Press Releases

Saint Augustine’s College Educational Talent Search receives nearly $405,000

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The Saint Augustine's University Educational Talent Search Project has been selected to receive funding from the federal Department of Education. The college’s Educational Talent Search Project will receive a $404,981 grant for the budget period of Sept. 1, 2011, through Aug. 31, 2012. The program will be funded for five years.

The Educational Talent Search is one of the federal TRIO programs created by President Lyndon B. Johnson as part of his War on Poverty. TRIO programs include Upward Bound and Student Support Services, which is known as Academic Achievers at Saint Augustine's University.

The goal of Educational Talent Search is to provide students with the information and the tools they need to apply for and enroll in higher education. Saint Augustine's University’s program, which was established in 1970, serves low-income and first generation university students in Edgecombe, Nash, Halifax, Martin, Franklin, Vance, Warren and Northampton counties.

Ninety percent of the seniors who come through the program enroll in a two- or four-year college, or a trade school, said Antonio Stephens, director of the Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs.

Brandi Whitaker, a senior at Rocky Mount Senior High, and Xavier Bunch, a sophomore at Rocky Mount Prep, both say they feel they have an edge over their peers because they’ve participated in TRIO programs.

“(The program) taught me that I can’t be lazy,” Whitaker said. “You have to be determined, even if that means getting up early on a Saturday or giving up your summers.”

Bunch said he already knows he wants to major in business administration and work with computers like his dad. He said the program has taught him he has to be dedicated.

“If you are going to make a good life, you have to work hard,” Bunch said.

“Saint Augustine's University is committed to educating and preparing a new generation of leaders and change agents,” said President Dianne Boardley Suber. “The efforts of the Upward Bound and Educational Talent Search programs are in line with the University’s mission, and renewed funding from the Department of Education allows us to continue offering this valuable service to young people in northeastern North Carolina.”

About Saint Augustine's University
Saint Augustine's University, established in 1867, is a four-year historically black university in Raleigh, N.C. With an average annual enrollment of 1,500, the University offers 30 undergraduate degree programs in five academic divisions. Saint Augustine's University is accredited by the Commission on Universitys of the Southern Association of Universitys and Schools.

Photo caption: Rocky Mount Prep sophomore Xavier Bunch says the Upward Bound program has given him an edge over his peers in his university preparation.

Union of Black Episcopalians, city of Norfolk establish scholarship in honor of Rev. Joseph Green

altThe Union of Black Episcopalians and the city of Norfolk established a scholarship in honor of the Rev. Dr. Joseph Green, a 1949 Saint Augustine’s University graduate. The endowment fund was announced during a special tribute to Green at the Union of Black Episcopalians 43rd Annual Meeting and Conference, held June 27-July 1 at the Marriott Norfolk Waterside Hotel in Norfolk, Va.

The scholarship was established to honor Green’s contributions to the Episcopal Church and the Hampton Roads community. Green, who is a member of the University’s Board of Trustees and a former chaplain at the school, was pastor of Norfolk’s Grace Episcopal Church for 30 years before retiring in 1994.

Green has been a force in the community. He served four years on the Norfolk School Board, 20 years on the Norfolk City Council and 10 years as the vice mayor of Norfolk. Green was instrumental in establishing Tidewater Community University’s Norfolk campus, on which the administration building was named in his honor in 2009.

“Rev. Green has made significant contributions to the Saint Augustine’s University community as well as the Hampton Roads area,” said President Dianne Boardley Suber. “He serves as a wonderful role model for our students and is truly a living example of what we are teaching our students – to be change agents in their communities.”

About Saint Augustine’s University
Saint Augustine’s University, established in 1867, is a four-year historically black university in Raleigh, N.C. With an average annual enrollment of 1,500, the University offers 30 undergraduate degree programs in five academic divisions. Saint Augustine’s University is accredited by the Commission on Universitys of the Southern Association of Universitys and Schools.

College hosts YMCA High Hopes camp for fourth year

altThree hundred and fifty students have converged upon Saint Augustine’s University for the YMCA’s High Hopes summer camp. This is the fourth year Saint Augustine’s University has hosted the camp.

The seven-week camp serves rising first-graders through rising ninth-graders who live in the Southeast Raleigh area. The YMCA provides transportation to and from campus for the students.

The YMCA camp is one of the only camps in the area that offers physical activity as well as an educational program, said Dexter Hebert, the YMCA’s senior community outreach director. Camp participants will have access to golf, soccer, basketball, flag football and track and field clinics in addition to a reading and entrepreneurship programs. There will also be a leadership curriculum presented by the Raleigh Police Department.

The activities, meals and transportation offered through the camp would add up to about $181 per week, but the YMCA only charges $5 per week. The YMCA raises money to subsidize the true cost of the camp.

Housing the program on Saint Augustine’s University’s campus offers campers a glimpse at university life. Hebert said putting the youngsters in an environment where they see students “who look like them getting an education” helps them aspire to the same goals.

Campers aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits of the YMCA housing its program at Saint Augustine’s University. In the four years Camp High Hopes has been at the University, the YMCA has employed 100-150 St. Aug students during the summer.

About Saint Augustine’s University
Saint Augustine’s University, established in 1867, is a four-year historically black university in Raleigh, N.C. With an average annual enrollment of 1,500, the University offers 30 undergraduate degree programs in five academic divisions. Saint Augustine’s University is accredited by the Commission on Universitys of the Southern Association of Universitys and Schools.

Student short films to screen Saturday as part of "Freedom Riders" opening

altFour short films from Saint Augustine's University’s Film program will be screened as the opening to the PBS documentary “Freedom Riders” at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, at the Wake County Library in Cameron Village.

The students and the films featured will be: Porscha Lopes’ “The Realist of Patrick McDonald;” Miles Valentine’s “Believe It;” Craig Taylor’s “Mixed Emotions;” and Eric Barstow’s “Pickaninny.”

Saint Augustine's University film professor Ellen Shepard will host the library’s screening of the “Freedom Riders” documentary. The screening is free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.wakegov.com/libraries/events/freedomriders.htm

About Saint Augustine's University
Saint Augustine's University, established in 1867, is a four-year historically black university in Raleigh, N.C. With an average annual enrollment of 1,500, the University offers 30 undergraduate degree programs in five academic divisions. Saint Augustine's University is accredited by the Commission on Universitys of the Southern Association of Universitys and Schools.

David Shepard retires after 51 years at the College

altDavid Shepard recently retired from Saint Augustine’s University after working here for 51 years — 48 full-time and three part-time. But, Shepard’s time at the University began long before his first day of work.

Shepard was born on campus Dec. 1, 1938, at St. Agnes Hospital. And like his father, Shepard also grew up on campus. In fact, many of Shepard’s immediate family members spent time living and working on the Saint Augustine’s University campus.

It all began with his grandfather, Arthur Shepard, who worked for the University in several capacities. He kept guard as a night watchman, he fired up the boilers and kept heat in the buildings, and, as a farmer, he raised food and milked cows on campus. The dairy he helped operate was where the gravel parking lot is now behind the Martin Luther King Building.

The Shepard family lived on campus near Boyer Hall. The well they used for water is still there on the hill.

Before coming to St. Aug, Arthur Shepard lived in Asheville. The man he worked for there helped him get a job at the University.

“My granddaddy loved the University and the people that worked here,” Shepard said. “He raised his children here on campus and in the surrounding community, and all of them were in love with the University.”

Shepard’s father, Reuben, worked in what is now the Hermitage Building. Back when Reuben Shepard worked at the University, the building was the carpentry shop where he built furniture.

“When my father worked here, I loved coming back and forth here,” Shepard said. “I was excited to come here and work here as well.” In addition to his grandfather and father working at the University, Shepard’s uncle, and four of his siblings also worked here.

Shepard worked in Physical Plant, helping tend to the campus grounds and buildings. But, he also drove a bus for the University for 21 years. Throughout his time at the University, Shepard said he’s most enjoyed being able to help make university life a little easier for the students he met along the way.

“Some of them had problems, and they liked to talk to me,” Shepard said. “A lot of the time, I had experienced some things they had been through. I was able to help them. A lot of students come back now and tell me how much I helped them.”

Shepard’s philosophy is that it “doesn’t hurt to speak or to smile, or to let someone know you care.” Many people on campus will recall his familiar greeting — “Hello young lady” or “Hello young man.”

Now that Shepard’s working days at the University are done, he’s looking forward to enjoying retirement with his family, which includes nine children, 23 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. “For 48 years, I didn’t spend a lot of time with my family,” Shepard said. “I plan to visit with them and show them love.”

President Dianne Boardley Suber said Shepard left a mark “that says you were here, you gave, that you truly left it better than you found it.” “It’ll be different when you aren’t here,” Suber said. “It’ll be like a piece of history walked away.”

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