Willie J. Randolph remembers how he pushed lawnmowers, bussed tables, washed dishes, and picked cotton and tobacco to raise money for tuition to complete his degree at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University 50 years ago.
Despite all that hustle, Randolph, class of 1968, was $500 short one year. Dr. A.P. Bell, one of Randolph’s professors, and the late Dr. Burleigh C. Webb, dean of A&T’s College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, helped him find the remainder of the tuition money through scholarships.
So two weeks ago, Randolph and a quartet of his fellow CAES alumni paid that generosity back … and forward. They awarded $25,555.91 to the CAES for student scholarships and possibly to start an endowment.
“I am what I am because of what A&T did for me,” says Randolph, a retired vocational agriculture teacher. “Because of A&T, I think we have made some influences and made some students have a better future.”
Randolph, of Fayetteville, along with Willie J. Walls of Chadbourn, Marvin Rountree of Rocky Mount, Robert A. Fairley Sr. of Maxton, and Walter C. Jones of Tarboro, presented the check to Dr. Antoine Alston, CAES associate dean for academic studies. They asked that the award be specifically used to support the scholarship fund started by their friend, mentor and retired A&T professor Bell, who was present for the announcement and the award.
“It makes me feel good that they recognize and appreciate it (the scholarship) and that they think so highly of me, A&T and the state of North Carolina,” Bell said. “I’m deeply appreciative.” Continue reading Ag vocational educators pay it forward to the CAES