JCSU Graduates Largest Class Ever
T H E Q U A R T E R LY N E W S L E T T E R
ALUMNI & FRIENDS
J O H N S O N C. S M I T H U N I V E R S I T Y
Largest Class Ever
For the Johnson C. Smith University Class of 2003, the future looks as bright as their mothers’ smiles
and the sunny Sunday morning when they walked across the stage to receive their diplomas — the
best Mother’s Day gift yet. Equipped with excellent academic, leadership and service training from
JCSU, this group —the largest graduating class ever in the history of the University — is prepared to
succeed at whatever they set out to do.
During the ceremony, President Yancy acknowledged the many
ow that he has graduated with a bachelor’s degree in
accomplishments of the Class of 2003. JCSU graduates are going to
marketing from Johnson C. Smith University, Derek Epps
top-notch graduate programs and receiving career opportunities in
of Arcadia, CA, is ready to conquer the world. “I am excited
major corporations worldwide. “At this juncture, you must create
about the possibilities of what I can do with my degree,”
a new map of understanding, new ways of thinking and solving
he said with a big smile.
problems of the past that impact the present and your future,”
Epps is one of 237 students who graduated with bachelor’s
degrees at the University’s 136th commencement ceremony on
The ceremony’s commencement speaker was Christopher P.
Sunday, May 11. On a warm Mother’s Day morning, the Class of
Gardner, president and CEO of Gardner Rich & Company, Inc. in
2003 became the largest graduating class ever in the history of JCSU.
Chicago, IL. Gardner’s path from living
The University conferred 103 bachelor
in a subway restroom to becoming a
of arts, 118 bachelor of science, and 16
millionaire has gained national attention
bachelor of social work degrees. It was
and was heard in a 20/20 special on ABC
the first year that JCSU presented degrees
News. After a chain of circumstances left
in Spanish and Sacred Music.
him without a job or home, Gardner
“This is a moment to be cherished,
found himself and his baby son on the
and it will be forever etched in your
streets yet still determined to fulfill his
memory bank,” says Dorothy Cowser
dream of becoming a broker. Based on
Yancy, Ph.D., JCSU president. “Know that
his life experiences, Gardner had two
this is the time for you to take charge of
words for the Class of 2003: “persistence”
your life and your future.”
Epps knows exactly where his future
“Persistence—it’s what’s going
is headed—Ft. Lauderdale, FL. He has
to separate the guy that makes it from
landed a job in the management trainee
the guy who couldn’t,” Gardner said.
program at Ernest & Julio Gallo Wineries.
In 1989, Gardner founded his own
While at JCSU, Epps spent most of his
Derek Epps, 2003 JCSU graduate, proudly reaches for his diploma.
brokerage firm and eventually became
summers interning and much of his spare
a millionaire—all because he was persistent. “I had no choice,”
time in the Office of Career Services. “I am very fortunate to have
he said, “so you can stay where you are or you can choose to
had this opportunity,” he said, “and I owe it to the preparation and
rise. I chose to rise.”
assistance that I’ve received at JCSU from professors and staff.”
Commencement was not only for graduating seniors, but also
In Fall 1999, many faculty and
for the young and active at heart. During the ceremony, Gardner
staff welcomed the Class of 2003,
received an honorary degree for his commitment to using his life
which was also the largest freshto be of added value to youth and communities across the country.
man class in the University’s
Mrs. Sarah Belk Gambrell, humanitarian and dynamic community
history. JCSU experienced
leader, was also the recipient of an honorary degree. She served as
the enrollment jump one year
a dedicated member of the JCSU Board of Trustees from 1978-2002.
before its nationally-recognized
As the Class of 2003 prepared to walk into their destinies,
laptop initiative became operPresident Yancy charged the graduates to keep their eyes on the
able. Along with a list of other
prize of success and to remember JCSU as the road that helped
history book recordings, this
them make it there. “Your support and faith are needed to embrace
class is also the last group
the history and heritage of this great institution, and we ask that
to know JCSU before and
you always hold high the gold and blue,” she said.
Christopher P. Gardner, 2003 Commencement Speaker
Rev. Dr. H. Beecher
Hicks, Jr. Inspires
With a soul-stirring message, “Mark the
Spot,” the Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr.
gave Johnson C. Smith University seniors a
great deal of inspiration before the big
day. An annual tradition at JCSU, Senior
Baccalaureate is the first opportunity that
graduates have to formally wear their
robes, march together into the church and
mentally prepare for Commencement.
Rev. Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr., senior
minister of the 6,000-member historic
Metropolitan Baptist Church in
Washington, DC, was the keynote speaker.
He shared a message that left the entire
audience standing on their feet by
encouraging students to remember what
they’ve experienced and to let their
victories lead them to their future.
“Wherever you were,” Hicks said,
“when you were accepted to Johnson C.
Smith University—mark the spot; when
you passed a class that you thought you
failed—mark the spot; when you thought
you couldn’t pay for tuition and a relative
sent you unexpected money—mark the
For more than 25 years, Dr. Hicks’
leadership has developed Metropolitan
into one of the world’s foremost Christian
congregations. Metropolitan’s four
subsidiary corporations, church
administrative offices, school and over 60
ministries, comprise a workforce of nearly
100 persons, making it one of the
community’s largest faith-based employers.
In November 1993, Ebony Magazine
honored Dr. Hicks as one of America’s
“Fifteen Greatest African American
Dr. Hicks’ daughter, Kristin Elizabeth, is
a 2003 JCSU graduate. “I have never
missed an opportunity to speak during my
children’s graduations, and I am proud to
be a part of this service at Johnson C.
Smith with my daughter,” he said.
A Family Affair
When Clinton Funderburk Moore ’03 accepted his diploma in May, he joined the
ranks of the fourth generation of his family to graduate from Johnson C. Smith
University. He’s now taking a global approach to walking in their footsteps.
t’s been more than 100 years since Clinton
Funderburk Moore’s great-grandfather
attended Johnson C. Smith University.
Carrying on the family tradition and proud
of it, Moore is now a fourth generation Smithite
with some giant shoes to fill.
Moore, who attended preschool at JCSU,
could have potentially gone anywhere he chose,
but he applied to two
schools—Johnson C. Smith
University and Morehouse
College—and was accepted into both. “I was strongly encouraged to attend Johnson C. Smith,” he says
smiling, “but I didn’t mind because I knew firsthand the end product of a Smith education. I have a
successful path to follow.”
Moore’s path starts from a long lineage of
accomplished JCSU graduates. His great-grandfather,
Lewis Funderburk, attended the school when it was
named Biddle University in the late 1800’s. William
L. Funderburk ’15, his grandfather, was the first
African-American in Lancaster, SC, to receive a BS
degree. Dr. William Funderburk ’52, Moore’s uncle,
graduated magna cum laude, went on to medical school, became a
surgeon and ultimately founded the first ambulatory hospital owned by
an African American. His mother, Dr. Maxine Moore ’65, who is now
Dean of the Honors College at JCSU, was married with children when
she graduated summa cum laude and class valedictorian. And his aunt,
Louilyn Hargett ’53, wife of Trustee Emeritus James Hargett ’52, graduated summa cum laude with three majors in three years as valedictorian
of her class. Two other uncles, John Funderburk ’70 and Henry
Funderburk ’86, returned to JCSU and graduated.
“So you see I’ve got a lot to live up to. My family is so wellspoken, intellectual, charming and successful. I want to emulate
that success,” Moore says.
For him, growing up with a family full of alumni not only meant
hearing countless Golden Bull stories during holidays and reunions, but
it also meant that Moore had to find a place at JCSU that was his own.
“Even though I was blessed, it was far from easy,” he says, “It’s
almost like I had to prove that I could be successful at Smith on my
own merit.” Moore has taken advantage of the opportunities he has
received at JCSU to the fullest.
In addition to being an Economics major, an Honors College
Clinton Moore explores a new culture during his
travels to Oaxaca, Mexico.
student, a campus leader and a third generation member of the Rho
Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc, Moore has traveled the world
while at JCSU. As part of the Russian Language and Culture Program
(RLCP), he went to Russia in 2001. RLCP is a proficiency-based instructional program, designed to improve and expedite the acquisition of
Russian language and cultural knowledge through a series of language
study and practice opportunities. Then, he lived in Mexico for two
months and was immersed in the culture and the language.
“I fell in love with the Spanish culture—the
sights, sounds, language, smells, food and the
music. It’s just intoxicating,” says Moore.
He now speaks Spanish fluently and is competent in Russian. “I’m ready to travel abroad again.
I want to retire in Spain,” says Moore. The experiences that he gained while he was a student at
JCSU has led him to think globally. Next year, he
plans to combine law and graduate schools to
study International Law and Latin American Studies.
Eventually, he wants politics—to be Governor, then
President. “It’s going to happen,” he says.
Moore understands the opportunities to pursue
his interests in international studies and global economics would not be possible without the support
he received at JCSU. He tapped into the heart of the University’s vision
to help students think and understand on a global scale.
When he graduated, Moore received lots of advice from his family
of alumni about his next steps. “My mother just told me ‘Don’t stop
here,’ and I have to honor that,” he says. He’s looked back at his heritage and realized the sacrifices his family made to enter the realm of
success, and he has to do the same.
He shares his philosophy, “For every goal I achieve, for every
victory I gain, there must be some type of sacrifice to merit my success.
So if I strive to be successful in whatever God may give me, it will
merit the greater things I will receive.”
Receiving a diploma from JCSU is just the beginning for the
motivated young man. Now, Moore must carry on the tradition that
his great-grandfather started—not just the JCSU custom, but the tradition
of establishing a legacy of which future generations can be proud.
Moore, whose family endowed a scholarship last year, knows
that he will always remain connected to Johnson C. Smith University
because of what was given to him. “Life isn’t about us—it’s about
the progression of the world. I must contribute ten times as much
as I’ve been given,” he says.
2003 Commencement Recap
JCSU Choir Performs in Bahamas
& WORLD REPORT
Among the Best
in the Nation
Johnson C. Smith University continues
to be heralded as one of the best small
colleges in the nation as evidence of this
year’s “America’s Best Colleges Guide
2004” just released by U.S. News and
World Report. JCSU advances to 22nd
place in the top tier among the best
southern comprehensive colleges and
soars to number two among the best
values in the South. JCSU was ranked
24th and 17th respectively in these
categories last year.
“We are extremely proud to be listed
in the top tier with other great
institutions in the country. Our
advancement in these rankings is a
testament to the hard work of our
faculty, administrators, staff and
students,” says Dorothy Cowser Yancy,
Ph.D., JCSU president. “Johnson C. Smith
is committed to academic excellence and
to giving students the competitive edge
they will need to be successful upon
The U.S. News rankings are based on
several key measures of quality, which
fall into seven broad categories:
assessment by administrators at peer
institutions, retention of students, faculty
resources, student selectivity, financial
resources, alumni giving, and graduation
rate performance. JCSU ranked
especially well for its small classes,
percent of full-time faculty and financial
resources. According to U.S. News, “best
values” universities such as JCSU provide
quality academic programs and cost
considerably less than other schools
when financial aid is taken into account.
“We hope the rankings will be an
opportunity for prospective students and
their families to take a look at the
excellent education that Johnson C.
Smith provides,” says Yancy.
JCSU was recently listed in Black
Issues in Higher Education’s “Top 100
Degree Producers 2003,” ranking 37th in
the nation among higher education
institutions awarding Computer Science
degrees to African-American students.
The University also ranked 45th in the
nation in awarding English degrees. In
both instances, JCSU ranks higher than
any other private institution in North and
he Johnson C. Smith University Concert Choir shared its gift
of music and left a lasting impression across the nation this
year. With dozens of performances each semester, the choir
performed in Cleveland, OH and Sumter, SC and several
local events including the MLK Celebration for the City of Charlotte
and the United Negro College Fund’s “A Mind Is” gala. Of major
significance was the 2003 Spring Tour, an annual event for the choir
during spring break. The choir traveled to the Bahamas to participate
in the 12th Annual Southeastern
African-American Collegiate Music
Festival and made a spring tour
out of the visit with scheduled
performances throughout the
islands. During the festival, the
choir performed with other
universities including Fisk, Florida
A&M, South Carolina State and
Morris Brown College and had
the opportunity to perform for
the Governor General. As part of
the tour, the choir visited schools
and churches on several islands
including Freeport, Lucaya and
Nassau. They spread the JCSU
story through song to hundreds of people who were excited to
know more about the University. “We appreciate the support of
our president, faculty and staff, and alumni throughout the country
who are loyal to JCSU and the choir by continually asking us to
perform each year,” says Bruce Thompson, JCSU director of music.
For a copy of the 2003 performance schedule of the JCSU
Concert Choir, visit out web site at www.jcsu.edu or call
JCSU Band Gets Down at Arena
he building process
for a new Center
City arena, the
home of the NBA’s
Charlotte Bobcats, has
officially begun. An outdoor
celebration with live music,
games, entertainers, a
monster truck and a live
blast kicked off the
beginning of construction.
But of major significance
was the JCSU Marching
Band, also known as the
of Sound (IIOS), whose
performance left a lasting
impression with the
Golden Bull Academy Adds Value
to the Freshman Experience
CSU welcomed more than 300 incoming freshman and their
parents to campus during the annual Golden Bull Academy.
Participants received helpful information on topics such as
academics, campus safety, student services and financial aid to
help make it a smooth transition from high school to college life at
JCSU. The crowd also had lots of fun and entertainment during their
visit. Golden Bull Academy gives students who will be attending in
the Fall an early start to learn about educational opportunities and
expectations at JCSU. This is the third year the school has
implemented the orientation program.
President Yancy Delivers
VSU Commencement Address
he season of graduation speeches offered JCSU President
Dorothy Cowser Yancy the honor to address more than
600 graduates at Virginia State University’s 117th
Commencement. “Leadership is not about grabbing
power,” she said. “Leadership is about empowering other good
people to do good for the larger community. You are the leaders
of your generation, and it is to you that the torch is passed.” In
President Yancy poses with Dr. Ronald C. Johnson, rector of VSU
Board of Visitors.
Thinkpad U Goes Wireless
ohnson C. Smith University will be different this Fall. While the
University has been recognized as one of the “most wired” small
colleges in the nation, it’s now taking a different approach —
Thinkpad U is going wireLESS.
“Wireless means that any space can become a classroom,”
says John Norris, JCSU director of information technology.
“Students will have access virtually anywhere
Beginning Fall 2003, every student
at JCSU received a brand new IBM
ThinkPad R40 Model equipped
with the latest software and
Whether a student is
doing research in the
library or needs to
email an assignment
to a professor before
class, they can do
so with just one
click of a button—
becoming a wireless
campus adds a new
dimension to JCSU’s
“Most people think this kind
of thing only happens at larger
universities,” says Monica
Simpson, a senior, communication
arts major, “but it’s proving that we’re
making our mark in education with these
monumental steps in technology.”
Three years ago when the initiative began, students could
access the campus-wide network and the Internet through data
ports in every building on campus. The wireless component will
eventually allow students to connect anywhere, including outdoors,
on campus. Walls, wires or data ports will no longer serve as a
barrier between students, their laptops and the information highway.
“Going wireless actually makes the laptops more useful,” says
Norris, “because students will enjoy more freedom from room to
room to work on projects and assignments.”
The wireless project, supported by a Title III grant to strengthen
the University’s infrastructure, will occur in two phases. Phase I
allows all academic buildings including the library, classrooms and
the Student Union to have wireless access. When students walked on
to campus in August, they were able to log on to the campus-wide
network and the Internet in these facilities. Dorms and
administrative buildings will be outfitted with the wireless
technology during Phase II, which begins in October 2003.
Not only will there be wireless capabilities,
but also the new, upgraded laptops are
equipped with the latest operating
system, Windows XP. This system
better supports the wireless
capabilities, says Norris, and
is the most current
product on the market.
This is the first year
since the laptop
initiative began there
has been a full
across the board.
faculty and staff
will have the
receive full training
on all of the new
that JCSU offers. “Going
Johnson C. Smith
University’s commitment to
technological innovation and
to helping our students stay on top
of the learning curve,” says Dorothy
Cowser Yancy, Ph.D., JCSU president.
Several universities across the country including
Seton Hall, Wake Forest and Virginia Union are using the wireless
innovation in some aspects.
While the wireless laptops have arrived, Norris is already
thinking about the future. He believes the next wave of
technological advancement is in sight, which involves integrating
new tools like palm pilots, personal digital devices and pocket PCs
into the academic curriculum.
“We’re always thinking about how we can improve the
academic experience for our students through the use of
technology,” says President Yancy. “That’s what’s going to
continue to make our students competitive upon graduation.”
JCSU is One of Three Universities
to be Elected to Science
laboratory research and travel grants. ORAU now has 88 member
ak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) has elected three
institutions and nine associate members, which are found in 25
new institutions to its consortium including associate
states plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and London.
member Johnson C. Smith University along with members
Imperial College of Science, Technology, and Medicine in
“Since the consortium’s inception in 1946, ORAU has led the
London and Ohio State University. JCSU is one of only eleven
way in bringing together government and academia to further our
knowledge of science
and continue to
expand our nation’s
in the country to hold
technology infrathis distinction.
structure,” said Dr.
Smith is proud to
become a member of
ORAU is a
ORAU. It is a valuable
OAK RIDGE ASSOCIATED UNIVERSITIES
resource to help us
strengthen our focus
on research,” says Dorothy Cowser Yancy, Ph.D., JCSU president.
of major research institutions to advance science and education
by partnering with national laboratories, government agencies and
Among the benefits of joining the ORAU consortium, member
private industry. ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science
and associate institutions take part in scientific research programs
and Education for the U.S. Department of Energy.
sponsored or administered by ORAU and benefit from internships,
Poet Maya Angelou
More than 300 guests gathered to
hear celebrated poet and author Dr.
Maya Angelou as she lead the firstever Maya Angelou Women Who Lead
Luncheon. Held at Johnson C. Smith
University, the benefit for the United
Negro College Fund raised more than
$50,000 in its first year.
Four women leaders who have
made outstanding career
achievements, while also making
significant contributions to their
communities, were honored during
the luncheon: Emma Allen, senior vice
president at Bank of America; Candace
Graves, foreign service officer for U.S.
Department of State; Wilhelmenia
Rembert, chairperson for the CharlotteMecklenburg Board of Education; and
Andrea Stinson, starting guard for the
WNBA’s Charlotte Sting.
During the event, two students
each were presented a $5,000
scholarship. India Simpson, of
Charlotte, is a graduate of Vance High
School and attends JCSU as well as
Diandria Martin, of Charlotte, who
attends Livingstone College. Additional
proceeds will benefit all UNCF
member institutions including the six
located in North Carolina: BarberScotia College, Bennett College, JCSU,
Livingstone, Shaw University and St.
Congratulations to Mildred Demetri ’68
of Charlotte, who entered the winning
name for the new and improved alumni
newsletter. The newsletter has been
officially named The Johnson C. Smith
University Bulletin and will be published
quarterly in October, January, April and
July. We hope you enjoy the fresh new
look, interesting feature stories and the
consistent news you need to keep up-todate. We would also like to extend a
warm thank you to all alumni who
submitted names for the newsletter.
September 17 @ 7:30 PM
Introspection: Leading From
Where You Are
Jack S. Brayboy Gymnasium
October 8 @ 7:30 PM
DON MAGER, PH.D.
Book Launching and Poetry
Reading: The Elegance of the
Jack S. Brayboy Gymnasium
October 20-31 @ 4:00 — 7:00 PM
CYNTHIA C. COLE, MA AND
HASAAN A. KIRKLAND, MFA
Faculty Exhibit: A
Women’s Visions and
Making a Soul Effort
James B. Duke Memorial Library
November 4 @ 7:30 PM
The Color of Water: A
Meditation on Identity
Jack S. Brayboy Gymnasium
Pilot Training Programs at JCSU
Could Have Positive Impact on
Closing the Gap for Minorities
and Dislocated Workers
hree years ago, Johnson C. Smith University (JCSU) was
awarded a $750,000 grant from the United States
Department of Labor (DOL) to identify gaps between area
employers’ needs and the skill level of the available
workforce. After compiling and analyzing data, the results of three
pilot training programs show a potential impact on the workforce
development skills of minorities and dislocated workers in the
This grant, the largest single grant ever awarded to JCSU by the
DOL, was one of more than $14 million in grants to 13 minority
colleges and universities. Its purpose was to create a partnership of
community leaders to identify employers’ needs and to develop new
systems to train workers for high-skill jobs in areas where
companies are facing labor shortages.
“As one of this country’s oldest and strongest historically black
universities,” said Haseeb Ahmed, Ph.D., associate professor of
finance, “we were in a unique position in the Charlotte community
to provide leadership in closing skill gaps for minorities—not only
for African Americans, but also for Hispanics and Asians.” The grant
targeted workers who were employed but needed to upgrade their
skills, as well as dislocated workers, the underemployed and
JCSU established a consortium of area leaders to address skill
shortages in the area. With input from the partnership, JCSU
completed a business and community audit. Armed with data, JCSU
staff designed and developed pilot training programs which will
have a positive impact on three critical areas of workforce
development: Limited English Proficiency, Information Technology
and Teacher Licensure.
The “Stepping Up” Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Program
targeted the largest segment of the basic skill workforce—those from
Spanish speaking countries. The LEP program was designed for
adults whose language skills needed improvement to communicate
effectively in the workplace. Also taught were skills in leadership,
team building, problem solving, data gathering and computers. This
program was especially effective for those who had earned
credentials in another country that were not transferable to the U.S.
The program not only improved speaking skills, but also
emphasized understanding the meaning behind the language.
The Information Technology Program offered comprehensive
computer training to develop skills necessary to get and keep jobs
and then to ensure that each participant was employment ready.
Adult students were trained in hardware, web design and office
products. This program complements and enhances the existing
programs offered in the community because it serves persons who
might otherwise not get training due to barriers that exist regarding
race, class, location and times for classes.
To respond to the critical shortage of licensed teachers, a Fast
Track Teacher Licensure Program was created to provide a stateapproved and nationally accredited teacher education program. The
major advantage was that JCSU provided evening and weekend
classes—allowing entry teachers the opportunity to complete the
professional block of courses in one semester and a summer.
This workforce development grant has positioned JCSU to be a
major provider of workforce training in the Charlotte area. Based on
the measurable results of the pilot programs, the University is now
available to consult with area businesses to “custom-design” training
programs to fit specific employer needs on a “fee for service” basis.
As funds become available, JCSU intends to expand the pilot
models to full training programs for businesses, organizations and
individuals. According to the DOL’s Federal Project Officer, JCSU has
done an exceptional job in meeting the goals of this grant initiative.
The University has been invited to post their success on the DOL’s
“Promising Practices” website.
November 11 @ 7:30 PM
CHRISTOPHER WEISE, PH.D.
Recital: Eclectic Electric
Jane M. Smith Memorial Church
J CSU has been busy
over the summer
upgrading a few of the
buildings on campus to
make our students’ stay
even more enjoyable. Here
are some of the highlights:
Biddle Hall —
expected to reopen in
Locker room showers
renovated; walls and
ceiling repainted; installed
new tile walls and floors
Carter Hall —
repairs to roof, fascia,
soffits and rafters; new
gutters; replastered and
Davis Hall and
Perry Hall —
Repaired doors and entrance to the bridge
Duke Hall — Replaced all windows and carpet; porch roofs
repaired; new gutters
Education Building —
waterproofed to eliminate leaks
Windows and ceiling
semester; all home
football games with
the exception of
be played in the
Jane M. Smith
Church — Complete inside renovation; roof and gutter
systems repaired; repaired water damage; new paint; resurfaced
Liston Hall — Have begun to replace 40-year old roof
McCrorey Hall — Modernized with new windows, doors,
wiring, a new ceiling and central air conditioning and heat
Upward Bound Brings University
Experience to More Than 100
High School Students
crime has occurred on campus, and Rene Kimray’s forensic
science class has analyzed the scene. Although the crime
has been staged, the lessons that these Upward Bound
students receive at Johnson C. Smith University are real.
“This program gives students a chance to take more advanced,
college-prep courses,” said Kimray, an Upward Bound Forensics
instructor and an outreach educator at Discovery Place. “I’ve seen
students who did not have a great deal of confidence before they
entered the program take flight
and gain a deeper appreciation
for science and for themselves.”
Each year, more than 100
students from area CharlotteMecklenburg high schools
participate in the Universityhosted Upward Bound Program.
The federally funded program
gives high-potential, low-income,
first-generation college students a
glimpse of college life.
Kendra Jones, a rising junior
who’s been in the program for
three years, took six classes a day
and lived in Myers Hall as part of
her Upward Bound Math and
Science experience. In Forensics,
she had to collect DNA samples,
hair fibers and determine blood
types in order to solve a mock
crime. The class also included a
visit to the morgue and crime lab.
Not only are students
involved in intensive academic instruction, but also through Upward
Bound, they get a real taste of college life. During the six-week
Residential Summer Program, students are provided room and board
Jones said during the summer program, “You’re in charge of
you. You have to learn how to cooperate, live with other people
and manage your time wisely.”
Tia Golden, a rising junior at Independence High School,
aspires to be a pediatric surgeon and believes that Upward Bound
gives her opportunities that she wouldn’t otherwise have to help her
reach her goals.
“Many students don’t have the same chance to gain these new
experiences. I feel very fortunate,” said Golden.
Through college visits, assistance with entrance exams and
financial aid applications and career counseling, students like Jones
and Golden are prepared to make the transition from high school to
JCSU recently received two grants by the Department of
Education totaling more than $500,000 each year to continue the
Upward Bound and Upward Bound Math and Science Programs for
the next four years. It is one of only two institutions in North
Ying Bai, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of
Computer Science and
An innovative, hands-on textbook by
Professor Ying Bai gives students at
Johnson C. Smith University what they
need for IT success.
Rene Kimray, forensics instructor, and an Upward Bound student analyze the crime scene evidence.
Carolina to receive funding for the Upward Bound Math and Science
The University has been successful in its Upward Bound
program since its inception in 1971 and the Upward Bound Math
and Science Program since 1995. Each year, 99 to 100 percent of the
graduating seniors complete the program and go on to college, said
Magdalyn Lowe, JCSU Upward Bound director.
Students receive services year round through the academic year
and summer components. Lowe believes this exposure to the real
college life experience is good preparation for the students. “We are
excited to have the additional funding because it means that we can
continue what we’ve begun, which is to ensure that students finish
high school and are successful in completing college,” said Lowe.
Renowned Author Challenges
very author hopes to have a literary piece that changes the
world. Darwin McBeth Walton—notable author and educator
— achieved her goal through a book that has shifted the way
children see color.
In the early 1970’s, Walton recognized a lack of literature on
the contributions of African-Americans. Teaching at a predominately
African-American elementary school in Chicago during that time
prompted her to do something about it.
“There just wasn’t much available to share with my students,”
says Walton. “In order to create good self images, I believe our
children need to know about our rich history.”
To fill in the gaps, Walton taught many of her lessons from
Ebony magazines using assorted cut-outs of people, places and
stories. She wanted to show her students more positive images
Her passion for dealing with the issue emerged through her
writing, and in 1973, Walton had her first book published. Her
landmark book, What Color Are You? published by Johnson
Publishing Company, was one of the first pieces about diversity
to be used in the public schools. It describes the purpose of skin
and the cause of various skin colors. The book also discusses
the fact that skin color has no effect on basic human needs and
“The book made it easy for teachers to speak to the fact of
differences in color,” says Walton. Now, countless educators are
using Walton’s book to address tough issues with children.
What Color Are You? was not the first book Walton wrote,
but she says it is the one that truly inspired her to continue to be
a positive force in the education of children and parents. Her other
books include Overcoming Challenges and Dance, Kayla.
Walton, who attended Johnson C. Smith University in the 1940’s,
lives in Illinois and remains in education at National Louis University.
She continues to write and talk about the multi-cultural and diverse
society in which our children are growing up.
“All of our children are entitled to a fair education. Young
teachers should work hard to keep our history alive in the schools
for our children,” says Walton.
Out of her love for JCSU and impressionable young minds,
Walton has donated several of her books to the James B. Duke
Dr. Ying Bai, JCSU assistant professor of
computer science and engineering, has
taken a practical approach to a complex
language—computer programming. His
first textbook, Applications Interface
Programming Using Multiple Languages: A
Windows Programmer’s Guide, was just
recently published and is gaining national
recognition as an indispensable tool for
programmers, software engineers, college
students, researchers and professors.
“Before I came to Johnson C. Smith, I
had never written a book,” says Bai. “But I
realized that our students needed
something that was more organized, and
the only way to do that was to develop an
example-oriented book that students could
His textbook is the only one of its kind
and is a hands-on, example-packed tool
that guides readers through everything
they need to know about interface
multiple languages in Windows. With a
CD-Rom included, each chapter has
working examples to solve real-world
Bai teaches four to five classes each
semester at JCSU and uses the new
textbook to help students understand
programming using multiple languages.
His textbook is also being used by other
computer and engineering professionals
across the country. He has two more
books that will be published in the near
future including Mastering Electronics Via
Labs and Serial Port Interface Handbook
Bai has published more than ten papers
in journals and conferences, and his
research interests include software
engineering, mix-language programming,
automatic and fuzzy logic control, robotics
control and calibration as well as accurate
Bai received his BS and MS degrees
from Tsinghua University and Beijing
Institute of Technology, China in 1983 and
1987 respectively. He studied at Robotics
Center at Florida Atlantic University and
earned his Ph.D. in 2000. Before joining
JCSU, Dr. Bai worked as a senior software
engineer at different companies in the US
and successfully developed many projects
in industrial fields.
Bishop John H. Adams ’47, a senior
bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal
Church, former president of Paul Quinn
College (1956-1962), and currently
Resident Senior Bishop of the Seventh
Episcopal District, recently received the
honor of having the Administration
Building (formerly known as Price Branch
Building) at Paul Quinn College dedicated
in his name.
David M. Dupree ’48 was recently
awarded the Elder Watson Diggs Award
during a ceremony at the Capitol Conclave
of Kappa Alpha Psi. The award recognizes
Dupree’s commitment to community
service, accomplishments as famed coach
and educator as well as his dedication and
service to his fraternity, both locally and
Jim Richardson ’49, former N.C.
Legislator and Mecklenburg County
Commissioner, was recently honored
as his name was affixed to the U.S. Post
Office at University Park in Charlotte.
It is the latest show of appreciation for
Richardson, a retired postmaster who built
a reputation as a political bridge builder.
Tweety Stewart ’60 retired in May 2003
after 43 years in education in Bessemer
City, NC. A veteran language arts and
social studies teacher, Stewart has
instructed and influenced hundreds of
Janice Tate Gresham ’64, organist,
has been selected to accompany Singer
Deyonne Douglas for a special presentation in Bermuda. She has also had the
honor of accompanying one of the original Hall Johnson Singers, Nell Henry.
Luther Carter Jr. ’75 has achieved
the designation of “National Conference”
by Allstate Insurance Company for
his superior standards in profitability,
customer satisfaction and customer
retention. He has also won the prestigious
Honor Ring Award for being a top
producer of sales in auto, property,
commercial and life insurance.
Roderick L. Sanders ’81 has been
promoted to assistant vice president and
Operations Team manager for the Atlantic
Region by Bank of America. Before his
promotion, Sanders was implementation
coordinator for Middle Market Treasury
Cary Mitchell ’83 has been selected as
a consultant to the newest NBA franchise,
the Charlotte Bobcats, on the design of
the team’s uniforms. Mitchell, who has
designed clothing for high-profile athletes
including Tiger Woods, Tim Duncan, Ken
Griffey, Jr., LeBron James, Yao Ming and
Emmitt Smith, will join with Chicago-based
NVU Productions, Reebok and the NBA to
develop the club’s
2003 Distinguished Alumni
Each year, Johnson C. Smith University recognizes its outstanding alumni for a variety of reasons.
1) JCSU alumni are among the leaders in their chosen professions and are those to whom the University
turns for assistance in ensuring the integrity of its programs. 2) Recognizing talented and successful
alumni reaffirms that they, like many before them and thousands to follow, give life to the legacy and
contributions of JCSU. 3) The most accomplished alumni represent what it is JCSU does well at its best,
and for that the University is grateful.
This year, Johnson C. Smith University appreciates the accomplishments of two distinguished alumni.
Dr. David M. Dupree
Class of 1948
Class of 1963
Dr. David M. Dupree graduated from JCSU in 1948 with a B.S. in
Natural Science and Physical Education. While attending JCSU, Dupree
was starting full back on the varsity team for three years and also
played as a linebacker. In 1958, he received his masters degree from
New York University (NYU). After working hard for many years in the
community, public education and higher education, Paine College
awarded Dupree an honorary doctorate in 2001.
Dupree is best known for his outstanding career as a coach.
A 1992 inductee into the Georgia Hall of Fame, Dupree coached at
Laney High School in Augusta for 26 years, leading the football team
to three state titles and two undefeated seasons. His track team won
two state titles. Dupree has coached noted athletes who later became
professional football players including Robert Wells, George Harold,
Robert Taylor, D. Emerson Boozer, E. Chip Banks and Curtis Rouse.
Dupree acknowledges the role that JCSU has played in his success
and remains connected to the University. His involvement as alumni
chapter president and his active support of the University is an
outstanding tribute to his alma mater.
At JCSU, Sidney Glee was a member of Kappa Alpha Psi
Fraternity, Inc. and graduated cum laude in 1963. Glee spent his
professional career as a public administrator in Washington, DC
for 29 years prior to his retirement. His most notable job was his
appointment by Mayor Marion S. Barry as the Director of Public
Glee established the first Public Housing Tenant Management
program for the city. He was given the highest award a member of
the executive branch of the DC government could receive, “The City
Council Resolution Award,” for his outstanding service to the Public
It was at JCSU that Glee met his wife, the late Lydia Pearl Smalls.
He was married to Lydia for 36 years prior to her death. One of Lydia’s
desires was to assist other students from her old community to attend
JCSU, so Glee endowed a scholarship in her name. Glee credits JCSU
for preparing him for many of the accomplishments that he has
achieved. As a symbol of his appreciation to JCSU, on Lydia’s and his
40th class reunion, he has endowed a second scholarship in his name.
A Life That Continues to Give
r. James H. Costen, Sr. ’53 personifies service and ministry to
humankind because of his commitment to bettering the lives
of people throughout the world. His death on April 11, 2003
has left a tear in the hearts of friends and family; however, his
life continues to be an example for us all.
Costen’s call to ministry led him to Johnson C. Smith
University in 1949, and he continued his education at
Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (JCSTS) and
then at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary.
His pastoral career began at the Mt. Pisgah
Presbyterian Church in Rocky Mount, NC. He also
served as a leader of a Presbyterian Church in Elm
City, NC where he experienced his first civil rights
encounters. His leadership facilitated the removal
of barriers of segregation in cities and towns in
eastern NC. Costen later founded the Church of the
Master in Atlanta, GA in 1965. This church was one
of the first interracial congregations in the city.
In 1969, Costen became the first president for
JCSTS after its relocation to the Interdenominational
Theological Center (ITC) in Atlanta. While serving 14 years
there, he visited Kenya for the first time and was genuinely
motivated to educate its students. He offered scholarships to
students of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) to attend
JCSTS/ITC. He has been recognized as expanding educational
opportunities for the Presbyterian Church by raising funds to build a
library, student and faculty housing and other facilities as needed. In
1998, he began to lead group tours to Kenya twice annually in order to
enlighten others of the mission work of the PCEA.
His accomplishments include being elected Moderator of the
195th General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church USA, the
denomination’s highest elective position; serving as chairperson for the
General Assembly Permanent Nominations Committee, Southeastern
Regional Council and the Minority Taskforce on Reunion; as well as
sitting on the Boards of the Fund for Theological Education and the
United Negro College Fund.
Costen, and his wife, Dr. Melva Costen ‘53, have strong devotion
to JCSU and have given in love and gratitude because they believed
the University gave them the tools to succeed in all the areas they set
out to pursue. In 1997, Costen and his wife established a $40,000
endowed scholarship as a profound statement of their commitment
and love of their alma mater. Over the years, the Costens’ philanthropy
to JCSU exceeds $100,000.
During an interview with he and his wife in 2000, Dr. James
Costen shared, “Our only regret is that we could not have done more.”
Costen has touched so many lives through his ministry, his service and
his support for the organizations he loved so dearly. His legacy and
spirit continues to be a blessing to future generations.
Dr. James P. Green
A Missionary in His Own Right
ames P. Green, M.D., ’48, has always been interested in the health
and welfare of people—young and old—in his local community.
However, his latest project is taking his compassionate efforts to a
Green, who’s almost 80 years old, has created what some may
think is a medical miracle in a product he refers to as the
Overindulgence Formula. This drug has been approved by the Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) and is a vitamin-packed tablet that
relieves symptoms of upset stomach due to
overindulgence of food and alcohol.
The drug, also referred to as the
“hangover pill,” has been patented as a health
food formula that protects the stomach and
intestinal track. A significant number of studies
show that the drug minimizes symptoms of
nausea, heartburn and fullness. “In other
words, it has the effect of an antacid—only
better,” Green says. “When the drug is used
prior to, people are relieved from the regular
symptoms of a hangover.”
Needless to say, when his sons were in
college, their friends were big fans of Dr.
Green and his new remedy. “Years later, they’re still coming around
asking for some of those tablets,” says Green with a chuckle.
The pill is not only taken for overindulgence, but Green says it
can also be used as an energy-producing supplement. He is currently
partnering with a national company that will begin to supply and
distribute the tablets all over the country. “This is a safe and effective
product that can be used in several ways, and I hope it will be a
benefit to society,” he says.
Green has been a physician with his own private practice in
Henderson, NC for more than 30 years. Through his practice, he’s
been able to care for the needs of hundreds of families, but his
commitment to helping the less fortunate is so strong that he has
reached out in other ways.
After recognizing the need for improved health care for minorities
and low-income families in his community in the 1960’s, Green
secured two, former hospitals and transformed them into nursing home
facilities. Since then, he has developed new health programs, opened
skilled nursing homes in Oxford and Warrenton, NC, and established a
housing complex for low-income families called Green Acres.
But what Green is most proud of in his professional career is his
development of stable health delivery systems in rural areas, which
has aided hundreds of families and children. “It’s one of the nicest
things I’ve accomplished, and I take real pride in it,” he says.
Green is recognized for his stellar medical
career and his contributions to those in need near
his hometown, but he is quick to point to his
education at Johnson C. Smith University as the
building block to his success. With a desire to train
as a foreign medical missionary, Green came to
JCSU in 1944 because of its deep-rooted, spiritual
“Johnson C. Smith had a warm, small
atmosphere that was conducive to helping me reach
my goals,” he says. Growing up in a Baptist church,
Green believes the University helped broaden his
During this year’s alumni class reunion, Green
celebrated his 55th anniversary as a graduate of JCSU. He still visits
almost every year during either Homecoming or Commencement.
“I’ve seen a lot of positive growth at Johnson C. Smith,” says Green.
“It’s increasing in excellence and training for students and preparing
them to enter the world.” His loyalty to JCSU remains strong.
Green is married with three children. While Green says his wife,
Carolyn, was a big influence on his children attending other
universities closer to home, Green says, “but they all hold Johnson C.
Smith in high regard, and because they know me, they know what
kind of graduates Smith produces. “
Green is now semi-retired yet continues to make the world a
better place—one mission at a time. When asked how he wants to be
remembered 100 years from now, Green reveals one simple phrase
taken from an old, familiar Negro spiritual, “May the work I’ve done
speak for me.”
Alumni Reach Participation Goal
ongratulations to all Johnson C. Smith University alumni! You
did it. You have achieved the highest participation rate in the
history of JCSU—18% of alumni contributed to the University
during the 2002-2003 fiscal year. The JCSU Family extends a
very big THANK YOU to each of you. It is your support that helps
make JCSU the great place that it is. Let this success serve as a catalyst
to even greater participation. Our goal is to reach 22% alumni
participation this year.
2003 Alumni Weekend
This year, Alumni whose class years
ended in three and eight celebrated
Class of 1948
Wilbur Ray Mapp ’86 has been
commissioned to join in the production
of a television documentary to bring
awareness to the making and implementation of the landmark Amistad legislation
in New Jersey, which is now a national
campaign. Mapp owns and operates a
publishing company called Purpose
James Saunders ’86 was honored as
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
Golf Coach of the Year. His Golden Bull
team finished as runners-up to FSU in this
year’s CIAA Golf Championship.
Paula Eaton Orr ’88 has been
appointed by Governor Mark Sanford to
serve on the Medical University of South
Carolina Board of Trustees. Dr. Orr
attended medical school at Wayne State
Medical School (1992), and completed
residency at Cook County Hospital in
Chicago. She currently has a thriving
OB/GYN practice in North Charleston, SC.
Cheris F. Hodges ’99 has released her
first romance novel, Revelations, published
by Genesis Press, Inc. This is her second
published novel, and she is scheduled to
have a third release, Cautious Heart, in
February 2004. Hodges has been writing
fiction for 10 years.
Michelle E. Vigil ’00 recently received
a Master of Science degree in Biology
from North Carolina A & T. Vigil is currently seeking a Ph.D. at North Carolina
State University. She has given birth to a
daughter, Rachael Artanzia Thornton, on
April 11, 2003.
Alicia Nicki Washington ’00 has been
selected as a 2003 fellow in the Harriett G.
Jenkins Predoctoral Fellowship Program
(JPFP), which is sponsored by the National
Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Washington is a Ph.D. student at North
Carolina State University.
Cheronda Ford ’01, of Lockheed
Martin, has been selected to receive an
Emerald Honor for Student Leadership by
Career Communications Group, Inc. The
award celebrates the often-unheralded
contributions of minority women in
science and technology.
Trustee Charles Kennedy ’59 and his
wife, Willie, were honored by the United
Negro College Fund with its President’s
Award at a banquet in New York.
The couple has helped raise more than
$2 million over the past 11 years for
the college fund.
Sheila Council recently received the
Columbia Leadership Award during
Commencement at Columbia Theological
Seminary, where she received the Master
of Divinity degree. The award is given
to a student who demonstrates unusual
leadership qualities as well as spiritual
depth and integrity.
Golden Class of 1953
Class of 1958
Class of 1968
Class of 1973
Class of 1983
Class of 1988
Class of 1963
Silver Class of 1978
Class of 1993
*Dr. James B. Costen 1953
*Willie T. Smith
*James A. Clarke
Richard J. Jackson
James E. Reese, Jr.
Brooks D. Thomas
*Depicts a correction from Spring 2003 Newsletter.
Determination, hard work and
motivation were the ingredients that
built shining athletes for this year’s
spring sports. Tennis, golf, track and
field and softball reflected the true
talents of athletes.
Join us for Homecoming 2003!
oin your friends and classmates for
Homecoming 2003 at Johnson C. Smith
University the weekend of October 10-11.
Your Homecoming brochure should be in
your mailbox soon. We’re looking forward to
seeing you in October!
If you have any questions about the regis-
tration process or homecoming events, contact
the Office of Alumni Affairs at (704) 378-1026.
F o ot b a l l G a m e
JCSU vs. Livingstone College
Saturday, October 12, 2003
H ot e l Ac c o m m o d a t i o n s
Adam’s Mark Hotel
555 South McDowell Street
Charlotte, North Carolina 28204
Men’s Tennis Five Time CIAA
The men’s tennis team won
the Central Intercollegiate Athletic
Association (CIAA) Championship for
the fifth consecutive year by shutting
Johnson C. Smith University’s 2003 Championship Men’s Tennis Team
out Shaw University. Tim Hunter
was named Rookie of the Year while
Christopher Lee was named Most
Valuable Player. Michael White, Tim
Hunter, Larry Holmes Jr., Christopher
Lee and Maurice Rahman were selected
for the All CIAA Team. The women’s
tennis team finished fourth, and
Ronata Strong was selected to the
All CIAA Team.
JCSU held its first dual meet in the
Irwin Belk Complex with cross-town
rivals Livingstone College and Barber
Scotia College. This event turned out
to be a success. Terry Edwards, also a
guard for the women’s basketball team,
won second place in the high jump at
the CIAA Championships. Jihad
Muhammad provided great strength to
this year’s team as an outstanding
distance runner, competing in the 800
and 1500-meter races.
2003 Volleyball Schedule
The golf team captured a secure
second place in the CIAA Championships, just a few points behind
Fayetteville State University. Junior
Chris Parker was named to the All
This season was a rebuilding year
for the softball team. They lost ten key
players. Jessica Belin, a freshman from
Las Vegas, Nevada was the team’s
pitcher and a key asset. The team
looks forward to a promising season
SEPT . 25
SEPT . 30
OCT . 14
OCT . 17
* Tentative Fayetteville State (Away)
2003 Football Schedule
University of Charleston, WV
IRWIN BELK COMPLEX
IRWIN BELK COMPLEX
IRWIN BELK COMPLEX
IRWIN BELK COMPLEX
James Cuthbertson, Jr. and James
Saunders, Johnson C. Smith University
head coaches of tennis and golf
respectively, have been named 2003
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
(CIAA) Coaches of the Year for their
Saunders’ team finished runners-up
behind Fayetteville State University for
the 2003 Golf Championship. “It is a good
feeling to know that your peers recognize
you and your program, even without a
championship,” says Saunders. “Our goal
is to move this program in such a way that
next year we hope to become the CIAA
Cuthbertson, who in only his eighth
season at the helm of the men’s and
women’s tennis programs, has taken them
to unprecedented levels. His men’s tennis
team had an impressive conference record
of 14-0 this year, winning five of the last
eight CIAA men’s tennis championships.
This is Cuthbertson’s third consecutive
Coach of the Year honor and fourth overall.
“I am overwhelmed that my comrades
regard me and our program at JCSU with
such high esteem,” says Cuthbertson. “We
always try to do things the right way at
JCSU. We feel this is the best way to achieve
success in all of our future endeavors.”
Helen Caldwell, former senior woman’s
athletic administrator, has been named
Johnson C. Smith University interim athletic
director. Caldwell’s appointment was
effective August 25, 2003.
Caldwell has a solid background in
academics and athletics and has served
JCSU in several capacities for more than
10 years. She is currently an associate professor of Social Work. She was appointed
senior woman’s athletic administrator in
2001 to monitor gender equity issues and
female athletes’ conduct at JCSU.
“My experience with student athletes
here has been phenomenal. We have strong
coaches and students who are willing to
work hard, and I am certainly proud to be
part of this team,” says Caldwell.
Caldwell has served as advisor of the
Student Athletes Advisory Council and participated in Central Intercollegiate Athletic
Association (CIAA) Regional Leadership
Training. She played a key role in the policy
development for the CIAA during the first
championship of women’s tennis.
Caldwell says she is confident in her
abilities to do the job because of the mentorship of Dr. Catherine Wright, who was
the first female athletic director at JCSU.
In her new position, Caldwell will be
responsible for planning, managing and
supervising the total athletic program at
JCSU. She will supervise 13 sports, and
her duties will include overseeing budgets,
scheduling, fundraising, promotions and
keeping abreast of NCAA rules and regulations. Caldwell believes in her vision to
strengthen every component of the athletic
5 ThinkPad U Goes 7 Upward Bound
8 Class Notes
6 Training Programs 8 Distinguished
2 A Family Affair
4 JCSU Band Gets
1 Johnson C. Smith
4 JCSU Choir
Down at Arena
2 0 0 3
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address letters,photos,ideas,and concerns to:
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Editor ....................Stacey Gibbs
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Address Change / Alumni News Update
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