Investments pay off for N.C. A&T athletically and academically

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Photo courtesy of Jamar Plunkett/A&T Register

Linebacker Jacob Roberts accepts the Celebration Bowl Defensive MVP award.

Jarod Hamilton, theSCORE Editor

GREENSBORO — The Aggies celebrated another season atop the HBCU football world on Dec. 21, with a 64-44 win against Alcorn State, making it their fourth national championship in five years. 

This would be the Aggies’ third time defeating the Braves for the national championship in the five-year existence of the Celebration Bowl and a repeat of last year’s closely contested 24-22 matchup. 

The university’s fan base showed up in droves to Atlanta to not only watch N.C. A&T make history as the first team to win three consecutive national championship, but also enjoy the sounds of the Blue & Gold Marching Machine. 

In this decade, N.C. A&T has done well for itself academically and athletically. 

The school was ranked as the No. 1 public HBCU in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and has a new record enrollment rate of 12, 556 as of the 2019 Fall semester. 

In a post-game interview on Saturday, Chancellor Harold L. Martin was adamant about how the school’s investments in academic programs and athletics has been paying off as of late.

“We made a decision some time ago to invest in those things that have the biggest impact on enhancing the image and reputation of our university,” Martin said. 

“Academic programs and athletics is one of those areas and we are beginning to see the return on the investments we made. Now, that only means we have got to keep investing.” 

Over the last three seasons the Aggies athletic programs have claimed numerous conference titles including the 2018 Women’s Basketball Mid Eastern Atlantic Conference (MEAC), the 2018 Baseball MEAC, and the 2019 indoor and outdoor Men’s and Women’s Track and Field MEAC championships.

N.C. A&T’s Athletic Director Earl Hilton shared how he felt knowing the recent successes of the Aggies athletic programs coupled with their new academic programs sparks the interest of not only athletes, but also prospective students.

“We certainly hope that the success in athletics and academics synergistically lifts each other and we work together, and our success helps us increase the value of the brand,” Hilton said. 

The future is looking bright for N.C. A&T in many aspects, as administrators are looking to keep the momentum they have built in recent years going into 2020.