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Message from Elwood L. Robinson, PhD

This is an exciting time at WSSU. We have embarked on a new strategic plan for 2016-2021 that embraces a new model for higher education that ensures that every student is prepared for a career and a job that may not yet exist. The plan reflects our commitment to producing graduates who are critical thinkers, analytical problems solvers, effective communicators, and innovative and creative collaborators. We are harnessing the success of our strategic plan for 2010-2015 to launch the university into the future. We are engaging our students inside and outside the classroom and working to ensure all our students have opportunities for deeper learning to stimulate their growth and cultural skills through high-impact learning opportunities, such as internships, research projects, and study abroad experiences.

Our evolution is not going unnoticed. The university has received abundant accolades and honors for our work. We rank in the Top 10 in the nation on CollegeNet’s Social Mobility Index – a scale that evaluates how well universities elevate the social and economic well-being of their graduates. We have been named to the U.S News and World Report’s list of the Best Colleges in the South, the Top Public Schools in the U.S., and the Top Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S. Meanwhile, College Choice in 2015 named us the No. 1 HBCU in North Carolina and the No. 5 HBCU in the nation. Our student-athletes also rake in honors. In 2015-2016, we claimed 5 CIAA Championships, and 20 since our return to the CIAA in 2010. Our athletes excel not only on the field; more than 100 of them were named to the Dean’s List in Spring 2016. They are committed to community engagement, spending 3,000 hours a year on community service projects.

We are also producing outcomes for our graduates. A 2014 study found that WSSU ranks No. 1 in the UNC System for graduates receiving jobs in North Carolina after graduation and No. 1 in the Triad for highest salary after receiving an undergraduate degree. Meanwhile, ranked us fourth among all public and private universities in North Carolina for providing the best percent return on investment for our students. Our students leave WSSU prepared for success whether they take jobs in the public or private sector, serve our nation in the military, or attend graduate school.

Transformation isn’t just happening in our curriculum and our programming. Our campus is undergoing growth as well. In order to do an even better job preparing our science and health care students, we are constructing new Sciences Building. The building is a crucial project that supports the university’s commitment to meeting the region’s demand for more STEM-H (science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and health sciences) graduates. By providing cutting-edge learning spaces and laboratories for our students, we help prepare them for the rigors of the “real world” application of science and research. Our Master Plan for our physical space also calls for construction of a new residence hall and for the renovation of several academic buildings on campus.

WSSU is clearly a university on the move. We are a vibrant and dynamic learning community full of people who are committed to excellence and opportunity. Our students are part of 120-plus years of history—a history that is both transformative and revolutionary, much like our university. When they graduate, they join 25,000 WSSU alumni who believe in, advocate for, and support their alma mater. I believe our founder, Dr. Simon Green Atkins, would be proud of what this university has become. I am certainly proud and honored to serve as its chancellor.


Elwood L. Robinson