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TV actor is Fall Convocation speaker

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  Imagine playing an atheist and getting a friend request from God on Facebook; or running for mayor to promote your mixed tape and unwittingly winning the race. These are the starring roles that have propelled Brandon Micheal Hall to center stage of a burgeoning acting career. The actor, who hails from Anderson, South Carolina, will be the guest speaker at Livingstone College’s annual Fall Convocation on Thursday, Oct. 29, at 10 a.m. Hall, who was raised by a single mother, a minister, unabashedly shares his strong spiritual foundation and how that structure contributes to the actor and man he is today. His latest TV series, “God Friended Me,” ended after two seasons on CBS this past April. In it, Hall played Miles Finer, an outspoken atheist with a podcast who receives a friend request from God. He and a journalist friend ultimately accept God’s friend suggestions and inadvertently begin helping people in need. His first TV series was “The Mayor,” in which he played Courtney Rose, an aspiring rapper who ran for mayor only to promote publicity for his music but ends up winning. Hall attended Pendleton High School in Anderson before transferring to the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts & Humanities, in which he received the 2019 President’s Alumni Award. He later attended and graduated from The Juilliard School in New York City, New York. The convocation serves as a rites of passage for freshmen students who are ceremonially inducted into the class during the program. …

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Our deepest sympathy to SAU

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Oct. 16, 2020 Statement from Livingstone President regarding the passing of Dr. Irving McPhail It is heartbreaking and shocking to hear of the passing of my colleague, Dr. Irving McPhail, the 12th president of Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, N.C. Dr. McPhail was only three months into his role as president of Saint Augustine’s, but his impact in that brief amount of time will leave an indelible mark in the chronicles of that institution. I, along with the Livingstone College Board of Trustees, faculty and staff, extend our sincere condolences to Dr. McPhail’s wife, children, family and friends, and to the campus community of St. Augustine’s University. May you all be comforted during this time of bereavement and rely on your faith for strength. With deepest sympathy, Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., Ph.D. President  

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Virtual homecoming Oct. 8-10

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SALISBURY – What would have been a bevy of Blue Bears congregating at 701 W. Monroe Street this weekend for Livingstone College’s annual homecoming is now – like most events mid-COVID – a virtual experience. Livingstone will host a virtual homecoming Oct. 8-10 on a screen near you. The event is being sponsored by the Office of Alumni Affairs and will include as much fun as one can have virtually. Under the theme, “Homecoming Reimagined – The Virtual Experience,” there is something for everyone from young alumni to the young at heart, from rocking the vote to rocking the beat, from praise and worship to a hat parade. And at the center of each virtual engagement experience is the opportunity to give to support Livingstone College. “All of the events are free, and with the absence of hotel costs and cover charges for in-person events, this is the perfect opportunity for alumni and friends to give like they have never done before,” said Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. Vincia Benjamin Miller, Livingstone’s director of alumni affairs, said it was important to continue to keep Livingstone’s alumni and friends engaged this homecoming weekend despite not having in-person events or a football season. “It was also an opportune time to raise awareness about this upcoming election and the importance of voting,” she said. A complete lineup of homecoming events and Zoom links can be found on the college’s website at www.livingstone.edu under the Alumni Affairs tab, or by visiting our …

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Football season canceled

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SALISBURY – After careful consideration, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association (CIAA) Board of Directors, in conjunction with its Athletic Directors Association (ADA), has voted to delay the start of all winter sports seasons, which includes men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s indoor track and field, and women’s bowling. Men’s and women’s basketball will begin their seasons on January 9, 2021, while start dates for indoor track and field and women’s bowling are still under review. Additionally, at the recommendation of the CIAA and ADA, and with approval from the Board of Directors, the conference has opted not to sponsor championship seasons for football as well as men’s and women’s cross country during the 2020-21 athletic year, while women’s volleyball will proceed with a 2021 spring season. “Delaying the start of our winter seasons acts in the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches, and support staff as it ensures proper resocialization for all parties while affording our membership the opportunity to implement recommended health and safety measures prior to competition,” said CIAA Commissioner Jacqie McWilliams. “Although unfortunate and unprecedented circumstances this year will prohibit athletic seasons for some, we remain committed to bolstering opportunities that amplify the experiences of our student-athletes, member institutions, partners and fans.” “This difficult decision was made with the best interest of our student-athletes, coaches and staff in mind,” said Livingstone College Athletic Director Lamonte Massie-Sampson. “There are so many unknowns as it relates to this pandemic so it behooves us to be proactive in every …

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Dr. Gavin named Mentor of Year

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SALISBURY – Livingstone College Board of Trustee member, Dr. James R. Gavin, III, has been selected to receive the Endocrine Society’s Laureate Award as Mentor of the Year for 2021. The Endocrine Society is the foremost professional organization for endocrine scientists, researchers, practitioners and educators in the world. The annual award recognizes a career commitment to mentoring and a significant positive impact on mentees’ education and career, according to the Society’s website. Gavin has served as a direct mentor to more than 50 early stage physician-scientists and has touched the careers of countless others through his leadership of both the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-National Institutes of Health (NIH) Medical Research Scholars Program and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Harold Amos Medical Faculty Development Program (AMFDP). During his more than 35-year involvement with the RWJF AMFDP, he has contributed to the career development of more than 300 minority physician-scientists. “This is a very special award to me and a pinnacle personal honor because the award is driven by nominations from young scholars who feel that I have had a positive impact on their lives and careers,” Gavin said. “This is as meaningful and important to me as any brick-and-mortar award. I am humbled and honored by this designation.” Adding even more sentiment to the award is that one of Gavin’s mentees, Dr. Anne L. Peters, is also a 2021 award recipient in the Outstanding Public Service Award category; and one of his own mentors, Dr. Phillip Gorden, is recipient of …

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Freshmen move in, get tested

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SALISBURY – Excited freshmen brought life onto the campus of Livingstone College Friday as they moved into their new homes for the next nine weeks. It’s been five months since the college hosted students in person due to the global pandemic and the energy was contagious. A deejay at the hospitality tent gave rhythm to the cadence of activity as more than 100 students facilitated a streamlined five-step registration process. “The process has been smooth,” said Dr. Tony A. Baldwin, enrollment manager and associate vice president for the operations of Student Affairs. “We have not heard one complaint from parents. In fact, they have said we are doing a great job in moving students in and out.” In addition to a fast-track registration process, students and their parents were allowed only 30 minutes to unload luggage and other belongings into the residence halls to minimize public contact and social gathering. Donning their own masks, students were also presented Livingstone branded COVID-19 kits, which contained five reusable masks, hand sanitizer and an ID badge. And in accordance with the school’s screening protocol, everyone who entered campus received a temperature check by an officer of public safety. “I feel like you guys have over prepared,” said parent Theresa Tudor, whose daughter Ronee is a student-athlete on the track team. “You all probably won’t run into the issues these other schools have had that went back in August, so I feel very confident that she’ll be fine.” Parent Karen DeLoatch, whose daughter is …

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Campus reopens with COVID testing

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SALISBURY – Livingstone College officially reopened its campus Thursday with staff members reporting to their offices for a virtual opening session followed by COVID-19 testing. The virtual opening session began at 10:30 a.m. with opening remarks by Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., who highlighted events during the past five months in which the campus was closed due to the global pandemic. The world was attacked by an invisible enemy and like many other college campuses, Livingstone shut down its in-person learning in March and transitioned to distance learning. “It seemed surreal for all of us – more like a nightmare,” Jenkins said. “This enemy has taken away a major part of our DNA. We are social beings, but we now have to learn to curtail socialization. It is disturbing, but it is what it is. We have to follow the protocols so we can survive this pandemic.” Jenkins commended his senior staff members and faculty for adjusting efficiently to the new normal in organizing distance learning and maintaining their engagement with students over the past few months. Jenkins also commended the college’s Reopening Task Force, led by Dr. Anthony J. Davis, senior vice president of Institutional Advancement and chief operating officer, which developed eight protocols to safely reassume campus operations. Davis outlined those protocols in a series of short videos played during the virtual opening session, where staff members participated in from their respective offices. The protocols range from screening, security, protection and prevention, and space utilization to …

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Earn $4K freshman grant

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SALISBURY – Livingstone College is offering a special incentive for students who live within a 50-mile radius of its campus. Qualified freshmen attending Livingstone College already receive a $3,000 incentive grant, but for the 2020 fall semester, the college is adding an additional $1,000 to the award for a total savings of $4,000. Additionally, the college is waiving the requirement that freshmen must live on campus in order to qualify for the grant. “This pandemic has caused economic hardships on families, and students are considering not pursuing their educational plans due to financial and health reasons,” said Livingstone President Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr. “As a local option for higher learning, we’re announcing incentives that could make the choice easier for students to not defer their undergraduate studies and consider staying close to home.” “We realize that local students prefer to attend college out of town – and we get that,” said Kimberly Harrington, director of public relations for Livingstone College. “But these are uncertain times where normal might not be ideal or even possible. Rather than delay college, Livingstone is making it more affordable and convenient to attend college a stone’s (pun intended) throw away from home.” By waiving the freshmen housing requirement, students can opt to stay at home or live on campus. The choice is theirs. Registration is currently under way at Livingstone now through September, as classes are expected to begin Sept. 10. There are also early-bird incentives for registration as well. Visit www.livingstone.edu to register …