WSSU alumni nurses receive call to action

WSSU alumni nurses receive call to action
November 02
05:00 2017

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) painted the city red and black last weekend as alumni from all over the country returned to their alma mater for Homecoming Week. The weeklong celebration was filled with countless events to celebrate the past, present, and future of the university, but not many were as elegant as the Nurses Gala and Awards ceremony held at the Anderson Center on Thursday Oct. 26.

Complete with a red carpet, live interviews, and several photo opps, the gala, sponsored by the WSSU Nurses Alumni Organization, resembled one of the high-profile wear shows you see on TV. Along with honoring the bold past and bright future of the School of Nursing, the star-studded event also served as a fundraiser for the program.

The School of Nursing was established in 1953 when the institution was known as Winston-Salem Teachers College. Today the program is one of the best among HBCU’s (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) and in the state. Since its inception, more than 45,000 students have received their degree from the WSSU School of Nursing. In 2013 the university established the nurse’s doctorate program.

While the program has seen much success over the past 50 years, Dr. Clifton Kenon Jr., president of the Nurses Alumni Organization, called for the alumni to help take the program to new heights. During his call to action, Kenon announced the establishment of several initiatives designed to help students reach their goals. One of the initiatives will raise emergency funds for low-income students in need enrolled in the school of nursing. He also mentioned the WSSU Nursing History Project, and the possibility of forming an HBCU nursing alliance. Kenon said, “Together, I believe we can continue the legacy and chart new territory.

“It’s time to move to new heights because we can stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, but that’s not enough.We have to provide a solid rock for those who will come after us.”

During the awards presentation, the men and women who have led the nursing program since its inception were recognized for their hard work and dedication. Dr. Sylvia Flack, a WSSU nursing alumnae, and former dean of health sciences, was one of the many people recognized during the ceremony. Flack, who retired in 2016, served her alma mater and the Winston-Salem community for more than 25 years.

Just before dinner was served, several alumni mentioned how their time spent at WSSU helped shape their futures.

Sherri McCormick-Smith, a registered nurse (RN), certified case manager, and qualified rehab professional, said she attributes all her success to her days spent at WSSU. Earlier this year, McCormick-Smith, a 2001 graduate, was honored during WSSU’s “Forty Under 40,”  a select group of graduates who demonstrate what is means to make a positive impact on the world.

“I strongly believe in our motto: ‘Enter to learn, depart to serve.’ We entered to learn, now it’s time to depart to serve,” she continued. “It’s time to pay it forward for the students that are coming our way.”

About Author

Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors