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2020: A year of perseverance at WSSU

Facing a pandemic, canceled events, and keeping things together from a distance, Winston-Salem State University prevailed and rose to the occasion. The university still had a year of great partnerships, innovation, trailblazing and social change.

As the first year of this new decade comes to an end, here’s a look back at some of the year’s most memorable news stories.

WSSU celebrated two significant anniversaries with its neighboring institution, Wake Forest University, and honored passed trailblazers.


WSSU, Wake Forest celebrates 20th anniversary of MLK Day partnership

Winston-Salem State University and Wake Forest University collaborate to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the 20-year anniversary of their partnership.

WSSU, WFU mark 60th anniversary of Winston-Salem sit-ins with community

More than 200 Winston-Salem residents gathered to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Winston-Salem sit-in on Sunday, Feb. 23.

WSSU remembers Elizabeth Barker Johnson

Elizabeth Barker Johnson’49, World War II Army Veteran and the first woman to enroll in the university on a GI Bill, passed away on Aug. 23 at the age of 100.

WSSU remembers alumnus and former N.C. state Rep. Larry Womble

Former lawmaker, educator, activist, and Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) alumnus Larry Womble dies after a period of declining health.


Through significant partnerships and its continued commitment to student success, WSSU exceeded fundraising goals, expanded its research portfolio, and received national, global and out of this world recognitions and gifts.


WSSU secures $100,000 Nationwide partnership

Nationwide partners with WSSU to provide $100,000 sponsorship over the next four years for ongoing support of Computer Science and Information Systems and Analytics programming.

WSSU raises $3.3 million for student financial aid

WSSU’s Million Dollar Match campaign exceeded its $2 million goal by more than 60 percent - providing almost $3.4 million for student scholarships.

WSSU receives $30 million gift from Philanthropist MacKenzie Scott

Writer and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott donates $30 million to WSSU. Scott, one of the world's richest women, has given more than $1.7 billion to diverse organizations - including several HBCUs. 

WSSU ranks high on national lists in 2020

WSSU continues to rank high on national lists. Here’s a list of some of the university’s noteworthy 2020 rankings.

Future soldiers sworn in from space

Twelve future soldiers took the oath of enlistment on Winston-Salem State University’s campus during a mass Future Soldier Swearing-in Ceremony administered from space by Army astronaut Col. Andrew Morgan.

Rapid changes, due to the coronavirus pandemic, sparked innovation in WSSU’s academic departments. The physical therapy and occupational therapy departments became trailblazers for their virtual falls prevention program.


School of Health Sciences program helps community stay balanced during pandemic

Winston-Salem State University's School of Health Sciences offers its falls prevention program virtually. WSSU's occupational therapy and physical therapy departments are the only programs in the country to offer the program online.

The pursuit for social justice is a campus-wide priority at WSSU. Rams come together to advocate for social change.


NBA star Chris Paul teams up with fellow Rams to encourage early voting

NBA star and WSSU student Chris Paul teamed up with WSSU Student Government Association to organize “March to the Polls Pt. 2."

WSSU justice studies students created Ronnie Long Project, campaigned for exoneration of wrongly convicted N.C. man

WSSU justice studies faculty and students help exonerate Ronnie Long, a North Carolina man who served 44 years in prison after being wrongly convicted.

More News

WSSU offers free textbooks to all undergraduate students

Winston-Salem State University has partnered with Barnes & Noble College to implement BNC First Day® Complete, a course material delivery model that will drive student success by ensuring all students are prepared to begin learning on the first day of class.

First Day® Complete, an innovative course material delivery model, addresses equitable access, convenience, and affordability across all courses at an institution by bundling the cost of course materials into tuition and ensuring students have all their materials for the semester available on or before the first day of class. WSSU will cover all associated expenses so that no additional costs will be passed on to students.

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WSSU Receives Job Corps Scholars Program Grant

Back in the fall of 2019, LaMonica Sloan Wilhelmi and senior staff members at Winston-Salem State University were brainstorming, searching for ideas to help provide more career development options for students.

The innovative ideas from that session laid the groundwork for what turned into a $1.2 million Job Corps Scholars Program on the WSSU campus that will provide intensive two-year career preparation for 40 community members a year.

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WSSU Study Shows Minorities, Disabled Face Even Greater Health Care Barriers During COVID-19 Pandemic

It is no secret that underserved segments of the population … minorities and the disabled … face serious barriers when it comes to health care in this country.

A team of Winston-Salem State University faculty members – Dr. Tammara Thomas, Dr. Keisha Rogers, and Dr. Felicia Simpson – recently concluded research that showed those barriers were even more pervasive during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read Moreabout WSSU Study Shows Minorities, Disabled Face Even Greater Health Care Barriers During COVID-19 Pandemic