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JCSU President Begins Nationwide Speaking Tour

Charlotte, N.C. (November 10, 2011) -- Johnson C. Smith University has been featured prominently in the Charlotte-area media lately. With a recent $35 million grant from The Duke Endowment and several ground-breaking ceremonies for on- and off-campus developments, it looks as if JCSU is heading for a major transformation.

Well, it is.

That’s the message Dr. Ronald L. Carter, the 13th president of JCSU, will be taking to alumni across the United States in an eight-city speaking tour beginning this November. These intimate speaking engagements will help the president lay out the vision for the future to the JCSU community and to some of its most important constituents.

“We have a clear and focused vision of where our university is going in the next five years,” said Carter. “Our business and community partners are now looking to us to be a leader in the growth and prosperity of Charlotte. It is a challenge and an opportunity that this university has boldly chosen to accept.”

New Developments

Of the many transformations Carter will be discussing with alumni, few are more exciting than the new developments popping up around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods.

Last year, the university opened the doors to the JCSU Arts Factory, a 14,000-square-foot teaching facility for students majoring in visual and performing arts. The building features a black box theater, dance studio and work space for art and graphic design students.

Carter envisioned the Arts Factory as being the launching pad for the revitalization effort of the Northwest Corridor of Charlotte.

Recently, JCSU broke ground again on Beatties Ford Road, this time at the future site of Mosaic Village, a residential and retail space for upperclassmen. The project is expected to be completed in 2012, just in time for students to return to campus for the fall term. 

The highly anticipated project will become home to 300 JCSU students and will also feature 6,500 square feet of retail space to boost the economic performance of the West End.

Campus Renovations

Alumni returning to JCSU’s Homecoming celebrations in the next few years will come back to a campus very different from the one they remember.

In the spring of 2012, returning alumni can expect to find JCSU’s new HealthPlex Center in full swing. The center is currently being constructed near Brayboy Gymnasium. 

Open to the campus and Charlotte community, the HealthPlex Center will boast exercise equipment, as well as two multipurpose rooms to help the university better educate the surrounding neighborhoods about health, nutrition and exercise.

In the coming months, students in on-campus housing will also enjoy upgrades to their residence halls. Beginning on the western side of campus, Duke Hall will be the first to undergo a $5.5 million renovation. Planned upgrades include suite-style living, full kitchens and modern furniture.

Investment in Academics

Its looks are not the only things JCSU is upgrading. With the $35 million grant from The Duke Endowment, the university will increase its support of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. A total of $25 million will be used to build one of the best STEM facilities in the country and attract high-achieving students from around the globe.

The university will also have the opportunity to assist more students by extending $4.5 million in scholarship funds to international students, as well as those majoring in science, technology, visual and performing arts and social work.

For more information regarding the latest developments at Johnson C. Smith University, visit the university’s website,, or Facebook page at

For questions regarding the speaking tour, please contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 704-378-1023.

Alumni Engagement Tour

November 14, 2011
Columbia, SC

December 8, 2011
Washington, DC
December 12, 2011
Winston-Salem / Greensboro / High Point, NC
January 23, 2012
Raleigh / Durham, NC
February 9, 2012
Philadelphia, PA
March 15, 2012
Atlanta, GA
April 26, 2012
Chicago, IL
June 2012 TBA
Los Angeles, CA

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