Edgecombe legislator named ‘living legend’


N.C. Rep. Shelley Willingham, D-Edgecombe


Staff Writer

Monday, September 11, 2017

A local lawmaker is being called a legend in his own time.

N.C. Rep. Shelly Willingham, D-Edgecombe, has been recognized for community service as a Living Legend of Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

Willingham, an alumnus of Elizabeth City State University, said he was honored to be included in such a distinguished group, which includes fellow politicians, educators, athletes, members of the clergy and other notable representatives of the statewide black community.

Living Legends celebrates the achievements of alumni of historically black colleges and universities. These Living Legends impact their cities, states, nation and world while enriching black culture and fostering hope for greater excellence within our youth, according to information from the organization.

The honor was presented recently at a gala in Winston-Salem. Living Legends is an initiative coordinated by community volunteers across the state. Volunteer organizers are mostly graduates of one of the dozen historically black colleges or parents of students attending a historically black college. They understand the importance of helping students cover college expenses outside of tuition, according to information provided by the organization.

The group’s core mission is to provide scholarships to currently enrolled students at any of the historically black colleges and universities across the state. Scholarship funds are generated through donations from individuals and businesses, the sales of the commemorative Living Legends calendar and the Living Legends Scholarship Gala.

The group’s secondary mission is to increase the awareness of how excellent North Carolina’s historically black colleges and universities are by celebrating the achievements of their alumni graduates.