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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

Wall named chief of staff

Letitia C. Wall has been named chief of staff and operations officer for Winston-Salem State University’s Office of the Chancellor.

Read Moreabout Wall named chief of staff

Isom named chief audit risk and compliance officer

Rod Isom has been elevated to chief audit risk and compliance officer at Winston-Salem State University, effective immediately.

Read Moreabout Isom named chief audit risk and compliance officer

Gingles named chief marketing officer

Haley Gingles has been appointed chief marketing officer (CMO) at Winston-Salem State University.

Read Moreabout Gingles named chief marketing officer