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NCCU-bound freshmen to get gala send-off

By Kathy Chaffin
kchaffin@salisburypost.com
Local alumni of North Carolina Central University will host a send-off gala for entering freshmen on Aug. 6.
The “Eagles Fest” will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. at Kelsey Scott Park off Old Wilkesboro Road. Quentin Woodward Jr. of Salisbury, who is planning the event, has invited 25 to 30 local NCCU alumni and 15 entering freshmen to attend.
“It’s going to be more than just a social event where you come and shake hands and eat and drink,” he said. “We’re going to talk to them individually.”
Woodward said he has asked alumni to share their personal experiences at the Durham university and offer advice on such topics as study habits, how to choose the right friends, what to avoid, how to be successful and the differences between high school and college. “It’s going to require a lot more self-discipline and initiative,” he said.
After growing up in Salisbury, Woodward left after graduating from NCCU for a 20-year career working in federal prison system in such locations as Atlanta, Tallahassee and Michigan. He returned five years ago to help care for his mother, the late Cottie Woodward.
Life after college wasn’t “a bed of roses,” he said. “I had some bumps in the road, and I learned from them.”
Woodward, who serves as a trustee for Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, said he and other alumni will share lessons they’ve learned in their careers with entering freshmen.
The park will be decorated with the maroon and gray school colors, and alumni will wear NCCU clothing or colors.
Copies of the NCCU anthem will be distributed, and alumni will teach it to the entering freshmen, who will be part of the 2013 graduating class.
Since coming up with the idea for the send-off, Woodward said he has found out that it’s been done in other cities by alumni of various colleges and universities.
“I think it’s a grand idea,” he said. “It’s needed to let the kids know that they have a lot of support and encouragement that will hopefully translate to them becoming successful Eagles (the NCCU mascot) and graduating and becoming productive citizens upon departing Central.”
For more information on the North Carolina Central University send-off, call Woodward at 704-213-9172. Any area alumni or entering freshmen who have not yet received an invitation are also asked to contact him.
Contact Kathy Chaffin at 704-797-4249.

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