Newly established PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative to help cultivate entrepreneurship resources and opportunities for students at five universities through grant funding

RALEIGH, N.C. – The PNC Foundation is awarding more than $2 million to five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in North Carolina to establish the PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative, an effort that aims to enrich the future of entrepreneurship and create workforce opportunities in the state.

The grants will be distributed over a three-year period to help fund the development and delivery of entrepreneurship resources and programming for students at Elizabeth City State University, Fayetteville State University, Johnson C. Smith University, North Carolina Central University and Winston-Salem State University – institutions that play an integral role in cultivating Black business leaders and fostering wealth creation in Black communities.

“At PNC, we recognize how important HBCUs are to our state’s success,” said Weston Andress, PNC regional president for Western Carolinas. “HBCU graduates contribute significantly to be talent pipeline that is fueling North Carolina’s economy, and these institutions are foundational to shaping the workforce North Carolina needs to remain competitive in business.”

With an emphasis on entrepreneurship and economic empowerment, the PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative will enable grantee institutions to enhance their respective entrepreneurship curricula and offerings – from the introduction of new programs, to capacity-building opportunities, to technology enhancements. Additionally, students from all five schools will have the opportunity to participate in the PNC Pitch Competition, an annual forum where student-entrepreneurs can showcase innovative ideas and demonstrate their marketing skills.

“PNC shares with these institutions a vision for advancing inclusive entrepreneurship education and opportunities,” said Jim Hansen, PNC regional president for Eastern Carolinas. “This initiative is the latest example of our ongoing support for North Carolina HBCUs, which over the years has included grant funding, mentorship programs and financial literacy education. We look forward to joining student-entrepreneurs and their campus communities on this meaningful , three year journey.”

The grant recipients will use the funding as follows:

  • Elizabeth City State University: The university will broaden the scope of its current business program portfolio to expand the Entrepreneur Lab, which offers resources and development opportunities for students interested in launching and marketing a business. Additionally, the funding will establish the PNC Entrepreneurship Fellow Program and support Viking Shark Entrepreneurship Week, which provides the opportunity for teams for North Carolina HBCUs to practice pitching their business ideas in front of judges.
  • Fayetteville State University: Funding will support the buildout of the Fayetteville State University Entrepreneurship Lab (E-Lab), an action learning opportunity designed to help students accelerate new ideas and product development. Student entrepreneur teams creating or growing their own ventures may compete for E-Lab funding to help fuel their projects. Additionally, the E-Lab will offer business and economic development support for community members and fosters self-employment opportunities.
  • Johnson C. Smith University: The university will launch the PNC Entrepreneurship Hub, which will provide selected student-entrepreneurs- PNC Fellows – with space that is conducive to developing and launching new businesses. In addition to incubator space, the hub will equip PNC Fellows with access to technology, seed funding and mentorship to help them launch new businesses to take existing businesses to the next level.
  • North Carolina Central University: Grant funding will help establish the North Carolina Central University Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CEED), a university-based program that will provide CEED Student Fellows with entrepreneurial and community economic development education and comprehensive small business finance training, with the encouragement to become community development investors.
  • Winston-Salem State University: The grant will fund the development of the PNC Entrepreneurial Fellows Program, which will help selected students fellows learn critical aspects of new venture creation by participating in nationally certified programs, workshops, research and one-on-one mentoring with successful North Carolina entrepreneurs.

“While entrepreneurship is the central focus of the PNC North Carolina HBCU Initiative, each grantee is approaching the scope of their projects differently to meet the needs and opportunities unique to each institution,” said Lori Jones Gibbs, PNC Community Development Banking market manager for the Carolinas. “This initiative underscores the many creative ways entrepreneurship is coming to life for North Carolina students.”

These grants align with PNC’s support for HBCUs throughout the country and complement the ongoing development of the Howard University and PNC National Center for Entrepreneurship. Additionally, this funding is part of PNC’s nationwide $88 billion Community Benefits Plan, which is inclusive of a previously announced commitment of more than $1 billion to support the economic empowerment of Black and low- and moderate-income communities.



North Carolina’s annual campaign to support college access is during the month of October and is named NC Countdown to College. Activities during the month support high school seniors in completing three important college enrollment steps: residency, FAFSA, and applications. 

What is traditionally called College Application Week has been extended to two weeks this year: October 19 – 30th, 2020. During these weeks, many NC colleges and universities wave their applications fees.

If you’re an out-of-state, transfer or grad student,  some schools enjoy the opportunity to expand their fee waivers to you. However, those choices are made by the individual institutions and NC Countdown to College or the HBCU Campaign Fund does not have information on which schools might expand their waivers to other groups. Contact the specific institutions’ admissions office.

For more information, visit

NC Residency

North Carolina residents can qualify for in-state tuition, state grants, and certain financial aid. Those must show that they are a resident of North Carolina. Complete the residency determination below.




Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) gives you access to the largest source of financial aid to pay for college


College applications

College Application Week is here. The HBCU Campaign Fund and its Division of College Recruitment and Scholarships would like to help students submit online applications for admissions to various NC HBCUs.


RALEIGH, NC – Saint Augustine’s University (SAU) is reducing its tuition by 15% starting in the fall of 2020, the University announced on Monday. When most institutions of higher education are raising prices, SAU is addressing the concerns of families who are looking for relief in the area of affordability. The lower cost will apply to in-state and out-of-state, new, and returning students.

“In today’s economy we are painfully aware that tuition cost is the primary factor that separates prospective students from their dream of pursuing higher education,” said Dr. Gaddis Faulcon, Interim President of Saint Augustine’s University. “We are keenly aware of our parents’ and students’ desire to have access to higher education that is affordable but does not compromise on quality and credibility. This tuition adjustment is in direct response to what we see on our campus.”

The cost for non-boarding students to attend SAU will go down from $12,890 to $10,957 a savings of $1,934. The University is pleased to continue to offer academic and performance-based scholarships and financial aid packages for qualifying students. With a high percentage of SAU students receiving federal aid, the University is still committed to providing the best and the most affordable education in the southeast. The liberal arts institution offers 20 majors including a Continuing Education program for evening and weekend adult learners as well as an online curriculum

To learn more about SAU, visit


About Saint Augustine’s University

Founded in 1867 by the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina, the mission of Saint Augustine’s University is to sustain a learning community in which students can prepare academically, socially and spiritually for leadership in a complex, diverse and rapidly changing world.

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – The Office of Sponsored Programs at Elizabeth City State University has announced that funding for competitive awards has exceeded $5 million. Director of Sponsored Programs, Annemarie Delgado, says that at the end of the 2019 fiscal year, ECSU received 32 awards totaling more than $5 million, a substantial increase over last year’s 4 million mark.

“The grants awarded to our faculty and staff this past academic year showcase the various interests and strengths of our institution,” said Ms. Delgado.

According to Ms. Delgado, grant funding included programs such as Upward Bound, public broadcasting, aviation science, STEM education, research on African American history and more.

“In addition, ECSU faculty garnered some very prestigious awards this year from sponsors such as the Institute of Museum and Library Services for a study on African-American Cultural Heritage, from the U.S. Department of Education for studies of coastal habitats, and an award from the National Science Foundation to further research in plant science,” said Ms. Delgado.

The ECSU Office of Sponsored Programs has been working with faculty and staff to expand competitive grant opportunities, and offer support through the process. Their efforts, in collaboration with faculty, has resulted in high-profile grant awards that bring new research opportunities to campus, offering faculty and students a broader range of opportunities and ECSU more exposure throughout the world of higher education.

Ms. Delgado said that when faculty members write for grants, they will include students as part of their proposals. This means that when a grant is awarded, not only do faculty members receive research funding, undergraduate and graduate students also receive support and opportunities to work on research projects.

Including students in research affords ECSU students the opportunity to gain valuable experience. That experience can be translated into qualifying graduate work, as well as career experience, said Ms. Delgado.

“We are excited by the many opportunities that theses awards bring to our campus in terms growing our research capabilities, providing more undergraduate and graduate research and training opportunities, and expanding our research and lab facilities,” said Ms. Delgado.


About Elizabeth City State University

Elizabeth City State University (ECSU), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is the premier public institution serving northeastern North Carolina, providing affordable academic programs and services of exceptional caliber in a nurturing environment. The university attracts and retain a diverse and highly qualified faculty that educate and lead the students to become productive members of a global and increasingly independent society. ECSU continues to be a leading partner in enhancing educational and cultural opportunities and improving the economic strength in the region. For more information, visit

Every Monday, the HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) will spotlight a Chancellor or President who currently serves a Historically Black College or University. This initiative recognizes and introduces those individuals who serve our nation HBCUs on a daily basis, changing and educating lives while producing the forthcoming visionary leaders of tomorrow.

This week’s Chancellor or President:  Dr. Paulette Dillard, Shaw University

Dr. Paulette Dillard, 18th President of Shaw University.

Dr. Paulette Dillard, the 18th President of Shaw University, has a rich teaching history having taught biology for over 20 years at various institutions. Prior to her appointment as Shaw interim President, she served as Vice President for Academic Affairs.

During her tenure at Shaw University, Dr. Dillard served as the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Department Chair for Professor of Biology. She also has served as Coordinator of undergraduate research infrastructure, and Co-Director of the academic enrichment programs for the National Institutes of Health funded National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities (NIMHD) Research Infrastructure in Minority Institutions (RIMI) project.

Dr. Dillard also served as a research mentor for interns as part of the Shaw in Jamaica-Mon International Student Research Training Project, a collaborative partnership with The University of the West Indies. During the summer, Dr. Dillard and the student research interns spent six week in Kingston, Jamaica conducting research and examining the knowledge, skills, and attitudes of Jamaican men of African descent who were diagnosed with prostate cancer. This study was of interest to Dr. Dillard since it is well documented that Jamaica men have the highest mortality rate from prostate cancer when compared with other ethnic groups.

Dr. Dillard serves on the boards for the Carolina Small Business Development Fund and the Dorothea Dix Conservancy. She has been involved with the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center and the LaunchRALEIGH initiatives since inception. Throughout her career, Dr. Dillard has served on the boards of a number of professional and community organizations.

Dr. Dillard earned a bachelor of science degree in biology at Barber-Scotia College in Concord, North Carolina and received a master of science degree in biology from Tennessee State University. She went on to earn an MBA from the Jack Massey School of Business at Belmont University and a Ph.D. in Biological Science from Clark Atlanta University (CAU). She completed postdoctoral training at the Center for Cancer Research and Therapeutic Development at CAU.


About Shaw University

Shaw University, is the first historically black university in the Southern United States. Shaw is a private liberal arts institution affiliated with the Baptist Church and among the oldest HBCUs in the nation. Founded in 1865, Shaw University has a rich history steeped in tradition, activism and service. Shaw University was the first college in North Carolina to offer a four-year medical school; the first institution of higher learning established for freedmen after the Civil War and the first historically Black College in the nation to open its doors to women. For more information, visit

About the HBCU Campaign Fund

HBCU Campaign Fund (HCF) is a non-profit advocacy organization which is mission to supporting the significance and campaign in raising funds for scholarships and services at historically black colleges and universities and predominately black institutions. HCF advocates for students, alumni, HBCU and PB institutions. For more information, visit

Dr. Melvin Douglass

CONCORD, NC – The Barber-Scotia College Board of Trustees has announced the appointment of Dr. Melvin Douglass as the next President of the College. Dr. Douglass brings to the College more than 25 years of combined senior level administrative experience in academia, research, policy, advocacy, government service, and nonprofit sector. Dr. Douglas’ talents and experiences have allowed him to become adept at overseeing operational and fiscal responsibilities that speak to ensuring optimal organizational performances and actualizing revenue enhancements.

A native of Harlem, New York, he has earned his degrees from Vincennes University, Tuskegee University, Morgan State University, New York University, Columbia University and Harvard University. Dr. Douglass did post-doctoral studies at Clare College, Cambridge University, England, and the Goethe-Institute, Germany. He was also selected as a Japan Fulbright Memorial Scholar.

Dr. Douglass is an ordained Baptist minister, who strongly embraces the Black Churches’ long tradition of liberation theology and racial reconciliation that was notably embodied in the movement led by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Douglass is frequently called upon to address civic, ecumenical, educational, fraternal and professional organizations. His appointment becomes effective immediately.

According to a press release from the College, the College will host a “meet and greet” reception for Dr. Douglass in the near future so the community, alumni, and friends of the College can join as they welcome Dr. Douglass to Barber-Scotia College.

For more information, you may email BSC Board of Trustees Chairwoman, Ms. Karen Soares at

Dr. Gaddis Faulcon pictured as Interim President of Shaw University at the time.

RALEIGH, NC – The Board of Trustees of Saint Augustine’s University announced the appointment of Dr. Gaddis Faulcon as the interim president for the University on Tuesday, March 12. This appointment is effective immediately. This decision coincides with the beginning of former President Everett Ward’s retirement.

“At this time of significant positive momentum surrounding the next phase of the University evolution, the Board of Trustees has determined there is a need to launch the formal transition and search process for the new President,” said Hilton Smith, Board of Trustees Chairman. “We are pleased that Dr. Gaddis Faulcon, our 1974 alumnus, has agreed to lead our transition team. He brings the passion and previous experience serving in this pivotal role.”

Faulcon recently served as Vice President of Enrollment Management at Saint Augustine’s University. He also led Shaw University as its interim president from 2014 to 2015. Faulcon, who joined the faculty at Shaw in 1998, has 30 years of experience in higher education and has previously served in several administrative roles. In addition to his roles at Saint Augustine’s and Shaw University, he served as acting executive director for Northeastern North Carolina Tomorrow, Inc. at Elizabeth City State University.

Faulcon earned a bachelor’s of science degree in health and physical education from Saint Augustine’s University; an M.R.R/M.P.A. in recreation resources management and public administration; and an Ed.D. in higher education and public administration both from North Carolina State University.

“I am truly honored to be asked to lead my alma mater at this crucial time in our 152-year history and look forward to working with all those who are committed to writing our next great chapter together,” said Faulcon.


FAYETTEVILEE, NC – Fayetteville State University’s (FSU) fall 2018 graduates of the pre-licensure nursing program have earned a 100% pass rate on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), the test required for entry into the nursing profession. Twenty-two students took the exam, and all passed on the first attempt.

“I can’t empathize enough how proud I am of these nursing graduates for the outstanding results on the nursing exam,” said James Anderson, FSU Chancellor. “The nursing program here continues to set the standard for similar programs in this region and state for quality and success. I am especially proud of the associate dean, the faculty, and staff who work tirelessly to ensure the continued viability of this world-class program. They are doing tremendous work and I can’t thank them enough for all they do.”

Pass rates of graduates on the NCLEX are generally regarded as the most important measure of nursing program quality. According to the NC Board of Nursing website, the 2018 national pass rate for bachelor’s degree students is 92% and 95% for North Carolina graduates. These latest scores bring FSU’s 2018 pass rate average to 98%. All scores reported are for first-time test takers.

The pre-licensure program is one of two tracks FSU offers students to earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. The pre-licensure program curriculum is a 4-year program that prepares students for licensure as they earn a bachelor’s degree, while the other track, the RN-BSN, enables licensed registered nurses to complete requirement for the bachelor’s degree. To learn more about Fayetteville State University’s School of Nursing, please visit

About Fayetteville State University

Fayetteville State University is a constituent institution of The University of North Carolina and the second-oldest public institution of higher education in the state, having been founded in 1867. FSU offers degree in the baccalureate, master’s, and doctoral levels. With more than 6,300 students, Fayetteville State University is among the most diverse institutions in the nation. To learn more about FSU, visit

ELIZABETH CITY, NC – Engineer, STEM advocate, high education and civic leader, public speaker and former president of Alabama State University Dr. Gwendolyn E. Boyd to serve as the 128th Founders Day Convocation at Elizabeth City State University on Friday, March 8, 2019, at 10:00 a.m. at the Mickey L. Burnim Fine Arts Center on campus. This event is free and open to the public.

According to a press release by the University, Gwendolyn Elizabeth Boyd is an engineer and is described as a dynamic and relevant leader, a prolific motivational speaker, a powerful preacher and a prominent advocate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. Boyd earned her B.S. from Alabama State University with a major in mathematics and a double minor in physics and music. She received a fellowship and was the first African-American female to earn to M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University. She has earned both the M. Div. and D. Min. Degrees from Howard University.

Boyd’s professional career of more than three decades at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory was highlighted by exemplary leadership and dedicated service as part of engineering teams. Body was a direct report to the President of Johns Hopkins University serving as chiar of the Johns Hopkins Diversity Leadership Council from 2001-2014.

Body returned to her alma mater in 2014 and for three years she served as the 14th and first female president of ASU. Highlights of her presidency included getting the university its very first engineering degree program with approval for a BS in biomedical engineering. Boyd and her team got the university removed from SACSCOC warning status from previous financial instability. The largest freshman class was documented during her tenure.

Body is a nationally recognized champion of education, especially as it relates to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) disciplines. Boyd was nominated by President Barack Obama and received U.S. Senate confirmation to serve as a trustee to the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Foundation in 2009 and later to serve on the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for African Americans in 2014.

Rev. Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd is an ordained itinerant elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She serves on the ministerial staff at Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, MD.

Dr. Gwendolyn Boyd was elected to serve from 2000-2004 as the 22nd National President of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., an international organization of more than 250,000 members. Known as the “Technology President,” Boyd helped to established technology in all facets of the sorority’s activities and administration. Her four-year tenure as presidents included a number of transformative accomplishment, including the launching of Project SEE (Science in Everyday Experiences), an initiative funded by a $1.6 million National Science Foundation grant with a goal of promoting math and science for middle school African-American girls. She also led the sorority’s humanitarian and education advocacy efforts in various parts of Africa, including Swaziland, Lesotho and Soweto, South Africa. In 2013, Boyd served as chair of the sorority’s Centennial Celebration, which involved organizing a year-long series of events culminating in a Washington, D.C.-based convention that drew more than 40,000 participants from around the world.

Dr. Boyd has been awarded two honorary doctorates; The Carver Medal from Simpson College; Congressional recognitions; 30 “Keys to the City”; a Key to the “State of Florida”; declaration of Gwendolyn E. Body Day in eight city; leadership awards and professional awards for her achievements in the fields of engineering, higher education and community activism. She is a member of the Washington DC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Capital City Chapter of the Links, Inc., and Leadership Greater Washington.


N.C. A&T has been a Center for Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense for eight years contributes to the diversity of the NSA workforce. Photo Courtesy of N.C. A&T.

With the focus that North Carolina A&T State University has in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) as a HBCU, the institution has partnered with the National Security Agency (NSA) for over 20 years.

“N.C. A&T contributes to the diversity of our workforce and provides degree programs that are comprehensive, multidisciplinary and relevant to our mission,” said George C. Barnes, Deputy Director of NSA.

To celebrate its partnership, NSA has named N.C. A&T a semester long, Featured School – only the second school to receive this honor. The Featured School Series highlights colleges and university that help develop the talent and tools needed to meet national security challenges. The collaboration between NSA and N.C. A&T is being highlighted on, and on social media.

“We are so excited to be chosen as a Featured School. Partnerships such as this demonstrate our commitment to improving lives through innovations in research and discovery,” said Beryl McEwen, N.C. A&T’s Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. “N.C. A&T’s longstanding commitment to computer science and to cybersecurity has made significant career opportunities available for so many exceptional students and helped to advance the frontiers of this important discipline.

N.C. A&T has been a National Center of Excellence (CAE) for eight year, promoting higher education and research in the critical area of cyber defense (cybersecurity). The school is also one of 16 colleges and universities across the country in NSA’s hiring and recruitment Campus Ambassador Program (CAP), which serves to build and strengthen relationships with select universities. Further, N.C. A&T hosted two GenCyber Camps in 2019 sponsored by NSA and the National Science Foundation, providing free summer cybersecurity experiences for students and teachers at the K-12 level.

Currently, NSA hires more N.C. A&T grads than any other agency in the Intelligence Community, nearly 70 N.C. A&T alumni work at the Agency.

“Academic partnerships are so vital to national security that NSA invests more than $100 million annually in support of academic partner programs, including educational grants, research and recruitment efforts,” Barnes said.

NSA aims to introduce a new featured school every few months, highlighting schools designated as Centers of Academic Excellence (CAE) that have depth and breadth for engagement with NSA. The series will also have presence on and will be featured on social media.

Click here for more about N.C. A&T and NSA’s partnership.

Click here for more information about NSA partnership opportunities at both the college and university level.


About North Carolina A&T State University

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University advances knowledge through scholarly exchange and transforms society with exceptional teaching, learning, discovery and community engagement. An 1890 land-grant doctoral research institution with a distinction in STEM and commitment to excellence in all disciplines, North Carolina A&T creates innovative solutions that address the challenges and economic needs of North Carolina, the nation and the world.  For more information, visit