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Behold 2021 Vol 10 Issue 1

It is a great time to be a fundraiser! Because out of tragedy has come a victory. Many in our nation have begun to see Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) with new eyes. Indeed, the last 18 months have been dicult when we look at the death of George Floyd and the totality of the lives lost to the COVID-19 pandemic. But what it has given rise to is a second look at our institutions for some individuals and corporations, and for others it has been a rst look—and hopefully, a true and genuine look—at the mission and achievements of HBCUs.

Perhaps in some circles the question, “Are HBCUs relevant?” no longer has to be asked. Corporations and philanthropists can now better understand our historic and still relevant mission. We can easily see the excellence in the highest serving HBCU graduate in the nation—Vice President Kamala Harris. And new donors and old ones are willing to provide their support.

The historic investment by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott (page 24) is a seal of approval, certifying that Norfolk State is on an upward trajectory. Other major corporations like Dominion Energy, Virginia Natural Gas, Apple, Amazon and Diageo North America Inc. (page 23) have joined her in making principal gis to support Norfolk State. In the midst of a global pandemic, there has never been a better time to be a part of the Spartan Nation!

In this edition of BEHOLD, we spotlight how the racial reckoning and awakening has aected Norfolk State University as a whole as well as the role that alumni, faculty and sta have played in bringing about change.

You will enjoy reading the story about Michael Chase, an NSU alumnus, and how an internship opportunity moved him to a path where he is currently a senior engineer at Netix (page 16). His career move awarded him the opportunity to create an exclusive program for NSU students in partnership with Netix. Additionally, Alumnae Alisia Smith-Rucker ’94, a veterinary regional manager for Royal Canin, and Dr. Alveda J. Williams (B.S. ’97), corporate director of inclusion at Dow, are breaking down barriers within their corporations and have played roles in helping their employers to hear the voices of their Black employees, recruit at HBCUs and reach out to the Black community (pages 28 & 29).

Several intriguing discussions about the state of social and racial justice in America are featured. Our very own NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston (page 12) provides her perspectives on where we are as a nation and the critical role that Norfolk State will play in this conversation. Discover how Mensah Bey, an NSU alumnus and adjunct professor (page 14), used a street mural in Norfolk’s Five Points neighborhood as another powerful tool to contribute to this discussion.

Since 1935, Norfolk State has been a major contributor to the social, economic and political environment in Hampton Roads. We will continue our engagement in national conversations while producing the best and brightest alumni. The last 18 months have been a watershed moment as that has helped us enter a new chapter unprecedented in the life of the University. Please enjoy this edition. 

behold magazine cover with michael chase on the coverDownload or view the PDF version of the 2021 Behold - Volume 10 Issue 1.

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