Locals honored at the 2023 NC HBCU Living Legends Gala
Locals honored at the 2023 NC HBCU Living Legends Gala The post Locals honored at the 2023 NC HBCU Living Legends Gala appeared first on WS Chronicle.
By Felecia Piggott-Long, Ph.D.
Hundreds of supporters of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU) attended the 2023 HBCU Living Legends Gala on Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Le Meridien in Charlotte. The HBCU Living Legends organization was started by William Hairston, an entrepreneur, husband, father, and grandfather, who had a strong desire to help African American students to attend one of the 11 historically Black colleges and universities in North Carolina.
About nine years ago, Hairston told nine of his friends about this desire, and the group gathered for months to create the vision to celebrate these colleges, honor their alumni and provide need-based scholarships. They wanted to identify the “hidden figures” among these colleges and universities.
The leadership team for the 2023 Gala includes: William Hairston, gala chairman; Annette Scippio, gala director; Priscilla Jackson, gala coordinator; Richie Williams, gala administration; Patsy Squire, gala scholarship chair; Vanessa Hairston, finance chair; and Kathy Williams, volunteer director. The honorary co-chairs for the event included Donald Evans, former NFL star and construction executive; S. Maria Howell, actor, singer, voiceover artist; and Herb Gray, entrepreneur, philanthropist and community leader. The gala began in 2015 in Winston-Salem and is done biennially. The organization is a 501(c)(3) grassroots initiative.
The mistress of ceremonies was Cheryl Patterson Coad, aka “Chirl Girl.” The keynote speaker was Attorney Roderick G. Allison.
Several locals from Winston-Salem were honored during the festivities:
*Rev. Dr. Dennis Leach, Sr., senior pastor of Morning Star Baptist Church, was honored as a living legend from Fayetteville State University.
*Dr. Gwendolyn Hill, business woman, minister administrator, was honored as a living legend from Bennett College.
*Maurice Johnson, educator and community advocate, was honored as a living legend from Bennett College.
*Benjamin H. Piggott, community advocate, champion for children, was honored as a living legend from Livingstone College.
*Dr. Carol Montague-Davis, secondary school administrator, was honored as a living legend from Elizabeth City State University.
*Juscin Fulmore was honored as a living legend from Winston-Salem State University.
*Danaya Reynolds was honored as a living legend from Winston-Salem State University.
“Tonight we are filled with overwhelming joy as we award scholarships to continuing students,” wrote William Hairston. “These scholarships will help secure their matriculation to become future ‘living legends.’”
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