Press Releases

Student Leaders Attend Obama Inauguration

A group of about 30 Saint Augustine's University students traveled to Washington, D.C., Monday, Jan. 21, to watch President Barack Obama be sworn into office for his second term.

Among the group was Student Government Association President John Newman, who called the inauguration a "very patriotic event."

"It was a different experience because I got to stand and witness history. It was my first time at an inauguration," Newman said. "It became even more special when I found out they had Lincoln's bible and Dr. Martin Luther King's bible (which were used as Obama took the oath of office)."

Click here to see photos from the students' trip.

Saint Augustine's University Welcomes New Chaplain


Nita Byrd joined Saint Augustine’s University Dec. 4 as the new chaplain. Byrd brings with her a passion for campus ministry and the Episcopal Church.

The Right Rev. Michael Curry, bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, asked Byrd to serve at Saint Augustine’s University. Byrd said she was ready and willing to take on the task.

“Before I received the call, I wanted to see more Episcopal college ministries at historically African-American campuses,” Byrd said. “It was dear to my heart because I have thought about wanting this option (for students).”

Byrd began her ministry work at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cary, where she served on the vestry — a lay elected governing body of a parish — was liaison for outreach, and worked with adult Christian education and the youth programs. Byrd completed internships at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Raleigh and St. Titus Episcopal Church in Durham. Byrd currently serves as assisting clergy at St. Ambrose Episcopal Church in Raleigh.

Byrd began to discern a call to ordained ministry while at St. Paul’s in Cary. She graduated from Duke Divinity School with a Masters of Divinity degree and a Certificate of Anglican Studies in May 2012. She was ordained to the transitional diaconate in June 16, 2012. Byrd also studied at Canterbury Cathedral in Canterbury, England.

Byrd was raised Baptist, but she was drawn to the Episcopal Church in 2000. It was the beauty of the liturgy drew her to the Church, Byrd said.

“The liturgy opens you to a new reality of the mystery of God,” Byrd said.

Byrd is starting a Canterbury Club on campus, which will give students an opportunity to ask questions about service and to learn about liturgy and the Episcopal approach to scripture — a three-fold approach of basing the spiritual journey on scripture, tradition and reason. The club will hold its first meeting at noon Sunday, Jan. 13, in the Historic Chapel.

Byrd is also hosting a four-week series on the transition to college called “Dessert Talk and Prayer.” The series, aimed at first-year students, begins Jan. 16. Sessions will be held at 6:30 p.m. weekly in Weston Hall.

Historical Marker for St. Agnes Approved

The North Carolina Historical Marker Commission voted 9-1 Tuesday, Dec. 18, to approve a historical marker commemorating St. Agnes Hospital and Nurses Training School. The marker will be erected in 2013 after a four-month design phase.

The hospital, on the campus of Saint Augustine's University, was founded in 1896 with the purpose of training African American nurses and to provide health care to the underserved African American population throughout North Carolina. For more than 50 years, St. Agnes was the only teaching hospital between Atlanta, Ga., and Washington, D.C., open to African Americans. The hospital closed in 1961.

Freshmen Packaged More Than 10,000 Meals for the Stop Hunger Now Program

Students at Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) know what it means to help others. In the MLK Conference Room, more than 100 students adorned in “I Am SAU” t-shirts and hair nets participated in the Stop the Hunger Now community service project. Within an hour, SAU students packaged 10,152 meals. Each package contained six meals.

The Stop Hunger Now’s meal packaging program is a volunteer-based program that coordinates the streamlined packaging of highly nutritious dehydrated meals comprised of rice, soy, vegetables, flavoring and 21 essential vitamins and minerals. The program targets school feeding and transformational development programs.

Dr. Jan Rivero, university relations director for Stop Hunger Now, stated that she would come back to Saint Augustine’s University in a ‘heartbeat.’

“Bringing our program to a university campus is always great,” said Rivero. “It brings students together and it creates team building and after today, I would absolutely love to come to Saint Augustine’s University again. I would do it in a heartbeat.”

Students were energized and excited knowing that they were helping numerous people.

“I feel honored to be here to help others,” said Akilah Jones, a junior from New Carrollton, MD. “This community service project means a lot. Giving back is the best feeling ever.”

Ann Brown, director of the Office of Community Outreach and Volunteerism, expressed what a great experience it was for the students to participate in the Stop Hunger Now program.

“What an awesome and fun experience our students,” said Brown. “The Stop Hunger Now program makes you feel like you are making a difference because you are physically packaging meals that will be eaten around the world. Our students made a difference and they were proud of their accomplishment.”

SAU Hosts Falcon Community Day

Saint Augustine's University | Press Releases | Page 4

Saint Augustine's University showed its appreciation for the surrounding community during Falcon Community Day, Saturday, Dec. 8, at Emery Gymnasium. Community members were invited to watch the men's basketball team take on Barber-Scotia College. Admission was free for the contest, and the Falcons did not disappoint the crowd, defeating Barber-Scotia 101-50.

At halftime, three local citizens were honored for their contributions in the community. Mary E. Sharpe received the community service award and Sterling Goodwin, founder of Metro Redevelopment, earned the community business award. Michele Grant, who was not present, was the winner of the community leadership award.

Click here for a full recap of the basketball game.

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