Sacred Heart students get tour of Livingstone College
By Laurie D. Willis
Livingstone CollegeNews Service
Livingstone College senior Clarence H. Jackson IV and Sacred Heart Catholic School eighth-grader Max Fisher are Student Government Association presidents at their respective schools.
On Tuesday, they met for the first time when Max and 11 other Sacred Heart students spent two hours at Livingstone touring the campus, meeting college administrators and getting a feel for the college most had never visited.
Jackson, Miss Livingstone College Jakeniqua Manning and SGA President-elect Dorian Edwards hosted the students, who were chaperoned by Ilse Cardelle and Karen Wenker.
The students arrived around 11 a.m., with smiles and excited looks. They met Dr. Jacqueline Gray, vice president of student affairs; Dr. Gwendolyn Peart, director of library services; and Dr. Selma Burrell, division chair of math and sciences. Then they walked to The Walls Center, which houses the student union and office buildings.
Jackson, Manning and Edwards greeted them outside before escorting them to the Walls Center Chapel, where introductions were made and the students expressed career aspirations.
Sixth-grader Johnson Huynh said he wants to enter the field of law, prompting Jackson to ask whether he wants to become a defense attorney or a prosecutor. Johnson said he wasn’t sure, and they discussed other possibilities including becoming a judge, law school professor or law school dean.
Before leaving the chapel, Jackson authorized Max to lead the contingent to his office nearby. Once inside the office, Jackson said he sometimes mediates disputes between students and asked Max how he would handle an argument between sixth graders Mary McCullough and Elly Burks. Almost on cue, the two girls started “play fighting,” accusing each other of having started the altercation between them. Max jumped in and said, “you both started it, now calm down.”
The students got a kick out of visiting Jackson’s office and Max’s role play, but they really enjoyed stopping by the Livingstone College bookstore. After briefly checking out the game room, they left the Walls Center and went on a campus tour that included a stop at Greek Row, where fraternity and sorority plots are displayed.
Next it was on to The President’s Dining Room, where the students were treated to lunch – the chocolate chip cookies didn’t stand a chance – Livingstone souvenirs and a visit from State W. Alexander, executive assistant to the president and director of public relations.
Alexander welcomed the students before giving them a brief history lesson on the college, which was founded in Salisbury in 1879 as Zion Wesley Institute by members of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church. It relocated to Salisbury and changed its name to Livingstone College in 1882.
After his remarks, Mary wanted to know what Alexander likes most about working at Livingstone. His answer was short but sincere: “The students.”
Seventh-grader William Clark wanted to know about some of the major courses offered at Livingstone. Alexander cited several, including criminal justice, and noted that Salisbury Police Chief Rory Collins has a criminal justice degree from Livingstone.
The Sacred Heart students discussed some of their SGA activities, including a canned food drive for Rowan Helping Ministries and a fund-raiser that netted $3,200 for the North Carolina chapter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Suffice it to say, the visit to Livingstone College went well.
“It was interesting having a tour around the campus and seeing some of the buildings as well as Clarence’s office and all the other areas that we went to,” Johnson said. “It was fun.”
Eighth-grader Sarah Bess Hallett is Sacred Heart’s SGA secretary.
“I really liked seeing what a college campus was like when people are actually studying and stuff,” Sarah said. “I really liked seeing President Jackson’s office and hearing about all the stuff they do at the college.”
Max said being at Livingstone was awesome and he didn’t mind the way Jackson picked on him about “stepping up his game” as president.
And Mary, who liked the Blue Bear mascot adorning Livingstone’s front lawn so much that she named him “Ricky,” really enjoyed herself.
“I thought it was amazing,” Mary said. “I like Dorian. I liked Jakeniqua. I liked everybody. I liked the tour, and I especially liked Ricky.”
The other Sacred Heart students who visited Livingstone College were SGA vice president Makayla Dillon, Kate Sullivan and Rebecca Malloy, all eighth graders, seventh grader Ashley Wood, and SGA treasurer Anne Marie Metz and Keegan Dillon, both sixth graders. Eighth grader Caroline Parrott was unable to attend.
Sacred Heart Principal Frank Cardelle had hoped to join his students at Livingstone but spoke to them when they returned to campus.
“They’ve been talking about it and talking to their friends,” Cardelle said. “They loved it. It was kind of a different environment for them because over here we’re very structured and at a college the kids are free to walk around and do what they want. They definitely enjoyed it.”
Both schools want to keep open the lines of communication.
“I think it’d be great to keep the partnership going,” Cardelle said. “At the beginning of next year when we start our SGA in September, maybe the Livingstone students can visit here.”