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Top 10 WSSU news stories of 2019

Winston-Salem State University's news stories of 2019 highlight a year of progress, trailblazers, national recognitions, community empowerment and more.

Here are WSSU's top 10 news stories of 2019.

1. Alumna, WWII vet will have her wish granted at WSSU's 2019 Commencement


Pfc. Elizabeth Barker Johnson, a 1949 WSSU graduate and retired teacher, was surprised with the news on her 99th birthday.

Elizabeth Johnson receives her degree from Chancellor Robinson

2. Ramily, ESPN honor Stephen A. Smith


ESPN "First Take" celebrates HBCU Week with a live show featuring the Red Sea of Sound, and WSSU surprises alumnus Stephen A. Smith with a scholarship.


3. WSSU receives nearly $2 million in new NSF grants

WSSU has received nearly $2 million in new grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) that will expand research opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students at the university.

4. Brown makes history as American Library Association president

Here are eight questions with Wanda Brown, a WSSU alumna and director of library services. Later this month she will become the first ALA president who is a librarian at an HBCU.

5. WSSU wins $100,000 AHA grant to address food insecurity in Winston-Salem

A proposal developed by WSSU students to address food insecurity in Winston-Salem has been awarded a $100,000 American Heart Association grant.

Group stands with large check for presentation of $100,000 grant

6. Beyonce sends Insta love to WSSU's Powerhouse cheerleaders

The Ramily is buzzing after Winston-Salem State’s Powerhouse cheerleaders were featured in a video on Queen B’s Instagram story.

cheerleaders at center court with Ram logo

7. Etienne Thomas named athletic director at WSSU

Etienne Thomas, director of athletics at Kentucky State University, has been named the next director of athletics at WSSU. She will be officially introduced at a press conference on Thursday, Nov. 7.

The Ram Family Welcomes Etienne Thomas Director of Athletics

8. WSSU is Money Magazine's top-ranked public HBCU for 2019-20

WSSU is the no. 1 public HBCU in the nation for value, according to Money magazine's 2019-20 rankings.

9. WSSU, Forsyth Tech sign new transfer partnership agreement

This is the second signing for WSSU academic leaders over the past month, as WSSU expands opportunities for area community college students seeking to pursue baccalaureate degrees in critical workforce areas, such as STEM, healthcare, and early childhood and K-12 education.

10. WSSU Police and Public Safety building to be renamed in honor of Police Chief Pat Norris

WSSU's Police and Public Safety building to be renamed in honor of first female chief of police.

More News

Woodley Named Director of Alumni Engagement

Thesha Woodley has been appointed director of alumni engagement for Winston-Salem State University, where she will lead the creation of programs and services to effectively manage and sustain relationships with the over 30,000 alumni.

Read Moreabout Woodley Named Director of Alumni Engagement

Social Media Incident Update

We are aware of the sexual assault allegations circulating on social media over the past 24 hours. We are actively exploring the information that we have currently, and the proper university departments are addressing the situation.

Read Moreabout Social Media Incident Update

WSSU offers free textbooks to all undergraduate students

Winston-Salem State University has partnered with Barnes & Noble College to implement BNC First Day® Complete, a course material delivery model that will drive student success by ensuring all students are prepared to begin learning on the first day of class.

First Day® Complete, an innovative course material delivery model, addresses equitable access, convenience, and affordability across all courses at an institution by bundling the cost of course materials into tuition and ensuring students have all their materials for the semester available on or before the first day of class. WSSU will cover all associated expenses so that no additional costs will be passed on to students.

Read Moreabout WSSU offers free textbooks to all undergraduate students