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NCCU Looks To Recruit Top Students With The Help Of Big Business

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DURHAM — The chancellor of a Triangle university is working to attract big business and top students to its campus.

N.C. Central University invited 85 businesses to its Fall Industry Summit on Thursday. The businesses were challenged to help fund the university's next generation of talent with full academic grants.

"Through these scholarships, we will be empowered to go out and recruit the very best talent to NCCU," said Chancellor Dr. James Ammons.

The Marriott Corporation donated $500,000 to a scholarship fund to aid students seeking careers in hospitality and tourism. The company realizes its payoff will be getting the first shot at the school's top talent.

"The foundation's desire is to continue to foster and support historical black colleges and universities and other institutions that provide outstanding academic programs and hospitality programs," said JoAnne Jackson, Marriott Foundation vice president.

Cisco Systems offered its support, too. It has given the school an entire networking computer lab because technicians are needed in the industry.

NCCU is trying to respond by expanding its mission to meet the needs of students and industry.

As big business helps students walk out of classrooms and into jobs, it is, in a sense, guaranteeing its own work force. Dr. Ammons' challenge seems well within reach.

"We're very excited to have this opportunity. [It's] the beginning of a very long process, and we're confident that it will be a successful process," said Matthew Szulik, CEO of Red Hat.

Raising corporate money may be tough, because budgets are tight. If the plan works, N.C. Central will attract more and better students and industry will get better workers.

Students hoping for those full scholarship are going to have to come up with the goods themselves. The university will expect high SAT scores and excellent academic preparation.


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