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JCSU Arch of Triumph Gala Honors Three

Charlotte, N.C. (April 22, 2014) – In observance of the 147th Founders’ Week at Johnson C. Smith University, the sixth annual Arch of Triumph Gala honored two individuals and one organization for their outstanding contributions to higher education, economic development and entrepreneurship.

This year, the university honored Andrea L. Harris, president of the North Carolina Institute of Minority Development; Tom E. Baldwin, senior vice president of  BB&T; and The Duke Endowment.

Harris was honored for working to change the culture within the private and public sectors to expand access to market opportunities, affordable capital and supportive assistance for minority and women business enterprises.

Baldwin, a 1971 graduate of JCSU, is founding officer for 100 Black Men of Greater Charlotte and served on the boards of Elon Homes for Children, Florence Crittenton Services and the JCSU Board of Trustees.

The Duke Endowment has awarded more than $3 billion in grants since its inception in 1924.  In 2011, the Endowment granted $35 million to JCSU, one of the largest gifts ever awarded to a Historically Black College or University. As part of its funding portfolio, the Endowment’s sustainability initiative supports a unique collaboration with JCSU and three other colleges and universities.

A vision of JCSU President Ronald L. Carter, the gala extends an opportunity to dignitaries, corporate and civic leaders, alumni and other supporters to raise critical unrestricted dollars for the JCSU Fund. This fund enables the university to offer scholarships, teaching and learning initiatives, as well as programs essential to providing a quality educational experience. Since its inception, the event has raised more than $1.1 million.

Among Charlotte’s signature fundraising and social events, the black tie gala featured elegant dining, dancing and entertainment by the JCSU Concert Choir and Jazz Band. This year’s presenting sponsors were Carolinas HealthCare System and Wells Fargo.

Shannon Cross, a 2004 graduate of JCSU, served as Mistress of Ceremonies. She is employed as a sports anchor and reporter for CTV, covering national and local sports stories in the Washington, D.C. metro area.

About Johnson C. Smith University

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is an independent, close-knit urban university located in Charlotte, N.C. It has a growing national reputation for integrating the liberal arts with business, the sciences and technology in ways that empower tomorrow’s diverse entrepreneurial citizens and leaders. Offering 22 fields of study to more than 1,300 students from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds, the university’s excellent academic programs focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility. For more information about JCSU, visit or follow the university on social media sites Facebook , TwitterYouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.


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