Congresswoman Adams and Edwards to Be Honored by NBCAHOF for N.C. A&T

By Alana V. Allen / 09/25/2020 Alumni

The National Black College Alumni Hall of Fame Foundation (NBCAHOF) will host its annual hall of fame induction ceremony virtually at 6:45 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25. Among this year’s stellar class of honorees representing North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University are Congresswoman Alma Adams ’68 in the government and law category and Leroy Thornton Edwards ‘72, CEO of The Edwards Company in the business category. 

Each year, graduates of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) are inducted into the hall of fame for significant contributions they have made in their respective fields. The NBCAHOF promotes the viability of HBCUs and highlights the accomplishments of their alumni.

Congresswoman Alma AdamsAdams began her political career and lifetime commitment to effecting social change as the first African American woman to be elected to the Greensboro City School Board in the 1980s. In 1994, she was appointed to serve in the North Carolina House District 26 seat, which she went on to represent for 10 terms.

In 2018, Adams was elected to her third term representing the 12th Congressional District of North Carolina. She serves on the House Committees for Education and Labor, Financial Services and Agriculture, is the chairwoman of Higher Education and Labor Subcommittee on Workforce Protections, and is vice chairwoman of the Agriculture Committee.

Adams is the founder and co-chair of the first Congressional Bipartisan Historically Black College or University Caucus. In 2019, she was the bill co-signer for The FUTURE Act that provides federal funding to HBCUs indefinitely. She is also co-founder of the Black Maternal Health Caucus.

In addition to receiving graduate and undergraduate degrees at A&T, Adams earned her Ph.D. in art education and multicultural education from The Ohio State University.

Leroy Thornton EdwardsEdwards is owner and chief executive of The Edwards Company. The Detroit-based business is a distribution firm for beers, wines, snack foods, and petroleum. Under Edwards’ leadership, the company built its Eagle Snacks business into one of the largest in the United States and has received national awards for sales and performance. Also, the company owns 40 franchises of Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway Restaurants, and Shell Petroleum products in and around Chicago and Michigan.

From 1996 to 2001, Edwards served on the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, appointed by Michigan Gov. John Engler. In 2007, the Michigan Department of National Resources honored and recognized him as the first African American member to serve on the commission in its 75-year history.

Through this commission, Edwards helped lead in developing opportunities for youth to enjoy outdoor activities and played a key role in establishing a committee to focus on technology, information, marketing and education issues.

Edwards is a member of the N.C. A&T Board of Visitors and was instrumental in developing the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in its infancy.

After Edwards received his bachelor's degree with honors from A&T, he earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 1974.

The induction ceremony is part of the 35th Annual NBCA Hall of Fame Weekend that held will take place virtually Friday, Sept. 25, starting at 10 a.m.

There are a host of free events scheduled that can be found at nbcahof.org:

  • 10 a.m. – Call to Womanhood and Manhood Symposiums
  • Noon – Social Justice Forum and Civic Engagement
  • 1:45 p.m. – Health and Wellness Symposium
  • 3:30 p.m. – Legacy of Leaders Honors
  • 6:45 p.m. – Induction Recognition

For more details on how to register for the 2020 NBCA Hall of Fame Weekend, information on the programs and initiatives of the foundation, visit www.nbcahof.com.

Media Contact Information: avallen@ncat.edu