. He represented the city of Winston-Salem and other clients during that time. He served his country in the Army Air Corps during World War II and later served as a member of the North Carolina House of Representatives in the 1950s. Womble held many leadership roles throughout his life, including terms as president of the Forsyth County Bar Association, the North Carolina Bar Association and the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, remembers Womble as a superior lawyer and friend. “Dr. Womble was a dedicated attorney who created significant impact in his community,” says Qubein. “We will remember him always and appreciate his deep devotion to High Point University and our mission to prepare students for the world as it’s going to be.”
PLATO WILSON High Point University celebrates the life of philanthropist and businessman Plato Wilson, who passed away in 2016. Wilson, a faithful member of HPU’s Board of Trustees, Board of Advisors and a distinguished citizen of High Point, was known for his passion for the furniture industry and the city of High Point, North Carolina. Wilson enjoyed a 40-year career in the furniture business and traveled to more than 96 countries in his lifetime. His generous giving to HPU was over $10 million, most of which was in support of the Plato S. Wilson School of Commerce, and the Plato and Dixie Wilson Endowed Scholarship Fund. Among other achievements, Wilson was inducted into the American Furniture Hall of Fame, received The Salvation Army’s highest “Others” award, and authored and published an autobiography, “A Dream to Sell.” Dr. Nido Qubein, HPU president, remembers Wilson’s devotion to the city and university. “Plato Wilson reminds us all that success in America is possible when you have faithful courage and a passionate commitment for your work,” says Qubein. “The lives he touched will continue to benefit richly from his experience.”
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High Point University is ranked the #1 Best Regional College in the South for five consecutive years and the #1 Most Innovative Regional College in the South for two consecutive years by U.S. News & World Report.