NCCU Alumna Trustee and Family Gift $500,000 to Name Accounting Program in New School of Business

Posted January 27, 2022, 4:26PM
Hellena Huntley Tidwell

Donation Creates University’s First Named Academic Program

North Carolina Central University (NCCU) alumna and Board of Trustee member, Hellena Huntley Tidwell, ’68, and her sons, William DeVane Tidwell and Damion Lamar Tidwell, made the largest single contribution to date toward naming opportunities for the university’s new School of Business building. The donation was made in honor of their late husband and father, alumnus and former university Trustee, Isaiah Tidwell, ’67, and invests in academic programming in the discipline that nurtured him into a successful, national business leader.

The Isaiah Tidwell Accounting Program will usher in the next generation of skilled accountants to help grow and sustain the financial health of businesses around the world. These resources will fund the redevelopment of curriculum, expansion of faculty resources and scholarships for student support and engagement.             

After a brief stint at Celanese Fibers Company, Isaiah Tidwell joined Wachovia Bank, N.A. in 1971 and rose through the ranks of executive leadership to become president of the Georgia Bank. In 2004, he retired as Executive Vice President and Director of Wealth Management after 32-years of service. Tidwell also served on the boards of several public companies.  He passed away in 2019. A native of Charlotte, N.C., he attended NCCU, where he graduated with a degree in commerce, and later earned an MBA from the Babcock Graduate School of Management at Wake Forest University.

“Hellena Huntley Tidwell, and her late husband, Isaiah, are NCCU alumni whose benevolence to and investment in their alma mater span several decades,” said Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., chancellor of NCCU. “Trustee Tidwell and her sons’ gift to NCCU in honor of their family’s trailblazing patriarch showcases their ongoing commitment to educating scholars and accelerating the advancement of future business leaders.”

“Throughout his career, Isaiah always attributed his successful career to the excellent academic preparation he received under the tutelage of his accounting professors at NCCU,” said his widow, Trustee Hellena Huntley Tidwell. “Our family honors his memory with this gift which we hope will strengthen the School of Business as it strives to become a stellar program that provides opportunities for students seeking careers in business.”

A state-of-the-art, 76,000 square-foot School of Business building is under construction at NCCU with completion scheduled for fall 2022. New programming, technology and infrastructure will grow and develop research, innovation and skill building opportunities for business students. Naming opportunities for the facility have generated contributions from numerous distinguished alumni in support of School of Business initiatives, to include student scholarships, student conference registrations, and specialized business software to give students a competitive edge.

“We are thrilled about and thankful for the Tidwell family’s contribution to honor former NCCU trustee Isaiah Tidwell, for whom the accounting program will be fittingly named, “said Anthony Nelson, Ph.D., dean of the NCCU School of Business. “The success of the School of Business is dependent upon contributions like the Tidwell’s in creating and sustaining leading programs, as well as attracting and preparing students to soar in their respective careers.”

Naming opportunities are still available. For more information, please contact Jalisha Pone, Director of Development, School of Business, NCCU Division of Institutional Advancement, at [email protected]

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