Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) are pivotal in the black community. HBCUs allowed blacks to receive an education denied to them during the slavery era. Today, HBCUs have formulated an adapted tradition and culture embedded in the black community – from homecomings to the battle of the bands. The schools may rival each other in band and sports, but there’s an unfathomable camaraderie when supporting each other. The HBCU’s uniqueness is remarkable in its way.
HBCUs are also essential in producing society’s influential black leaders in many levels of professions. One of those leaders I had an opportunity to interview is Dorian Davis. Davis is a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University. He transformed his leadership knowledge from his beloved alma mater onto the real world, working as a Senior Consultant for Deloitte and Touché.
Davis always remembered his roots. Davis highlighted his college experience in the book entitled the HBCU Experience – 4th edition by Dr. Ashley Little as one of the contributing authors. “I was connected through a friend, Ben Robinson, who’s like my big brother from high school. He looked out for me while I was a student at A&T. I was thrilled and honored that Dr. Ashley Little reached out to me to participate in this version,” stated Davis.
Davis’s high school friend linking him to the book feature represents that HBCU connection to him. “The love, care, and the need to uplift is more of an organized structure of our black community, which is vital for HBCUs. That’s what I love about it,” Davis shared. He detailed where his entrenched adoration for his alma mater started.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE NC A&T?
NC A&T was coined by his classmates as “Southeast University” because many students from his high school attended NC A&T. He heard the negative connotation from non-black teachers on why he shouldn’t enroll at A&T – stating that he wouldn’t grow. One experience became the deciding factor for him to apply to the school at the last minute. His friends were elated as they proudly wore their blue and gold shirts – sharing their experiences with him at Spring’s open house. “The way their spirits were when they returned to school made me want to have that same experience.”
THE HBCU EXPERIENCE
From that moment, Davis was mission to experience that joyful feeling his friends encountered at Spring’s open house and make his college journey a great experience. There, Davis cultivated friendships and got involved in student organizations like the Student Government Association (SGA), serving as the chairing president. He was also a Couture Modeling Group, Art Circle, Public Relations Student Association, and National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) member.
Reflecting, he now knows that elated joy in what his high school friends encountered at Spring Open House. “I don’t know an AGGIE when you’re out in the atmosphere, and you just feel what Aggie Pride is,” Davis expressed. Davis, who pursued his graduate studies at Indiana University, a predominately white institution, shared the distinctions between the school’s pride there compared to NC A&T. “PWIs have immense pride for their sports teams. There was a different pride for the university compared to what I witnessed at NCAT. With A&T it’s a special kind of pride for the institution itself”, stated Dorian.
AGGIE PRIDE CONNECTION
Davis expressed there’s something spiritual that connects Aggies. “I would never miss a homecoming unless it’s my wedding or my child is born. Those are the two reasons I will miss homecoming,” Davis stated. GHOE represents family, bringing great people together to have a good time. “Greensboro is a city that has so many hidden gems and A&T is the main gem,” stated Davis.
It’s phenomenal for Davis to witness A&T’s continued growth as a university, academically, globally, athletic department, etc. Since 2014, the school has maintained its status as the country’s largest HBCU. “It’s a beautiful experience to see the continued growth of the university,” Davis stated.
NC A&T not only gave Davis a place to survive but thrive. The Raleigh native thanked his North Carolina A&T roots for giving him those HBCU experiences he will forever cherish. The Raleigh, NC native is thankful for those memories and experiences now intertwined in his heart.