Ernie Suggs and Stacie Dukes of the Atlanta Chapter attend the 11th Annual HBCU Run-Walk in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo Courtesy of Ernie Suggs and the Atlanta NCCU Alumni Chapter

The NCCU Alumni Association is proud to give back

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Though students may worry about current classes, working and other responsibilities while attending N.C. Central University, some may still want to be more connected with their fellow eagles before and after graduation.

That’s where the NCCU National Alumni Association comes in.

The association was founded in 1925. Little is known about the first alumni meeting or chapter, but the association is committed to supporting the university, students and alumni. It is run by dedicated, proud alumni that live all across the United States from all ages and backgrounds.

Membership helps fund student scholarships, rewards, events and business operations. More than 37,000 eagles are a part of the NCCU Alumni Association with 42 chapters nationwide.

Recent graduates get a free one-year complimentary membership. Others can pay a fee to join that ranges from $25 to $100 for one year. Last year more than 200 new eagles joined the association.

“Alumni are making donations in record amounts. They are remembering the positive HBCU experience that contributed to their success and wish to continue to the tradition of excellence at NCCU,” said Regina Alston, an English instructor who graduated from NCCU and has taught at the university for more than 40 years.

Former students with as few as 24-course hours and even friends and supporters of NCCU can join the association too.

Tomeika Bowden, who is the current national president of the association said she wants to build with students.

“The goal of the association is to build community, advocate on behalf of students and the university, and to give,” Bowden said.

“My goals as president are three words: Care, Connect and Contribute. We want to focus our efforts to attract and serve the greatest number of alumni – care, strengthen our partnerships and coordination with the university – connect, and increase our financial contributions – contribute.”

Bowden also said she wants to be a leader that promotes change.

“I wanted to make a difference,” she said.

“Professors like Dr. dePyssler were inspirational in my drive to want to do public relations and communications. I have so much love for my sisters, brothers and the entire eagle family. After leaving NCCU, I wanted to be involved and continue to build those connections as a proud alum.”

Bowden, who graduated from NCCU in 2000 and is currently based in Washington, D.C says becoming president has been exciting. She is constantly working on ways to help students financially, socially and academically with the association. The best part for her is being an ambassador to help students receive support financially.

“We don’t want money to be the factor you don’t get a great education at NCCU,” she said.

The association has two main scholarships that they give to students. First, The National Alumni Scholars, which is a scholarship that provides support throughout the year and is renewable for up to four years. That scholarship is open until the end of March.

Second is the Roger Gregory Academic Scholarship, which is available to incoming and currently enrolled students. It is open until April.

Kevin Powell, president of the Atlanta chapter, said the association is committed to helping alumni.

“We have a group of people who are dedicated to service and helping others,” Powell said.

“Giving back to students, the community and the university is our goal.”

Chapters get to do events that range from financial planning, book launches, dance services, fundraising events, jazz nights and more.

To join the Atlanta chapter cost $40 locally and $50 nationally. For new graduates it is $35.

With being connected to so many eagles who either attended or graduated from NCCU, members have the chance to connect with fellow alumni that can help them look for jobs, transition careers, move to a new city, review resumes, raise funds, and more.

The association meets up three times a year to conduct business and has multiple committees from student recruitment to student engagement. They also do homecoming events.

Those interested in becoming a member to call at 919-530-5222 or visit the alumni’s website at www.nccualumni.org.

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