When WGU North Carolina was launched two years ago, one of the main drivers was to have “boots on the ground” and a stronger presence statewide to develop partnerships and raise awareness about our online competency-based academic offerings. WGU North Carolina is one of eight Western Governors University state affiliates, each with chancellors and strategic partnerships managers working to improve access to education for residents.
Critical to our roles is building relationships with organizations and individuals, as well as engaging with our local communities.
Earlier this year we moved into our permanent office in Durham, on the edge of Research Triangle Park, and opened up our meeting spaces free of charge to organizations such as the USO of North Carolina, Carolina Wetlands Association, Triangle Veterans Network, GoPositiv and Largemouth Communications. We also hosted a Lunch and Learn session with the North Carolina Technology Association and sponsored a series of Tech Talk Live events on talent and diversity across the state.
WGU North Carolina has sponsored a free book fair at Hornets Nest Elementary School in Charlotte, provided breakfast and snacks at various healthcare organizations, welcomed troops passing through Charlotte Douglas International Airport, and sponsored lunches for several Council meetings of the North Carolina Nurses Association. We’ve also sponsored galas honoring the military community, health care heroes, Wake County educators, and others. We’ve hosted healthcare workers at a Durham Bulls game, military veterans at a Charlotte Knights game, and Wake County educators at a North Carolina Courage game. We’ve presented scholarships to members of the military community, nurses, teachers, IT professionals, and more.
Another way we stay connected to the community is through staff volunteerism and philanthropy. Following is a snapshot of our staff involvement.
Board membership: Nurse-Family Partnership, The Tammy Lynn Center
Volunteering/participation: Nourishing Noggins, Note in the Pocket, Crosspointe Church, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, NC Field Office
Favorite Charities: USO of North Carolina, El Futuro, Stop Hunger Now, Durham Rescue Mission
Board membership: Triangle Veterans Network
Previous board membership: NC State Staff Senate, Feed the Pack Food Pantry at NC State
Volunteering/participation: Note in Pocket, Special Olympics of North Carolina, Meals on Wheels, Sycamore Creek Elementary School PTA, Habitat for Humanity, Tammy Lynn Center Golf Classic, USO of North Carolina Salute to Freedom Awards Celebration, WakeEd Partnership Stars of Education Gala
Favorite charities: Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
Board membership: Charlotte Business Regional Alliance, Ballantyne Chapter
Volunteering/participation: Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Girls on the Run, USO of North Carolina Salute to Freedom Awards Gala, Race for the Arts 5K
Favorite charities: several dog-related nonprofits
Previous board membership: Jack and Jill of Durham, Junior Leadership Durham, Quality Education Institute, Hillside High School Athletic Booster Club
Volunteering/participation: Hillside High School, Pearsontown Elementary School, Jack and Jill of Durham, Delta Sigma Theta, Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, various fundraising walks for breast cancer and prostate cancer
Favorite charities: Duke Cancer Center, Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Durham Rescue Mission, St. Jude Hospital, Habitat for Humanity of Durham, American Red Cross, Ronald McDonald House
Volunteering/participation: Tammy Lynn Center, New Horizons Fellowship Church, USO of North Carolina Salute to Freedom, Cary Methodist Church
Volunteer experience: Apex REX Rehab, Delta Gamma, Kohls Cares, Relay for Life, Stop Hunger Now, ReTails Thrift Shop, Cary Methodist Church Bosnian mission trip
Favorite charities: Goodwill, Habitat ReStore, Farm Friends Animal Rescue, local animal shelters, Wounded Warriors Project
Previous board membership: Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Raleigh, North Carolina Chapter of Public Relations Society of America, Raleigh Public Relations Society, Holy Infant Catholic Church Parish Pastoral Council, Rogers-Herr Middle School PTA
Volunteering/participation: UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Athletics, Playmakers Repertory Theater, LGBTQ Center of Durham, WUNC radio, Walk for Hope, Holy Infant Catholic Church, Farmer Foodshare Harvest Dinner, Fast Break Against Cancer breakfast, various arts and music festivals in Durham
Favorite charities: Durham Rescue Mission, Urban Ministries of Durham, Farmer Foodshare, Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, Slow Money NC, World Central Kitchen, Food for the Poor
As good neighbors to our local and statewide communities, WGU North Carolina will continue to form relationships that will positively impact the wellbeing and prospects for North Carolinians today and for generations to come.