N.C. A&T’s Deese College Honors Hall of Fame Inductees, Donors

By Jackie Torok / 02/27/2020 Alumni, College of Business and Economics, Economics, Accounting and Finance, Transportation & Supply Chain

 EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Feb. 27, 2020) – The Willie A. Deese College of Business and Economics at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University recognized its latest Hall of Fame inductees, as well as the donors who have contributed to the college’s success, with a celebratory dinner and ceremony Feb. 26.

Held in the Deese Ballroom at the university’s Student Center, the event drew more than 100 attendees and served as a preview of Thursday’s official dedication of the Deese College, named for distinguished alumnus Willie A. Deese ‘77.

Deese, chair of the college’s Executive Advisory Council, was joined by Quiester Craig, Ph.D., the college’s dean emeritus and a member of its first Hall of Fame class, to set the stage for this year’s inductees: Charles Burch Jr. ’82, Timothy King ’76, Hilda Pinnix-Ragland ’77, Dmitri Stockton ’86 and Patricia Zollar ‘84.

Burch, earned his B.S. in accounting and went on to establish The Burch Financial Group nearly 20 years ago. The company is based in DeSoto, Texas, where he is president and CEO.. A member of the National Association of Black Accountants since 1983, he also founded The Chuck Burch Scholarship Fund in 2000 and continues to serve as its executive director, helping students to find money for college and learn about the entire financial aid process.

King, who holds a B.A. in management, is a member of the university’s Board of Trustees and chair of its Athletic Conference Assessment Committee who also served on the college’s Executive Advisory Council. He retired as Dow Chemical Co.’s global vice president for purchasing after 34 years with the company, having risen through the ranks from the time he joined its New York sales office in 1976.

Pinnix-Ragland holds a B.S. in accounting and an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. A retired Duke Energy corporate affairs and business executive, she is chief financial officer for AHK Global Resources. She is vice chair of the university’s Board of Trustees and received a Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award during the university’s 2019 Fall Convocation.

Stockton, earned a B.S. in accounting from N.C. A&T before spending 30 years with GE Co. where he was one of 20 senior vice presidents and a member of the corporate executive council. After more than five years as chairman, president and CEO of the company’s $120 billion asset management arm, he retired in 2017. He is a member of the college’s Executive Advisory Council. 

Zollar, former chair of the university’s Board of Trustees, earned her B.S. in accounting with highest distinction, received her MBA from Harvard Business School and began her career as a CPA. She is managing director of Neuberger Berman and a leader of its private investment portfolios practice. The recipient of an honorary doctorate from N.C. A&T, she is a member of the Executive Leadership Council and Economic Club of NY and the executive board of the National Association of Investment Companies.


Before the formal induction ceremony, Dean Kevin James, Ph.D., noted that the college’s rich history of accomplishments and accomplished graduates would not be possible without sustained investment by its alumni and friends.

“Simply saying ‘Aggie Pride,’” he said, “is not enough to keep us great.”

Accounting student Jasmine Atkinson said Stockton facilitated her chance to participate in a faculty-led study abroad program to Brazil, where students presented business solutions to senior management with John Deere. The experience has her planning to study abroad in Thailand this fall.

“When you donate to this school, when you donate to this program, you have an impact,” said Atkinson. “One of my favorite quotes goes, ‘Giving back is not just about making a donation, it’s about making a difference,’ and that’s what all of you are here doing.”

Kiana Williams, who last month was named to the prestigious Dwight David Eisenhower Transportation Fellowship Program, spoke about the support she has received as a supply chain management student, especially when a family crisis threatened to derail her education.

“I never imagined that when I made the choice to attend this illustrious university that I would be met with such blessings from the most unlikely of places,” she said. “I will graduate from this university in December and I cannot wait to return the kindness that I have been shown to students who, like me, who are determined and passionate to pursue higher education.” 

Media Contact Information: jtorok@ncat.edu

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