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April 19, 2011

Torrey Feimster, left, is director of corporate relations on Johnson C. Smith University's institutional advancement staff. Malcolm Graham, right, is special assistant to JCSU President Ron Carter. Graham is in his fourth term serving District 40 in the N.C. Senate.

While Feimster was at the speaker table to discuss the March for Babies, a March of Dimes fund-raiser on Saturday, April 30, Tuesday's Forum conversation quickly turned to Johnson C. Smith and its increasing role in the community, or as Graham put it, "outside the gates" of the institution at 100 Beatties Ford Road.

Form Object

For audio of this portion of the Forum, use the controls above. Below are videos of excerpts from the presentation.



President Carter's vision

The 13th president of JCSU, Dr. Ronald Carter, is pursuing a vision for JCSU that ends the days, Graham says, of the institution being known as an "enclave" uninvolved with its community. Graham fills in some of the details.




Impetus behind the vision

Torrey Feimster discusses two studies cited by Dr. Carter that are motivating the repositioning of JCSU. One has to do with competition for students. The other has to do with competition for dollars.




Corporate support increasing

Feimster said a program aimed at corporate supporters has increased from 10 to 30 in the past year. Wal-Mart signed on on Monday, Feimster said.





Metropolitan College

This recent initiative aimed at nontraditional students for example, adults working during the day who need classes at night is growing, Feimster said. Graham outlined discussions that have already taken place with Mechanics & Farmers bank to engage the bank's interest in redevelopment of the bank's property into a four-story building, with the bank on the first floor and Metropolitan College on the upper three floors.




Initiatives under way in the corridor

Malcolm Graham lists initiatives that Johnson C. Smith University has under way to rebuild the Beatties Ford Road corrider near its campus. The initiatives range from extending the downtown shuttle to campus, to a $16 million apartment/parking/retail project, to public art designed to break down the highway barrier between downtown and JCSU.






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