Durham County

Fledgling Eagles alight on Fayetteville Street. A look at who they are

NCCU freshman Jalen Clayton unloads his belongings and piles them in front of the Eagleson Residence Hall at N.C. Central University Thursday.
NCCU freshman Jalen Clayton unloads his belongings and piles them in front of the Eagleson Residence Hall at N.C. Central University Thursday. The Herald-Sun

N.C. Central welcomed its newest and largest class of Eagles to campus on Thursday as students began moving in.

NCCU’s Class of 2021 features more than 1,300 freshmen, the largest first-year class in school history. There are about 400 transfer students enrolling for the fall semester as well.

Thursday also marked the first day of Eagle Mania, a series of events introducing students to campus and Durham. Events are planned through the weekend.

On Sunday, Aug. 13, NCCU alumnus and U.S. Capitol Police Special Agent David Bailey, who helped stop an attack on a congressional baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia, in June, will be back on campus.

He will be the keynote speaker at the new student induction and pinning ceremony at 3 p.m. in McDougald-McLendon Arena. Bailey was awarded the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor by President Donald Trump after the attack.

“North Carolina Central University is poised to open the 2017-2018 school year with a talented class of more than 1,700 new first-time freshmen and transfer students, making it one of the largest incoming classes of scholars in the history of our institution,” Chancellor Johnson Akinleye said. “As we continue to enhance our course offerings and deliver more innovative opportunities for positive growth both academically and socially, we are proud that more students are choosing NCCU.”

This year’s class has an average GPA of 3.26 and average SAT score of 954, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year, according to a news release.

Diversity within the student body also has grown. There is a nearly 80 percent increase in the number of incoming students who identify as Hispanic, compared to the previous year.

The College of Behavioral and Social Sciences was the preferred academic program for most of the incoming students, with nursing, criminal justice and psychology listed as some of the top anticipated majors.

“This is always an exciting time for North Carolina Central University faculty, staff and alumni,” said Gary Brown, interim vice chancellor for student affairs. “We’ve prepared a dynamic lineup of events and activities to make this a memorable experience for our students.”

Joe Johnson: 919-419-6889

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