Honors College Celebrates 25 Years Beginning with 2023 Honors Day of Service

By East L. Dockery / 09/01/2023 Students, Honors College

EAST GREENSBORO, NC (Sept. 1, 2023) – North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s  Honors College is celebrating 25 years of honors at the university, starting with its annual Honors Day of Service that reinforces student leadership.

During Honors Day of Service, N.C. A&T Honors College students are transported to civic organizations and nonprofits in and around Greensboro, North Carolina, to volunteer their time and talents. The annual event allows students to get acclimated to campus and the community while serving with fellow Aggies.

“Our Honors College is excited to celebrate 25 years of excellence this year, starting with this annual Honors Day of Service, which underscores our dedication to knowledge, community, and giving back to our local community and state,” said Margaret I. Kanipes, Ph.D., dean of the Honors College. “I am incredibly proud of our students who continue to showcase remarkable dedication to learning and making a meaningful difference as a result of their participation in this event.”

This year, 215 Honors students – including 175 first-year Aggies – offered their assistance to Backpack Beginnings, Greensboro Parks & Recreation, Greensboro Urban Ministries, Greensboro Vet Center, Habitat for Humanity, Hayes Taylor YMCA, Out of the Garden Project, Salvation Army and Second Harvest Food Bank, as well as the A&T University Farm and North Carolina A&T Dining Services.

In addition to volunteering in the community, Honors students will donate more than $2,000 in school supplies, bookbags and other items to Jackson Middle School.

Jalia Lucas, an Honors first-year biology student from Long Island, New York, volunteered for North Carolina A&T Dining Services. Lucas, along with nine other students, gathered at Williams Dining Hall to pack food for members of the A&T campus community.

Lucas said she was excited for the opportunity provided by her dream school and that volunteering means a lot to her.

“I grew up in a privileged area,” she said. “So, giving back makes me more aware that not a lot of people have what I had growing up. It is a very humbling and rewarding experience.”

“This experience gives me an intimate approach to get to know my peers,” said Jaliah Wilson, a first-year graphic design major from Charlotte, North Carolina. “Stepping on a campus as big as A&T, you don’t get to meet as many people as you would like to, so I’m glad I’m getting to know the people I’m going to be spending the next four years with.”

Wilson volunteered with 14 other students at the Greensboro Vet Center, which offers confidential help for veterans, service members and their families at no cost in a non-medical setting. At this site, students served by sorting and dispersing materials for the center.

“Volunteering does not have to be a huge act,” said Jayde Wilson, a first-year agricultural major and business minor from Houston. “Reaching out and helping the community in ways that are sometimes small … can also leave a huge impact.”

Volunteer activities varied depending on the site. Some students saw immediate results from their work.

Justin Fraser, along with 19 other Honors students, divided into groups and served at the N.C. A&T University Farm Pavilion, which plays an important role in maintaining the viability of the agricultural industry. Programs such as the Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T use the farm to test and demonstrate new crops and farming practices before introducing them to the state’s farming community.

“We’ve been helping in the poultry section and helping them move pens for their research,” said Fraser, a first-year biology student from Patchogue, New York. “Being that agriculture is prominent in North Carolina, we are not only just helping A&T but we are helping the state.”

At each site, Honors ambassadors led the student volunteers and helped facilitate their service while demonstrating what it means to be an Honors student.

“Being a part of the Honors College means that you’re around a group of people who are willing to excel and go above and beyond the classroom to immerse themselves in different experiences that allow them to just get a feel for the real world but also apply what they’ve been learning in class,” said Dora Rice, third-year kinesiology student from Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Rice volunteered with five other students at Greensboro Urban Ministry, which provides opportunities for housing solutions, safe shelter, food and support services year-round for residents of the greater Greensboro community. The students packed food boxes and bagging groceries for those in need.

“Volunteering to me means putting seeds in different places and always leaving a place better than you found it as well as making sure that you’re giving back to people that have poured so much into you,” she said. “A&T has played a huge role in my education and the community as a whole has poured so much into me, so I feel the need to give back to it as well.”

The Honors College, formally established Oct. 1, 2022, is designed for high-achieving and exceptionally motivated undergraduates and offers student-centered learning experiences that promote intellectual growth, cultural appreciation, professional focus, leadership development and civic participation.

The Honors College transitioned from the University Honors Program, which was launched in 1998 at the request of Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., who served as vice chancellor of Academic Affairs at the time.

The Honors College is home to three of the university’s four-year merit-based full scholarships – Cheatham-White, Dowdy and February One – as well an Honors Living and Learning Community and the university’s liaison and advisor for the Rhodes Scholarship and more than 60 other prestigious and nationally competitive programs, which are branded at A&T as Extraordinary Opportunities.

Incoming first-year students apply for Honors College admission separately from their university admission materials. Last year, the Honors College received a record of nearly 1,500 applications for about 200 spaces.

Applications opened Aug. 15 for students beginning their undergraduate degree in fall 2024. Details about how and when to submit an Honors College application can be found on its website.

Media Contact Information: eldockery@ncat.edu

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