WRAPPING 2020; COMING FALL 2021
What a year it has been! While 2020 had its complications with COVID-19 and shutdowns, it was also a year of triumphs and achievements. At Carolina University, we work steadfastly to persevere through the unknown, grow in our community, and develop a nurturing culture for our students, faculty, and staff. Thanks to the vigilance of those fore-mentioned, hard-working individuals, the infection rates at Carolina University were low. We were able to transition to an augmented learning environment with ease and speed. We remained open and practiced social distancing, mask-wearing, and clean environments. 2020 was a time of increased student enrollment and retention. Through it all, Carolina University has remained committed to quality, career-focused education at an affordable price while maintaining true to our mission: “A Christ-centered University committed to exceptional teaching, scholarly research, creative innovation, and professional collaboration.” We pride ourselves in providing education in support of progressive learning and the assistance of breaking down barriers that many first-generation students need.
In other news, we submitted the application for Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) accreditation. This is the regional body for the accreditation of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. This is a value-add to our already stellar reputation. News of the application is forthcoming.
Thanks to your generous support, we successfully achieved our Vision 2020 goal (carolinau.edu/giving/vision-2020). The $10 million raised during this campaign is geared to providing student scholarships, developing approximately 18 new programs, improving facilities, and hiring experienced faculty and staff. We could not do it without your commitment, and we are grateful. For more information and to make a gift, please visit carolinau.edu/giving.
Next, the 2021-2022 school year is sure to be an exciting one. We anticipate being back to “normal,” as some have referenced pre-coronavirus times. To parallel the growth of the student body, Carolina University will offer new degree programs including Computer Science, Computer Engineering, Biology, as well as Electrical & Electronics Engineering. We have also restructured the Bible & Ministry degrees for a clean pathway to incoming Piedmont Divinity School students. CU will offer the following:
- AA Bible
- BA Biblical Studies
- Master of Arts in Ministry (English, Portuguese, Spanish)
- Master of Divinity
Moreover, we are adding diverse, experienced faculty in disciplines including engineering, education, computer science and deaf studies. Our goal is to equip graduates for upward mobility by giving them competencies for success in the 21st-century economy. The revamped Ph.D. in Leadership program combines research and theory with practice, and now boasts of a faculty that would be the envy of an ivy-league school.
On April 24, 2021, Carolina University held its 74th Commencement Ceremony at Salem Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, NC, relocated from the scheduled outdoor event at Truist Stadium due to inclement weather. CU celebrated 130 graduates from the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 due to COVID-19. With graduates inviting two in-person guests, there were approximately 200 attendees at each ceremony. It was a blessing to have people together in a lovely setting on a memorable day. Additionally, the commencement was live-streamed; the on-demand videos are now available at vimeo.com/showcase/8437712. Photography courtesy of LifeTouch Special Event photos and available at events.lifetouch.com/carolinau.
President Charles Petitt and Chancellor Steve Condon noted several honorees. First was Emmanuel Konneh, a remarkable star goalkeeper, student, and friend with a beautiful smile and humble spirit.
A tragic accident the second week of school took him from this world. CU celebrated his life with his father, mother, step-mother, younger brother, coaches, and teammates by awarding him Carolina University’s historic first degree. The moment was commemorated by providing a Carolina University soccer goalkeeper jersey with his high school number, 40.
Also honored were Dr. John and April Lindsey, longtime leaders at John Wesley University. John served as Vice President of Academic Affairs as well as Dean of the School of Ministry. April was the university librarian as well as in charge of institutional effectiveness. Given their profound impact on students and the institution, it was fitting they received the last of the John Wesley degrees. Carolina University has created the “John & April Lindsey Scholarship Fund” for students. All funds collected to honor the Lindseys are intended to assist with removing barriers that face students attending Carolina University. Please contribute and add a comment at carolinau.edu/giving/honoree.
The next honoree was Dr. Beth Ashburn. She was introduced to Piedmont in 1970 when her father was inaugurated as president of the college. She later joined Piedmont as a professor, and her role evolved into Chairperson of the General Education Division, Dean of Academics, Vice President of Academics and Provost. Dr. Ashburn retired in May 2020 and has now received an honorary degree in Honoris Causa. The university is honoring her life and work by building a “Student Success Fund” to assist in-need students with the pursuit of their dreams— earning a college degree. This includes renaming the Student Center “The Ashburn Center for Student Success.” Please support this campaign and make comments at carolinau.edu/giving/honoree.
Following the two ceremonies, Carolina University hosted a beautiful reception at the Williams Gymnasium on campus for graduates and their families and friends. We are thankful we were finally able to hold an in-person commencement ceremony. We are so proud of our graduates and pray for their continued success. Being a part of the alumni association has its benefits, and we encourage graduates to join at carolinau.edu/alumni.
PARTNERSHIP WITH ORAL HISTORY PROJECTCarolina University Alumni & Development Office is excited to announce a collaborative partnership with trusted PCI’s Oral History Project. The goal of the Carolina University Oral History Project is to collect the stories of our alumni and preserve them in a book that celebrates the impact all merged schools have had on our alumni lives today. For this project, CU is partnering with PCI who has the resources of trained staff who are looking forward to collecting stories of alumni’s time at said institutions. Alumni will soon be receiving email and postcard communications from the PCI team with instructions on how to participate. Carolina University would like to invite you to share your stories with us and take part in this first of its kind to honor the experience and voice of our alumni. For more information on the collaborative project with PCI’s Oral History Project, please visit carolinau.edu/oral-history-project.
The 2020-2021 academic year was a great one for athletics at Carolina University. Although teams had a modified schedule due to COVID-19, the athletics remained competitive. This year Carolina University was awarded 17 All-Region players and five All-Americans, the most in one year of our athletic history.
- Men’s Soccer: Rhys Thomas – Third Team All-American
- Women’s Volleyball: Kamra King – Third Team All-American, Chiara Mottola – Third Team All-American
- Men’s Basketball: Kester Ofoegbu – Second Team All-American
- Women’s Basketball: Jada Sleet – Third Team All-American
- Baseball: Josh Kent – Third Team All-American
- Softball: Kayli Cook – First Team All-American
Additionally, for the first time in school history, the Carolina University softball team is the NCCAA DI South Regional Champions! The Bruins played Trinity Baptist College in Jacksonville, FL, in a best of 3 series. CU won 6-5 and 3-1 in respected games. With these wins, Carolina captures the NCCAA South Region Title. This is the first Regional Title and bid to the NCCAA National Tournament in Carolina University softball history. Head Coach Amber Bass was awarded South Region Coach of the Year. At the National Tournament in Easley, SC, CU Softball went 1-1 beating Alice Lloyd College. The team finished fourth in the tournament.
CU Baseball also made an appearance at the NCCAA National Tournament after receiving an at-large bid. Entering as the 8th seed, the Bruins shocked the playing field with a 3-2 finish, beating Alice Lloyd College (7-1), Ecclesia College (11-5), and Judson University (4-3). The Bruins made it to the semifinals before falling to CIU. Also finishing fourth, CU Baseball had the best record of any Carolina athletic team at a National Tournament. Congratulations to our players and coaches for well-deserved victories and recognition.
Support our teams and student-athletes by becoming a Bruins Club Member; visit cubruinsclub.com/donate/ to give today.
WILLIAMS GYMNASIUM RENOVATIONS
Starting May 2021, Carolina University Athletics enters Phase 2 of the Williams Gymnasium renovation project. These alterations give our athletes improved playing space and safety while highlighting the Carolina University brand. Phase 2 elements are:
- Shifting the court 15″ (towards the bleachers) to allow more room for the basketball bench, work table and referees
- Installing new basketball goal systems, motors and protective wall padding
- Refinishing gymnasium floor to represent Carolina University name and colors
- Moving the three-point lines per new regulations
- Adding Carolina University Bruins signage to feature gymnasium wall
- Painting of walls lobby, hallways, weight room and coaches offices as well as all baseboards, doors and handrails
- Installing of carpeting in coaches offices
- Purchasing of new desks and chairs for coaches offices
- Improving layout and function of weight room with a new entrance, equipment and equipment storage
To support these renovations, as well as other Carolina Athletics projects, please visit cubruinsclub.com/donate/.