Livingstone College receives $2 million donation to help fund new education initiatives

At Livingstone College in Salisbury, new doors of opportunity are opening as a result of a large financial gift given to this place of learning.
At Livingstone College in Salisbury new doors of opportunity are opening as a result of a large financial gift given to this place of learning.
Published: Feb. 21, 2022 at 10:07 PM EST
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SALISBURY, N.C. (WBTV) - Attracting students to the competitive fields of science and technology is an ongoing challenge for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, and it appears one local HBCU is getting one big assist.

At Livingstone College in Salisbury, new doors of opportunity are opening as a result of a large financial gift given to this place of learning.

The National Science Foundation donated well over $2 million to the school, which is being used to fund a number of new initiatives to attract students and fund programs needed to succeed.

Dr. F. George Shipman led Salisbury’s Livingstone College between 1969 and 1982, and the new science center bears his name.

He was the school’s sixth president.

Growing up, Reverend Sheldon “Skip” Shipman knew his late father offered something special.

Dr. Shipman was also the president of the United Negro college fund at that time, which led him to do some educational initiatives with President George Bush.

During this Black History Month, Skip Shipman and a host of admirers celebrated the school’s former president in a big way.

The Grand Opening of the F. George Shipman Science Center offers both a link to the past and a bridge to the future.

“I see an opportunity and promise for our students,” Skip Shipman said.

On the Rowan County campus of more than 1,100, Dean Dawn McNair heads up the program complete with specialized classrooms, state-of-the-art theater, an innovative greenhouse, and a series of new offerings added to the campus course offerings.

She said,” We have a pre-med curriculum that we began this semester.”

A number of pre-med students in this learning lab already have an end game strategy.

Senior Ayshia Williams is preparing for life’s next chapter.

“I plan to go to Duke University for graduate school to continue my journey as a pediatric surgeon.”

Williams is expected to graduate this coming May.

While Science Technology Engineering and Math provide the acronym known as stem, the current leader of this HBCU once pursued science as a passion.

Livingstone’s current president Dr. Jimmy Jenkins makes the point that academic success comes through opening doors of access.

“I submit to you that exposure is the key. It’s not that we don’t gravitate to these majors, we haven’t been exposed,” according to Dr.Jenkins.

The possibility of now exposing more African American students to science and technology fuels Dean Mc Nair’s sense of hope.

“We all need to understand science because it impacts our lives every day,” McNair said.

Shipman agrees, “I really believe that the next Charles drew the next George Washington. Carver may come from Livingstone college through the science center, he said.”I think the facility itself just helps to navigate those young people in a direction where if they have those gifts and those talents, they will certainly be nurtured and made the better for it.”

The college has established a partnership with local schools and Discovery Place.

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