HBCU Royalty Dictionary Magazine and Competition Home

Matthew V. Burress
Mister Wilberforce University












































Biography Introduction

Matthew Vaughn Burress was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He is a rising Junior, English major with a focus in creative writing, for he prides himself on being a writer of poetry, music, and prose. Vaughn has released a collection of three musical projects along with a self-published book of poetry which now lies in the Wilberforce University Stokes Library Archives; the library where he serves as a lead English tutor in the writing lab which he was a co-founder of spring semester 2018. During the summer of 2018, he became one of the first five inaugural members of the James Baldwin Writer’s Colony study abroad program where he lived and learned in Well, Netherlands and other places across Europe for a month. He is a member of CLEF Society Of Distinguished Artists and also travels representing the institution as a lead member of the Voices Of Inspiration Gospel Choir. Matthew loves giving back and inspiring others to share their story. He feels as though Wilberforce is not only a place with giving to, but a thousand books walking around, waiting to be read. Vaughn wishes to read as many as possible for the remainder of his time at Wilberforce through the power of God, love, patience, and understanding. A quote he resonates with is, “I am what time, circumstance, history, have made of me, certainly, but I am also, much more than that. So are we all.” – James Baldwin.

What makes your HBCU unique and why did you choose to attend?

Wilberforce University is the reflection of the African American’s story in this nation. Its rich history draws out our struggles, with her founding occurring in the midst of legal slavery (1856) and the civil war happening soon after. Wilberforce has had some of America’s greatest trailblazers walk its ground alongside some of the most unfortunate circumstances… but Suo Marte, meaning ‘By one’s own Strength,’ isn’t to say we aren’t supposed to help one another, but rather an understanding that we have to instill perseverance within us all! At Wilberforce, we have, and and still do, accomplish this fear daily. This is why I chose, as we say, The WU. The mere opportunity to step on this sacred land is an honor, but it will be much sweeter once I am able to say I earned my first degree from the nation’s first private HBCU, owned and operated by African-Americans.

What inspired you to vie for the position that you currently hold?

I went out for the position of Mister Wilberforce University due to prior male leadership seeming a bit lackluster. It has caused for an undereducated community of  men regarding issues of, not only being a man, but a young black man in this country. I voice my opinion through art, and in some ways this has been my safety net. Now, I feel it is time to step out and deliver my messages in a way we can all become more unified as a student body, as well as a university.

What is your platform for your reign or term for the 2019-2020 academic year?

The platform I stand upon for the upcoming school year is more of a step-by-step path to becoming greater. Humility, understanding, unity, growth. In order to hear anybody out and relate to them, we must all undergo some form of humbling. Through this humility, we can then look beyond our individual differences and gain understanding. Following this, unification naturally occurs, and with this unity, growth can be achieved in whatever way our efforts so choose to pursue.

What is your platform for your reign or term for the 2019-2020 academic year?

My goals include increasing male awareness and knowledge on issue of rap culture, consent, homophobia, toxic masculinity, and true freedom. Increasing campus morale and cementing a consistent culture are also within the plans. An initiative I intend to implement is a monthly conversation amongst the men of Wilberforce called “My Brother Said.”

When do you graduate from college? And what are your plans after college?

I graduate in 2021 and my plans include, either entering a program that would provide teaching experience while also achieving my masters degree or seeking graduate school elsewhere in pursuit of becoming an English educator. I also intend to continue my career as an artist, so performances, workshops, community service with children, etc., are will within the plans.

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