Alumni reminisce on college memories
A dark sedan was following us into the resort. We wondered why, so my dad pulled over. The man who was following us rolled down his window and yelled, “Can I get an Aggie Pride.”
I jumped out of the car and yelled, “Aggie Pride.”
My family and I drove to Orlando, Fla. for our regular summer vacation. Of course on the back of our car is a N.C. A&T sticker. It almost goes forgotten until someone stops my parents on the highway or even while my younger brother is fundraising in different neighborhoods for his marching band, it never fails.
It is something about Aggie Pride. It is within all alumni, current students, and even people who wish they were affiliated with the university—it’s what draws all of us to this illustrious university especially during homecoming.
Since N.C. A&T was established as a land grant university in 1890, generations have passed through, classes have become bigger, buildings have been torn down, new buildings are being built and land is even being bought.
This university is expanding in a way that no alumni could have ever dreamt of, but most are not surprised because of the excellence that comes from N.C. A&T.
Ever since I decided to attend the university, alumni and their family have sought me out to allow me to experience Aggie Pride before I even stepped foot on campus.
One of my favorite alumni is Charles M. Coffin, Jr. He graduated from N.C. A&T in 1976 with a degree in Business Administration. His experience at N.C. A&T was very different than my own.
“There is something so magical about Aggie Pride and A&T, unlike any other university,” said Coffin,
“There are no other two words [Aggie Pride] that have the same connotation that causes that [excited] reaction. There is just nothing like those two words, Aggie Pride.”
Coffin is an alumnus who loves to give back whether it is monetary or influencing young individuals to attend our university.
Coming from Philadelphia, Pa. it was not hard for Coffin to adjust to life in Greensboro. Coffin’s father grew up in Greensboro.
Coffin played football and baseball for the university until his senior year. He never got the opportunity to experience GHOE because he was wrapped up with practice for the game on Saturday.
Coffin was also in Air Force ROTC, so his time was pretty limited.
He does not remember much from homecoming back in the day, but he does remember that it definitely was nothing compared to what it is today.
Coffin attended N.C. A&T during a time when collect calls were like text messages and writing letters were the norm to communicate with your family back home.
He believes that N.C. A&T has a way of leveling everyone out. It brings people back to their humble beginnings before they became professionals in various fields.
In 2006, Erika Groover graduated from N.C. A&T as well. Groover graduated with a degree in English.
“I think the biggest thing it [the experience of attending an HBCU] gave me a pride within myself. The history of the university…I was proud to walk on a campus that had such a history,” said Groover.
She wouldn’t be where she is today without A&T.
Aggie Pride stems from the history of the university to her. It made her look at the university and life differently.
Groover enjoyed the excitement of homecoming. She always enjoyed seeing the alumni, as she put it, “It made you see what your future looks like.”
The excitement of Aggie Pride cannot be explained but it is understood.
As a first generation college student, I have a newfound pride within myself while being here at N.C. A&T. It is such an honor to be a part of such a wonderful place.
When asked where I go to school, whether an individual will recognize the name of my university or not, I am always proud to say that I am an Aggie who attends North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
It’s an unthinkable excitement that stirs up in my belly that makes me anxious to tell, I’m creating history for my family and blessed to start a history here at the university.
When I graduate it will be for the entire Young and Pulliam family.
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- Taylor Young Managing Editor