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A&T Honors Alumni John R. and Kathy R. Hairston at Naming Ceremony

By Amber Adams / 11/21/2023 Alumni, College of Health and Human Sciences

From left, N.C. A&T Board of Trustees Chair Kimberly Gatling, Hairston College Dean Elimelda Moige Ongeri, Kathy R. Hairston, John R. Hairston and Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. cut the ribbon for the John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences at Hines Hall.

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (Nov. 21, 2023) – Family, friends, university faculty and staff gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and luncheon to celebrate the naming of the John R. and Kathy R. College of Health and Human Sciences at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.

“The Hairstons’ commitment to the naming of this college occurred in 2021, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic when we were unable to gather to celebrate,” said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. “We are glad to be able to do what is long overdue in recognizing Kathy and John publicly for their great generosity to our university.”

John and Kathy Hairston, both members of the class of 1975, bestowed a multi-million-dollar, multi-year pledge in unrestricted endowed funds to the college to address a variety of needs, including scholarships, department chairs, fellowships and distinct program offerings at the nation’s No. 1 public historically Black university.

“The Hairston College is one of only two named colleges on our campus,” said Hairston College Dean Elimelda Moige Ongeri, Ph.D. “Being a named college creates more visibility and elevates our programs, and we are so thankful to the Hairstons that we are named after them and can receive that kind of recognition.” 

Naming the college for the Hairstons elevates its reputation of excellence, allowing it to continue attracting first-rate talent in both faculty and students. It also raises the profile of the college within the realms of academia and research.

“It’s heartwarming that John and Kathy’s beautiful love story started in a freshman science class in Hines Hall,” said Ongeri. “Today, Hines Hall is home to the College of Health and Human Sciences, the college that bears their names.”

Speaking on behalf of the Hairstons’ home community in Charlotte, North Carolina, the Rev. Jordan B. Boyd, pastor of Rockwell AME Zion Church, commended the couple for their generosity, not only to N.C. A&T but also to other causes in their community.

“We are compelled to contribute to A&T and to our community because so many people provided us with the opportunities to succeed,” said Kathy Hairston. “We want to do our part to make sure others receive opportunities for success.”

Founded in 2015, the Hairston College has grown to be the largest college on A&T’s campus.

“John and Kathy’s ongoing gifts help to dramatically enhance the work we are doing at N.C. A&T State University,” said Martin ‘71. “These gifts are helping us support students, research and facilities and enhancing the visibility and prestige of our College of Health and Human Sciences.”

The Hairston College offers six undergraduate degree programs: health services management, kinesiology, nursing, psychology, speech/language pathology and audiology, social work and sociology.

It also offers a new a master’s degree in health psychology, as well as master’s and doctoral degrees in social work. The graduate degrees in social work are jointly administered with the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

A master’s degree in physician assistant studies is in development, while Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP), Ph.D. in applied psychology and Ph.D. in sociology offerings are in the pipeline.

The Hairston College is also home to the Center of Excellence in Integrative Health Disparities and Equity Research (CIHDER).

Media Contact Information: anadams3@ncat,.edu

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