SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - From Livingstone College: Tony Baldwin of Livingstone College was among six honorary doctorate degree recipients at Invertis University in Bareilly, India, during its Fourth Convocation April 18.
Baldwin is Livingstone College's associate vice president for the Operations of Student Affairs, enrollment manager and principal designated school official for international students. He has served at the college for five years.
He is also CEO and owner of Baldwin Consulting Firm, and is a licensed ordained minister through the Union Missionary Baptist Association.
In giving the award, the presenter said Baldwin has worked for the cause of higher education and devoted his career to assisting students, working tirelessly toward enhancing students' academic and personal growth.
"He has held significant college positions because of his strong leadership skills and has been successful in his efforts to significantly increase enrollment at each of the institutions, where he has been employed. He has the ability to train, evaluate and coordinate staff, students and departments. He has involved himself with expanding the foreign student exchange program with several African and Asian universities," the presenter said.
He was described as "a man who has amazing leadership skills, who has invested his time and spirit in giving love and gratitude to others; a spiritual guide; a person who recognizes the need to reach out and meet the needs of multicultural and multilingual communities."
"Invertis University salutes you, sir," said the presenter, "for your understanding, wisdom, loving guidance, deep faith and refreshing perspective."
Baldwin said he is humbled by the accolades and denoted the honor as a direct reflection of the strong relationship between Livingstone College and Invertis University.
"We have been able to establish a growing partnership with Invertis University that strengthens our international studies program," Baldwin said. "This honorary Doctor of Letters degree speaks to the credibility of that partnership and my services in education."
The convocation was especially noteworthy because the first delegation of students who came to Livingstone from Invertis were graduating seniors at the program in which Baldwin attended. "It was a full circle moment and I was blessed to be a part of it," he said.
Dr. Jimmy R. Jenkins, Sr., Livingstone College president, created the college's International Studies and Study Abroad Program in 2011 and appointed Earl Brown to led the effort. Since its inception, the college has participated in four study abroad trips, sending students to Peru, India and China, and has hosted several delegations of foreign students on its campus.
Last fall, Baldwin traveled to Invertis University with Dr. State Alexander, executive assistant to the president and vice president of communications and public relations of Livingstone College; Rajeshwar Sharma, dean of the Livingstone College business school; and Karen Alexander, Salisbury mayor at the time, to strengthen the college's relationship with Invertis and to negotiate a new agreement with Lovely Professional University, also in Bareilly.
"We are extremely proud of Dr. Baldwin on receiving his honorary doctorate degree from Invertis University for his lifelong work in higher education. He has a proven track record of success in recruitment and admissions, and his attributes and service have extended globally beyond the borders of our nation," Jenkins said.
Under Baldwin's leadership, Livingstone College experienced its highest freshmen class enrollment in 2014.
"Baldwin has a great rapport with our international students and has a unique way of engaging them to fully immerse themselves into American culture during their time at Livingstone," Brown said.
Former Salisbury Mayor Karen Alexander, owner of KKA Architecture, also received an honorary doctorate degree from Invertis.
"I am very honored to be here receiving this degree from such a prestigious university in all of India. It's a great honor for me, one that I will cherish for the rest of my life," Alexander said in accepting her degree. "India is now in my heart. Thank you very much for all the wonderful work that your students do, especially how they represent India in my country. They are incredible examples of students who have learned discipline to expand and reach their potential."
Among other honorees were Brett Lee, a former Australian international cricket player, who is recognized as one of the fastest bowlers in the game; Poonam Dhillon, an Indian Hindi film, theatre and TV actress; and Mithali Raj, an India cricket player who boasts the highest run-scorer in women's international cricket.