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NCCU Honors Founder and Class of 1968

North Carolina Central University’s Founder’s Day Convocation brought the campus community together to honor Dr. James E. Shepard and to formally induct members of the Class of 1968 into the Society of Golden Eagles.

The Society of Golden Eagles is made up of alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago.

Chancellor Johnson Akinleye reflected on the core values of NC Central founder Dr. James E. Shepard and expressed his gratitude that Shepard decided to “cast his lot here and leave the great legacy of his life’s work.”    

Shepard formed the college in 1910 as a training ground for Christian educators. In 1925, it became a public university and part of the University of North Carolina System of higher education.

 “Dr. Shepard founded a university that is proud of its past and committed to a bright future centered on his values of Truth and Service,” Akinleye added.

Class of 1968 graduate Hellena Huntley Tidwell, a prominent cultural arts leader and fundraiser throughout the southeast, also addressed the gathering, during which she and about 85 of her classmates were inducted into the Society of Golden Eagles.

“Just nine months before our class graduated, John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and just one month before, Martin Luther King was assassinated,” Tidwell reflected on the tumultuous period.

In July 1968, however, the U.S. Civil Rights Act was adopted, giving encouragement African-Americans and other minorities by prohibiting discrimination against individuals due to race, religion, gender or national origin.

“That expanded our possibilities, and we were up for the challenge,” Tidwell said of her classmates. “As graduates of North Carolina Central, we were prepared not just to compete, but to excel.”

NC Central’s weeklong Homecoming celebration will conclude with a Nov. 3 parade down Fayetteville Street and a football game at 2 p.m. in O’Kelly-Riddick Stadium.

Published: Friday, November 02, 2018
by Director of Marketing and Communications, Quiana M Shepard
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