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North Carolina A&T State University has been celebrating its 125th anniversary during the 2015-16 academic year, and the celebration culminates with two major events – the Birthday Bash in March and the 125th Anniversary Scholarship Gala in April. The entire community is invited to come out and celebrate at the fun-filled Birthday Bash from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thurs., Mar. 24, at Aggie Stadium. The carnivalstyle party is free and open to the public. It features food and games as well as music by the Blue and Gold Marching Machine and WNAA 90.1 FM – and much more. With bounce houses, laser tag, archery, face painting, obstacle courses, concessions, trivia and bingo, there will be something for every member of the family. The beloved Aggie and Aggietha mascots will be on hand for photos and the N.C. A&T cheerleaders will also be a part of the fun. The evening will conclude with a magnificent fireworks display.

The Birthday Bash celebrates A&T’s milestone and its countless community partners.

The university will conclude its anniversary celebration with a major fundraiser created to support the goal of raising $1.25 million for student scholarships. The blacktie 125th Anniversary Scholarship Gala will be held at 6 p.m., on Sat., April 23, at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro, North Carolina.

The Scholarship Gala will begin with a reception, followed by a small program. A unique, Tony-Award-winning performance by students promises to be a hit. The evening will also include the presentation of special legacy awards. Live entertainment will be provided by the band EnVision, performing hits from the 60s to the sounds of today’s Top 40.

Tickets for the 125th Anniversary Scholarship Gala go on sale on Mar.7, and may be purchased by calling 336-433-5560.

North Carolina A&T State University was established on Mar. 9, 1891, as a land-grant institution through the mandates and provisions of the Second Morrill Act of 1890.

NETWORK ENGAGE XPOSE TALENT Over 100 students from UNCG, A&T, Bennett, and Greensboro College came together for NEXT, the 2nd annual networking event at HQ Greensboro on Lewis Street in Downtown Greensboro. Gordon Holliday and Jonathan Reid, both UNCG students, created NEXT to bring likeminded artists, creative visionaries, experienced business professionals, en tertainment and media outlets together.

“We want our guest to find a common ground with each other and build new relationships to better their company,” Holliday said. “We find that this is effective and will bring our community into a positive light.”

Holliday and Reid want to bridge the gap between the creative world and the business world, connect with others and provide a collaborative space.

“Over a cup of coffee and a notebook, we thought of all the possible events that we could host,” Holliday said. “The thought of a networking event crossed our minds, seeing that we are creatives and visionaries. Through this outlet we created NEXT.

We wanted to solve the stereotype of how business professionals do not take young creatives as serious in the field.”

Mentors have been positive influences along the way. In fact, one of their mentors, Monique Stubbs-Hall, coined the acronym Network Engage Xpose Talent (NEXT).

Holliday and Reid are not only influenced by their community mentors, but are motivated by dedication, perseverance, and a strong foundation and support system.

“Our motivation is putting continuous effort in goals, knowing where our destination is, our self confidence in our work, and a strong foundation of family members and peers,” Holliday said.

NEXT targets aspiring entrepreneurs, start-ups, and established business owners within design, photography, graphic services, fashion, music, media entertainment, and fine arts industries through social media, verbal communication and email subscriptions.

“We want people to walk away with connections, resources, and a new friend,” Holliday said. “Our goal is to inspire and motivate talented individuals to make progressive steps to begin their businesses through icebreaking conversations and a collaborative environment.”

Both Holliday and Reid were grateful for those who participated in NEXT and helped to make the event a success.

“It is our sincere hope that you connected with other professionals and will develop new partnerships that will enable your business and career to flourish,” Holliday said. “This year’s event would not have been successful without your support. We take great joy in seeing networks of individuals being established. Everyone apart was a person of influence and together we made a difference that day.”

Creators Holliday and Reid are looking for NEXT to travel and expand to bigger and better cities. – Myja Gary !