Robinson: Alumni support critical to HBCU success

From left: Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye, chancellor, North Carolina Central University; Dr. Dorothy Browne, provost, Bennett College, Dr. Paulette Dillard, interim president, Shaw University; Chancellor James A. Anderson, Fayetteville State University. Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins Sr., president, Livingstone College, Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson, Winston-Salem State University; Dr. Everett B. Ward, president, Saint Augustine's University. (UNC-TV)

Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Chancellor Elwood L. Robinson participated in UNC-TV’s “Black Issues Forum Special Presentation: HBCU Legacy and Leadership” that aired on Feb. 19.

Robinson was one of seven leaders from North Carolina’s historically Black colleges and universities to share in the roundtable discussion about the impact of HBCU’s on the state’s economic and social landscape.

“When you talk about the evolution of these institutions, it means that we have to be major player in what happens in and around our communities and in and around our cities,” Robinson said. “We make a tremendous difference in terms of economic mobility; that’s our sweet spot.”

 The discussion was centered around the relevance of HBCUs and the importance of giving back.

“The survival of these institutions sometimes rest with alumni and their ability to support them at a high level,” said Robinson. “We talk about sustaining these institutions. It means that we have to start engaging our alumni in a very significant way.”

Other topics raised during the discussion included HBCU leadership and how to develop current students into people who are able to thrive in a constantly changing society.

The forum, hosted by Deborah Holt Noel, was inspired by filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s documentary, “Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Black Colleges and Universities,” which premiered immediately after the forum on UNC-TV stations. The 90-minute PBS documentary examines the impact HBCU’s have had on the history of this country.

Robinson is the 13th Chancellor of WSSU – a position he has held since Jan. 1, 2015.

The “Black Issues Forum Special Presentation” can be live streamed on the


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