JOMC alum featured as keynote speaker at Fall Convocation


Te'a Knight, Contributor

Students, faculty, staff and alumni were in attendance for the Fall Convocation on Thursday Oct. 24, 2019  in Harrison Auditorium where alumnus Kevin Wilson Jr. was the keynote speaker.

Leading the program Chancellor Martin gave a welcome speech about the students and faculty on campus and all of their accomplishments. 

Following Chancellor Martin, James W. Johnson sang the “Negro National Anthem” followed by the University Gospel Choir singing  “My Soul Has Been Anchored In The Lord” by Douglas Miller. 

Senior civil engineering student and outside hitter for the women’s volleyball team, Lelia Hayneworth recognized student athletes acknowledging their previous accomplishments. 

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Beryl C. McEwen then introduced Kevin Wilson Jr. where he discussed his failures, accomplishments and motivations. 

“The only way you’re going to make this crazy world we live in a more tolerable place to exist in is to do exactly what you were born to do,” said Wilson as he explained to the audience to fight for their future. 

Wilson mentioned coming to last semester’s Chancellor’s Speakers Series based on Artistic Evolution. Upon leaving the event a student approached him and began to rap. Wilson explained he saw that as admirable because it reminded him of himself. 

 “When people ask me what I intended to do, I told them I wanted to be a marketing manager,” the Oscar nominated filmmaker said while describing why he chose N.C. A&T as originally pursuing business management.

However soon his grade point average began to deplete and he soon realized his passion for writing, acting and television. 

Upon graduating, Wilson moved to New York to attend New York University (NYU). Although his hopes were set to enroll, he was rejected. 

Instead of giving up, he went and read all the books he would have read at NYU and decided to learn himself. He reapplied to NYU and was put on the waiting list and was ultimately accepted. 

“There is not anything that anyone can tell you that will take you off your path,” said Shania Hardy, a sophomore chemistry student. “I loved how he talked about not getting off your path and trying to encourage us to stay focused, even when we fail.”

After Wilson took his seat, the alumni achievement awards were given out. The awards were followed by Chancellor Martin’s closing remarks.

This year’s Fall Convocation allowed alumni, students and faculty to be recognized. Wilson Jr. was the keynote speaker who shed some light on his path in the past and advice to the audience.