Successful APS NSLS Fast Pass Program Launch

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – Sixty-five students were inducted into the National Society for Leadership and Success (NSLS) customized online program offered in the Adult and Professional Studies Program (APS) at North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU). NSLS is an honor society and leadership program that aims to assist students develop their leadership skills and have a positive impact on their communities. It is the largest leadership society in the United States with over 1.4 million members and more than 700 chapters nationwide.

Students gathered online for weekly synchronous sessions each Thursday evening for nine weeks to complete the induction program. In addition to meeting the NSLS requirements, students engaged in community service activities, positively impacting the lives of those in need and demonstrating their commitment to social responsibility. Tanisha Reed, Director of Career Development, facilitated the students’ induction process and calls this inaugural effort “a success with excellent results and enthusiastic participation.” The success of this program highlights the commitment of NCWU to fostering leadership and career development among its students, preparing them to excel in their professional lives and contribute meaningfully to their communities. “Their dedication and hard work exemplify the core values of leadership and success, and I am confident that this experience will serve as a cornerstone to their future professional endeavors,” Reed said. Students value this unique opportunity and the environment that comes with it. Reginald Wilkinson, recent inductee, shares, “Having Reed as our sponsor and leader at NCWU has been great! She is awesome! I am truly thankful for this induction and being part of the NSLS community!”

What comes next for these inductees? During the Fall 2024 semester the NSLS chapter will resume, combining Traditional and APS students and celebrating the induction on November 20, 2024.

Khalil Robertson’s Leadership and Journey at NCWU

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – A true man of many talents, Khalil Robertson is a senior graduating from North Carolina Wesleyan University. Although he has a bright future ahead, he will be leaving NCWU with a touching and lasting impact. Robertson has been active on campus, supporting multiple student ministries, a leader for the Male Minority initiative developed on campus with NCICU, and has accepted a full-ride scholarship to Duke Divinity School where he will obtain a Master of Arts in Christian Practice (MACP).  

Recent graduate, Khalil Robertson, accepted a full-ride scholarship to Duke Divinity School.

Robertson is a prime representation of the personal, practical, and purpose-driven education that students receive at Wesleyan. He started attending NCWU in 2020, the first academic year held during COVID-19. This did not intimidate him from getting involved and engaged in the campus community as he tuned into Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) via zoom. During the spring semester, he began teaching Bible studies and attending Refuge Campus Ministry. He was instantly involved with campus ministries every Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Robertson was Assistant Chaplain to Reverend Barry Drum in 2020 where he had the opportunity to conduct a baptismal service. Upon Reverend Ferguson’s hire, the two formed an immediate bond and Robertson shares, “If it wasn’t for him I can say I wouldn’t be as confident in myself and ministry without him”. The preaching led to counseling and taking part in the worship teams. Robertson expresses “As a graduating senior, I have really enjoyed the community that I’ve been a part of in all the ministries, it’s really been a life changing experience for me, and I thank God for the relationships built with the Moore family, Word Tabernacle Church, Presence Church, Connect YTI, and so many others.” Rev. Ferguson responds, “I am proud of Khalil and excited for his future. He will make a positive, lasting impact wherever he goes and I am grateful that God allowed our paths to cross.”

As a member of Wesleyan’s Black Student Association, Robertson shares, “I got into a community that felt like my family away from home.” He took this further his sophomore year by creating an organization for black male students. Sprouting from the Male Minority Initiative with NCICU, Robertson established a vision, a board of gentlemen, and an organization called Black Men Winning, with the assistance of Tim Carmichael, Giavonne Minns, Yutaka Bell, Jonah Purnell, Jaydon Denmark, Tim Willis, and leader Rev. Russell Rouse, initial advisor. 25-30 men were inducted during their first ceremony in 2022. In the second year, Dr. Spragley assumed the role of advisor where he and Robertson expanded this group beyond campus and into the Rocky Mount Community. Robertson said he was inspired by Rouse and Spragley to “take a holistic approach in developing and empowering the members in a spiritual aspect by having Bible study, traveling to other churches, counseling members individually, and ultimately helping students find outside grants to help fund their education.” Dr. Spragley worked with NCICU, making it possible for members to achieve an additional scholarship as being part of the organization. This extended to etiquette workshops, mental health workshops, hosting inspirational guest speakers, taking part in city-wide panels, retreats, community service projects with Ripple Effects and St. John AME Zion Church, study hall sessions, registration workshops to ensure being on the right track for graduation, and hosting events such as: Ebony Speaker Ball, 7V7 Football Tournaments, Game Night Tournaments, Love Day, etc.! Through all of that, Robertson believes “being intentional is the number one value that I believe carries the organization to new levels. It’s what brings guys closer, makes members stronger, and inspires others to be part of what we’ve built.” Their motto is “A successful black man is one who can build a firm foundation with the bricks thrown at him.” He plans to remain involved in the ministry, but leaves the leadership to its current members and Dr. Spragley who states, “Mr. Robertson has proven himself to be a leader in the truest sense. His dedication to providing resources and opportunities to young men of color is an admirable skill set.”

Robertson’s future endeavors will be in the Master of Arts in Christian Practice Hybrid program at Duke Divinity where he looks to work as a high school social studies teacher for Wake County Schools, still actively preaching and pursuing to pastor in the CME Church. He concludes by sharing “I’m truly grateful for the support of my professors, the students, staff and faculty from the Wesleyan community, the many churches regardless of denomination, and my family for everything they’ve done for me the last four years; but most of all, I thank God for what he’s already done, what He’s doing right now, and for what He’s about to do!” 

Local Company Awards Nursing Scholarships to NCWU

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – SE&M Constructors, Inc., a Rocky Mount based, family-owned company for over 100 years, recently established the SE&M Constructors, Inc. Annual Nursing Scholarships at North Carolina Wesleyan University. “There is such a high demand for quality nursing in this region and NC Wesleyan is doing a great job of trying to fill that need. As a local company, we care about the communities we serve, so helping Wesleyan students further their education and careers in nursing seems like a tremendous benefit to all of us,” states Harry Bynum, Chairman of SE&M Constructors, Inc. and member of NC Wesleyan’s Board of Trustees.

The SE&M Constructors, Inc. Annual Scholarship will be awarded to NCWU nursing students enrolled to receive their Bachelors of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree. The number of recipients may vary annually depending on the number of nursing students applying for the scholarship. NCWU’s BSN degree prepares experienced registered nurses for advanced leadership, management, clinical, research and nurse educator positions. Dr. Evan D. Duff, President of NCWU, states “This is another example of how our community benefits from organizations who believe in the mission of North Carolina Wesleyan University. These funds will directly impact nursing students who will further their education to meet the needs of our local hospital and medical practices. It directly impacts the public health of Nash and Edgecombe counties.”

The scholarships will be awarded with a minimum of $2,000 and a maximum of $2,500. Applications for the scholarship will be administered through the Financial Aid Office. Students interested in applying for this scholarship may contact the NCWU Financial Aid Office by emailing

NC Wesleyan University Sends Off Class of 2024

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On Saturday, May 4, North Carolina Wesleyan University held its annual commencement ceremony at the Rocky Mount Event Center. The University celebrated 300 graduates, marking its 84th graduation.

The event was open to graduates, faculty, the platform party and guests of graduates where over 2,000 were in attendance. University Chaplain, Rev. Edwin Ferguson, gave the invocation, followed by a performance of the Star-Spangled Banner by alumna, Ms. Latisha Scott ’06.

President Dr. Evan D. Duff welcomed the crowd to the momentous occasion and congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments noting, “Your degree is provided by an institution which seeks not only to dispense knowledge and develop the habits for lifelong learning, but also expects its graduates to be responsible citizens, contributors to the common good and individuals who care about others. As we celebrate together, we acknowledge the obligations all of us have to help bring about a better world.”

Keynote Address

The commencement address was given by Dr. Kara Renai King, Vice President and Site Lead for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals – Rocky Mount facility. Dr. King delivers value to organizations through her servant leadership style complimented by her strong foundation in science, strategic mindset, and the ability to create an environment that fosters joy, creativity and innovation. Hallmarks of her leadership are building high performing teams, elevating leadership capability, and delivering results.

black female executive
Keynote speaker for 2024 Commencement was Dr. Kara Renai King, Vice President and Site Lead for Pfizer Pharmaceuticals

Dr. King sits on the board of Eastern University and the International Leadership Association (ILA). She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology from Hampton University, a master’s degree in Cell Biology & Biotechnology from University of the Sciences, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University.

Dr. King addressed the graduates stating, “You, the class of 2024, have shown remarkable adaptability and perseverance in completing your studies amid these unprecedented challenges. You have demonstrated that you are not only ready for the future, but that you are also capable of shaping it. You have proven that you are not only scholars, but also leaders, activists, innovators, and changemakers. You have earned the right to celebrate your achievements today.”

She went on to offer the Class of 2024 two things to keep in mind “Life is about continually discovering and developing yourself. To reach your own version of greatness, you will need deliberate attention, deliberate actions and a deliberate attitude. So, activate your GRIT.” GRIT being an acronym for Greatness Requires Intentional Transformation. She also encouraged them to “overcome your inner war.”

Dr. King ended with “There’s no need to look to your left or to your right nor in front or behind you—instead, everything you need to activate your GRIT is already inside you.”

After Dr. King’s inspiring speech, Mark Hinson inducted the Class of 1974 into the Golden Bishops Circle. The Golden Bishops Circle, affectionately known as GBC, was started in 2021 by the Office of Advancement in collaboration with University leadership as a way to honor graduates that have reached their 50th year as Bishop alumni. In creating the GBC, Wesleyan aims to keep the history of Wesleyan and the educational journey alive … to celebrate its past, honor its present, and inspire the future.

Student and Faculty Awards

Dr. Patricia Brewer, Professor of Education and Coordinator of Special Education, 2024 Exemplary Teacher Award recipient

Dr. Patricia Brewer, Professor of Education and Coordinator of Special Education, was presented with the 2024 Exemplary Teacher Award. This award recognizes excellence in teaching and promotion of student learning, civility and concern for students and colleagues, commitment to value-centered education, service to students beyond the classroom and service to the larger community beyond campus.

Candela M. Diaz Babilani, Algernon Sydney Sullivan award recipient

Candela M. Diaz Babilani received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan award, which honors a senior who best exemplifies excellence in character, leadership, service to the community and a commitment to spiritual values. This humanitarian award is meant to recognize those who have selflessly given to others or served others in some way. 

Ms. Babilani is a Political Science graduate from Argentina who has distinguished herself on the Wesleyan campus and in the community by her leadership of the Worldwide Welcome Team for international students at North Carolina Wesleyan and by coordinating a number of Optimist International events on campus including a clothing drive to support families in crisis and efforts to provide supplies for the campus food bank.  She plans to work for a year before entering graduate school. 

Alexis May Reinert, President’s Cup Award recipient

The President’s Cup Award was presented to Alexis May Reinert, a senior who best exhibits those characteristics considered most desirable in a graduate.  Of particular importance is the attainment of the highest standards of academic performance as demonstrated by the overall grade point average at North Carolina Wesleyan University. The recipient is also chosen by the Honors Awards Committee.

Ms. Reinert is from Orrtanna Pennsylvania.  She graduated in December with a double major in Mathematics and Computer Science, and she earned the highest overall grade point average in the senior class while playing many roles on campus as a tutor, a leader in the Taylor-Crocker Honors Program, and a member of the women’s soccer team. 


Dr. Kara King was awarded a Doctor of Science Honorary Degree from NC Wesleyan University. This was presented to her from the graduating Pfizer interns, was recommended by the Honorary Degree Committee and approved by the Board of Trustees. In addition, NC Wesleyan’s ROTC program commissioned five graduates into the United States Army. These students took the oath of office from Major William Burgdorf. The newly commissioned Second Lieutenants include: Robert Augburn, Comaggio Brady, Cullen Davis, Joshua Denton, and Morgan Waters commissioned into the U.S. Army.

The event was live-streamed and recorded so family and friends who were not able to attend in person could celebrate with their students virtually. The recording can be viewed at and the University’s Facebook page.

NC Wesleyan Commencement 2024

24 Hours to Make A Lifelong Impact

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – On March 26, friends and alumni of NC Wesleyan will have an opportunity to show their Bishop Pride and support the University during its fifth annual, 24-hour day of giving campaign, A Day for Wesleyan. This is a day when all NC Wesleyan University supporters, particularly alumni, celebrate the University through donations to support its vision and its students. In a short period of time, donors to the campaign can help advance the educational experiences for all students, help invest in new technologies for learning, create more scholarship opportunities, allow students to grow into their purpose, and help build Wesleyan’s future in the region.

“The A Day for Wesleyan campaign this year is focusing on the emerging needs for the University. Supporting the Annual Fund, also known as the Wesleyan Fund, gives the university the flexibility to grant more scholarships and financial aid to students in need, create more internships within our business community, invest in relevant technologies for the library and classrooms, and provide more co-curricular activities for all students,” said Mark Hinson, Sr. Executive for Philanthropic Engagement. “All gifts on March 26, regardless of size, add up to make a huge impact!”

When asked about the importance of A Day for Wesleyan, NC Wesleyan President, Dr. Evan Duff, stated; “We hope that our alumni and the community will join us in showing their Bishop Pride and support this campaign on Tuesday, March 26. When alumni and friends of the University unite to share their passion for Wesleyan, amazing things can happen for this entire community.”

Help Wesleyan continue impacting this community while also providing its students with a personal, practical and purpose-driven education. Donors can learn more and participate in A Day for Wesleyan by visiting the secure giving website,, or by calling 252.985.5581.

Wesleyan Works Program Expands to Johnston Community College

North Carolina Wesleyan University partners with JCC to expand student transfer options and employee educational benefits

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – March 2024–North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU) and Johnston Community College (JCC) have signed an agreement which expands the educational opportunities of students who graduate with an Associate Degree through the Wesleyan Works program.

Wesleyan Works is a transfer program designed for community college students who plan to continue their education at NCWU. Students who earn an Associate in Arts (AA), Associate in Science (AS), Associate of Arts in Teacher Preparation (AATP), Associate of Science in Teacher Preparation (AATS), Associate of Engineering (AE), Associate in Applied Science (AAS), or Associate of Nursing (ADN) will have generous transfer credit of 75 hours and a clear definition of the courses that are transferrable from JCC to NCWU.  

These students will also have access to academic advising and financial aid counseling through NCWU. Students also have the option to participate in an accelerated Associate to Master’s degree program.

“Transfer programs are critical to our mission here at JCC and are the pathway to an accessible four-year degree for many students,” says JCC President Dr. Vern L. Lindquist.

“We are look forward to the opportunities this partnership opens up for our students and employees.” Lindquist adds.

“North Carolina Wesleyan University has had a long-standing focus on supporting community college students further their education. Because Johnston Community College seeks only the best opportunities to benefit their students and alumni, partnering with them made sense. We both value pathways to support student’s educational journeys that is affordable, practical, and purpose-driven,” says NCWU President Dr. Evan Duff.

The agreement also extends discounted tuition to employees of Johnston Community College who would like to pursue an advanced degree.

U.S. News & World Report Ranks NC Wesleyan Among Best Online MBA Programs

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University (NCWU) has been ranked among the 2024 Best Online Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) by U.S. News & World Report.

U.S. News assessed schools in the Best Online MBA Programs category based on a variety of objective factors, such as student engagement, faculty credentials, as well as services and technologies. According to their website, NC Wesleyan University was among more than 1,800 programs surveyed and only regionally accredited institution whose programs are offered mostly or entirely online were evaluated.

Professor Dr. Paul Ewell, Program Coordinator for the MBA program states, “Our MBA is more than a degree. It’s a gateway to the future of business.

“You’ll learn from the best and brightest in the field, and apply your skills to real-world challenges. You’ll also enjoy the flexibility and convenience of a program that fits your lifestyle and goals”, stated Ewell.

NC Wesleyan’s Master of Business Administration program is one of the most popular graduate programs at the University and was recently is one of the only private, non-profit universities currently offering an online MBA degree in the eastern NC region. The program is very affordable and offers many benefits including: rolling admissions with 100% online classes starting every eight weeks, finish in as little as 12 months, one-on-one mentoring, supportive faculty who have real-world experience offering applied assignments and career assistance. The program offers concentrations in Information Security, Executive Leadership, and Supply Chain Management. The program was also named by Forbes as One of the 10 Best Online MBA Programs of 2023! To learn more about admission requirements and curriculum information, visit

Prospective students can see how NCWU compares to other institutions and how the rankings are calculated on

About U.S. News & World Report

U.S. News & World Report is the global leader in quality rankings that empower consumers, business leaders and policy officials to make better, more informed decisions about important issues affecting their lives and communities. A multifaceted digital media company with Education, Health, Money, Travel, Cars, News, Real Estate and 360 Reviews platforms, U.S. News provides rankings, independent reporting, data journalism, consumer advice and U.S. News Live events. More than 40 million people visit each month for research and guidance. Founded in 1933, U.S. News is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

NC Wesleyan Placing Students’ Finances First

outdoor classroom with students sitting

ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – North Carolina Wesleyan University is proactively addressing FAFSA financial aid setbacks to meet the needs of our students and families. The University has announced it is moving forward and investing in its students in the midst of the continued federal delays.

“It is our commitment to provide students with a transparent and affordable financial aid package shortly after they are accepted. To uphold this commitment, we have developed a plan to help bridge the gap” stated President Duff.

The U.S. Department of Education announced, “The Department will begin transmitting batches of FAFSA information—known as the Institutional Student Information Record or ISIR—to these colleges in the first half of March.”

In an effort to be proactive, North Carolina Wesleyan University will be providing estimated financial aid and award packages starting in February. This initiative will streamline tuition and award packages, providing students assurance to financing their education, so they can make informed decisions. If students qualify for additional aid once the FAFSA is finalized, NCWU will adjust those student’s packages accordingly. 

Visit the Department of Education website for more details:

Information for students that have already been accepted and deposited

If you have already committed to attending NC Wesleyan, complete our 2024-2025 SAI Information Form to apply. You’ll need your NCWU Student ID to complete the form. An email will be sent from the Office of Financial Aid within 48 hours of receipt of your completed form.  An estimated award letter will be emailed starting mid-February.

Information for prospective students

For prospective students who are considering NC Wesleyan, APPLY TODAY and take advantage of this financial aid opportunity. Don’t wait on FAFSA, choose the University that takes care of their students NOW!

NCWU is the Pet-Friendly College for Animal Lovers

Research shows that pet ownership in the United States has significantly increased over the past three decades. In fact, according to Forbes Advisor, “As of 2023, 66% of U.S. households (86.9 million homes) own a pet.” Personally, it comes as no surprise with everything that has occurred in the last several years: the pandemic, rise in mental health and rate of inflation. So, what about college-bound animal lovers who own a pet and are looking for a pet-friendly college?

In the fall of 2023, NC Wesleyan University announced its plan to turn one residence hall into pet-friendly housing, thanks to a new program the University is piloting. This initiative allows students to keep their furry friends with them while living on campus, offering them the ability to still have access to the traditional campus life experience. One pet per student is allowed.

dogs on campus

The unique program has proved to be popular among students, as spots in the residence hall filled up quickly with the announcement. NCWU plans to move forward in the upcoming 2024-2025 academic year continuing to offer pet-friendly housing. The University’s pet-friendly housing policy is for dogs, cats and fish. Dogs must weigh under 40 pounds and have no history of aggressive behavior. All dogs and cats are required to be vaccinated against rabies and other transmittable diseases and be on anti-parasite medication. No animals may roam the campus unattended. Fish tanks are limited to 5 gallons in volume.

In addition to the joy and companionship they bring, pets also teach time and obligation management. A great remedy for anxiety and homesickness, they provide many students more structure in their daily routine, including exercise and time outside. Not to mention they can be a great icebreaker for making new friends.

At NCWU, we are committed to providing a safe and well-maintained environment for all students residing in pet-friendly housing. It is the responsibility of the pet owner to protect the rights of all students, ensure a safe and healthy living and learning environment, as well as practice behaviors that support the upkeep of university facilities and beauty of the campus. Students who bring a pet to campus are responsible for understanding and abiding by the regulations of the pet policy. Every pet owner is encouraged to carefully consider the advantages and disadvantages of the campus environment for their pet.

dogs pets on campus

By allowing resident students to bring their pet to live on campus, we aim to create a more balanced college experience and be the “Pet-Friendly College for Animal Lovers”. An environment that prioritizes health, wellness and connection.

If you’re a pet owner interested in college and can’t bear to leave your beloved animal companion behind, check out North Carolina Wesleyan University. The University’s Winter Open House is set for Saturday, February 3, 2024, and registration is underway. 

During Open House, students learn more about scholarships and financial aid, have the opportunity to speak with faculty and current students, gain information on the admissions process and can take a campus tour. You can learn more at

Magal Named Inaugural Souza Professor

In October 2023, Wayne Souza (Class of 1973) pledged a transformative gift to North Carolina Wesleyan University to advance the University’s nationally accredited program in Exercise Science. In 2021, the program moved into Wesleyan’s new Indoor Sports & Education Facility (ISEF) and recently has hired two new faculty members. The undergraduate degree in Exercise Science now accounts for NCWU’s second most popular major among traditional, incoming first-year students.

Dr. Meir Magal

“I have a passion to give back to my alma mater.  When presented this opportunity, it gave me a chance to not only give back and lend a hand, but to pull forward both NCWU students and boost an incredible program.” stated Wayne Souza in a recent interview.

This gift has allowed the University to launch a significant upgrade in equipment and facility. It also created the Wayne Souza Chair of Exercise Science. Dr. Meir Magal has been named the inaugural Souza Professor.

“I want to thank Mr. Souza for this very generous gift, I am honored to be named the Inaugural Souza Professor of Exercise Science! This charitable donation has allowed the Exercise Science Department to equip ISEF with cutting-edge resistance training equipment, enabling our students to gain invaluable experiential learning and research opportunities and engage in strength training with the University’s athletic teams.” expressed Dr. Magal.

Dr. Magal came to the United States from Israel to attend the University of Southern Mississippi where he played NCAA Division I Tennis and earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Exercise Science, as well as a Ph.D. in Human Performance. In 2002, Dr. Magal joined the faculty of North Carolina Wesleyan. In his 22 years at Wesleyan, Dr. Magal has won multiple awards including the Exemplary Teacher Award and the Jefferson Pilot Professorship. In 2011, he was named a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).  

Dr. Magal has authored or co-authored more than 20 peer-reviewed articles as well as numerous book chapters. He served as an Associate Editor on the 10th edition of ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription and as Co-Editor of the 6th Edition of ACSM’s Fitness Assessment Manual. In addition, he also serves on the Editorial Board of ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal and ACSM’s open-access journal, Exercise, Sport, and Movement.  He has been particularly active in mentoring research with undergraduate students, serving as Chair for more than fifteen senior honors projects and a co-author with undergraduate students on multiple papers and conference presentations.

He currently serves as Program Director and Professor of Exercise Science and as Chair of the School of Mathematics and Sciences.

Dr. Joe Lane, Provost of North Carolina Wesleyan, noted, “Dr. Magal represents the epitome of the engaged teacher, scholar and advisor whom we want to develop and highlight on the North Carolina Wesleyan faculty.  We are proud to honor him as the inaugural Souza Chair, and we look forward to the incredible work that he and his colleagues will accomplish with our students in the years ahead.”