Giving Honor Where Honor is Due

North Carolina Central University will hold its 61st Annual Honors Convocation on Friday, April 9, in the McDougald – McLendon Gymnasium at 10:15 a.m. The keynote speaker will be Ernie Suggs, reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

Suggs is a 1990 graduate of NCCU. As a student, he served as sports editor and editor-in-chief with the award winning Campus Echo. His extensive background in journalism includes work with Gannett Westchester Newspapers in White Plains, N.Y., and the Durham Herald-Sun, where he covered higher education.

While working at the Herald-Sun, Suggs was awarded an Education Writers Association fellowship and completed the groundbreaking series, “Fighting to Survive,” a 17-story, eight-day series on black colleges that earned him several national and state awards, including Journalist of the Year by the N.C. Black Publishers Association, the N.C. Press Association and the National Association of Black Journalists.

He is now the primary reporter on race and civil rights at the Journal Constitution. In 2005, he served as national vice president of the National Association of Black Journalists, the largest organization of journalists of color in the world.

As a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, Suggs spent a year studying in the university’s African and African-American Studies Department before being appointed to the Nieman Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

The Honors Convocation celebrates academic excellence by NCCU students. Honor recipients are recognized in the following categories: Chancellor’s Award for Academic Excellence, University Award for Academic Excellence, departmental academic honors, performing arts distinctions, community service, and membership in professional and academic honor societies. Students receive a lapel pin that will distinguish them as an honor student and will be worn during the week of convocation and on Convocation Day. University and Centennial choirs will perform and a reception will follow in the A.E. Student Union.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate our students,” said Dr. Tim Holley, director of the honors program. “If retention and graduation is the end goal, then honors convocation serves as the means to the end.”