N.C. A&T Honors Deese at Naming Ceremony


EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (May 9, 20109) – The Student Center Ballroom at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has officially been renamed the Deese Ballroom. The university honored alumnus and benefactor Willie Deese ’77, Thursday, May 9, 2019, with a ceremony and reception bestowing his name upon the center’s ballroom, in recognition of his outstanding generosity and significant contributions to the entire campus community.

a and t alumnus and benefactor Willie Deese“Willie Deese is a thinker and doer. He represents the epitome of the Aggie standard. He’s a passionate advocate for this university,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “I can’t think of a better person whose name should be here.”

From the stunning university clock tower, situated in the center of campus, to endowments supporting the College of Business and Economics and the Department of Athletics, the impact of Deese’s benevolence can be felt across the N.C. A&T campus.

“It’s an honor to have this ballroom bear my name,” said Deese. “If I could do more, I would. I want every student to have every opportunity. The one thing I’ve learned as a result of being here is that mentors, sponsors and advocates are important in life. I had all of those things, and it was up to me to do that for someone else.”

Deese earned a B.S. in Business Administration from A&T in 1977 and an M.B.A. from Western New England College in 1983. He went on to become successful pharmaceutical executive with a 40-year career that culminated in his service as global president of manufacturing for the Merck pharmaceutical company.