The Saint Augustine's University campus came alive with the sights and sounds of the holidays during the annual Circle of Lights tree-lighting ceremony Thursday, Dec. 1. The event is the University's way of acknowledging the beginning of the season and reinforcing its commitment to being good neighbors in the community. This year's Circle of Lights was particularly special for President Dianne Boardley Suber. The event coincided with her 12th anniversary at the University.
The trees, decorated by faculty, staff and student organizations, will be donated to local outreach organizations, including Wake County Human Services, Wake County Guardian Ad Litem, Lost Sheep Ministry and Interact.
The winners of the Circle of Lights tree-decorating contest were: first place, baseball team; second place, Campus Activities Board; and third place, the president's office.
Click here to see photos from the 2011 Circle of Lights celebration.
Thursday, Dec. 1, marked the 12th anniversary of Dr. Dianne Boardley Suber’s tenure as Saint Augustine’s University president. Suber, hired as the college's 10th president in 1999, made history as the first woman to lead the institution.
During her time at Saint Augustine's University, Suber, one of the longest serving university presidents in the state, has established her place in university history and earned regional, national and international attention for her achievements. Under her leadership, new programs of study were implemented, a new dorm was built, and students traveled to countries such as China, England, Mexico and Egypt to study.
Athletically, Suber brought football back to the University after a 37-year hiatus, and pushed for the construction of a new stadium on campus. In one of the most anticipated events of the school year, the football team played its homecoming game on campus in October 2011 before a huge crowd. It was the first football game ever on campus.
When Suber left her alma mater, Hampton University, to come lead Saint Augustine's University, it was important to her to be able to make an impact here.
"It was important to me not to be a president of a school, but to be a president of a school where I could make a difference," Suber said.
For Suber, it's her dedication to the students and preparing them for success that continues to drive her work at the University. Suber set up the "President's Chat Room," where she meets with students to discuss issues that are important to them. Students also have access to her cell phone number if they need to reach her outside of business hours.
Students recognize and appreciate Suber's efforts.
"Dr. Suber really believes in helping students, and she will take on anybody for you if you just look like you're trying to succeed," one student said.
Suber's often-quoted mantra is: "At the beginning of the day, it's all about potential; at the end of the day, it's all about results." After 12 years, the results of Suber's leadership are evident as she continues to position the University among the top historically black colleges and universities in the country.
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