Two WSSU Administrators Will Receive Top Community Service Awards
Chancellor Donald J. Reaves
Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) Chancellor Donald J. Reaves has been named Man of the Year and WSSU Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Michelle Cook has been named Woman of the Year by The Chronicle, Winston-Salem’s weekly newspaper. They will be recognized March 19 at The Chronicle’s 26th Annual Community Service Awards event.
Dr. Reaves is being honored for “expertly guiding the university through a period of budgetary strain and great changes.” Chancellor since August 2007, Dr. Reaves has led the charge to develop a Strategic Plan for WSSU that focuses on academic excellence and student success. He continues to move that plan forward in spite of major reductions in the funding the university receives through state appropriations.
In addition to his leadership at WSSU, Dr. Reaves is actively engaged with a number of civic organizations in the community including the Novant Health Triad Region Board of Trustees, United Way of Forsyth County’s Board of Directors, the Board of Directors for Piedmont Triad Research Park, Piedmont Triad Leadership Council, the Josh and Marie Reynolds Hospital Guest House Board of Advocates, Winston-Salem Alliance Board and the Advisory Board of the North Carolina Humanities Council.
Mrs. Cook was chosen because of her work at WSSU and also for being one of the five founding members of the trailblazing Women’s Fund of Winston-Salem, an organization she has also chaired. Begun in 2005, the Women’s Fund now has 800 members and awarded over $630,000 in grants to organizations working to improve the lives of women and girls in Forsyth County.
Mrs. Cook has also provided leadership for numerous other organizations. She is currently the chair of the St. Peter’s Centers for Comprehensive Services and is past chair of the Children’s Center for the Physically Disabled and the Komen Race for the Cure. Mrs. Cook has served on the Boards of Directors for other organizations including the Forsyth Women’s Council, N.C. Black Repertory Company, Forsyth Early Childhood Partnership and the United Way of Forsyth County.
Others with WSSU connections who will be honored at the event include Dr. Elwanda Ingram, English professor, along with alumni Peyton Hairston and Harden “Butch” Wheeler. Dr. Ingram will be one of three who receive Curator of the Arts awards for their work with the N. C. Black Repertory Company and the Black Theatre Festival. Mr. Hairston will receive one of the Lifetime Achievement Awards for his many notable deeds including his work to grow the WSSU National Alumni Association. Mr. Wheeler is being recognized for volunteering his time, talents and culinary skills in support of a number of nonprofit organizations in the community.