My HBCU Interview

Jamie Patterson – North Carolina Central University (NCCU) 2000 & 2002

Posted: 10 Nov 2013 02:05 PM PST

You are about to enjoy a great journey as Jamie Patterson shares his HBCU Experience at North Carolina Central University (NCCU). Take heed to the wisdom in his words!

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Jamie Patterson, Proud Alum of North Carolina Central University NCCU | Image Credit: Jamie Patterson

Where are you from? How did you first hear about HBCUs?

I’m from Red Springs, NC. HBCU’s are a huge part of our culture in Southern NC. North Carolina has the most HBCU’s in the country.

What made you choose an HBCU over a pwi?

NCCU is one of my family schools. 2 of my Uncles, my sister and I attended NCCU. So, it was at the top of my list.

How did you decide to become a student at North Carolina Central University (NCCU)?

I really wanted to come to Durham, because I had family and my uncle gave me the grand tour and I liked the school.

What professors at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) left the most impression upon you as a student and/or person? What did they do that continues to mean so much to you to this day?

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Dr. Robert E Stiefvater | Image Credit:

At NCCU, it was really “hands on” with the professors. They were always available for consultation. Dr. Rob Stifvater was the professor that helped me in undergrad and put me into graduate school.

He helped me see that I was smart and could do the graduate level work.

What is the story of your “experience” to date at North Carolina Central University (NCCU) given its heralded status as a stellar and prestigious institution?

Well, NCCU is known for the “Female to Male ratio” and that’s all I needed to hear. In my era, from 1995 – 2002, it was 17 females to 1 male.

I’ll take those odds everyday and I did. That fact alone will make any institution heralded.

How did your HBCU prepare you for a diverse workplace?

I can’t say that it did. I learned diversity in the Boy Scouts, being one of a small group of Eagle Scouts.

At NCCU, we’re pretty much all black, so the chance to see “diversity” amongst the student body, really doesn’t exist.

How did your HBCU help you to transition into your careers workforce?

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“The “Career Services” staff certainly helped me achieve a dream…” | Image Credit: Jamie Patterson

The “Career Services” staff certainly helped me achieve a dream of coaching basketball and getting paid to do so.

I found internship opportunities through different groups and that helped me transition into better career decisions.

Where were the spots to go to if you wanted to cuddle with your boy or girlfriend?

We had co-ed visitation, so our dorm rooms would be the spot to cuddle. If you had a car, you can take your lady out to eat.

What were the best restaurants on and near campus? Which dishes did you enjoy the most?

There were some spots around the 2 different malls in Durham, but, to date, no real good restaurants are close to NCCU.

At those restaurants I did frequent, it was normally a steak dinner that I enjoyed.

What were the chants heard most often at the sporting events?

Normally, it’s held out version of NCCU.


Who was your College crush?

I had too many, but let me attempt to list who I can remember.

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The one and only epitome of beauty, Bronzwyn Hunt | Image Credit:

*Bronzwyn Hunt, even the girl’s name is amazing!
*Salimah El-Amin
*Sharla Evans
*Monica Boone
*Charlene Flowers

How did you overcome your nervousness about going to college?

I was never nervous. The plan was to get out of Red Springs and the most natural step was college.

What was your major? and Why did you choose it?

Sports Management. I love athletics and wanted to be involved in sports.

What was your proudest moment @ North Carolina Central University (NCCU)?

Pledging Omega Psi Phi.

The mighTY Tau Psi Chapter.

#1 – FALL 1998 – The Notori9us

What was your saddest moment @ North Carolina Central University (NCCU)?

I can’t say that I really had a “sad” moment. Breaking up with old girlfriends was sad, but only for a moment.

What did you pledge? And why? And if not, why not?

*THEE Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

*Phi Beta Lambda Business Fraternity, Inc.

I pledged them both because I wanted to be apart of their legacies, impact campus life, and since I was younger, I knew I wanted to be one of the “purple guys”.

How were you positively active on campus? (e.g. clubs, SGA, etc.)

I was super active on campus. I was in each group I could get in.

Phi Beta Lambda
Omega Psi Phi
Worship and Praise Inspirational Mass Choir

Where was the “yard” located?

Really at the Greek Plots and the street in front of the student union.

What and where were the historical places on campus?

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Statue of Dr. James E. Shepard | Image Credit:

The Victory Bell, The James E. Shepard Statue, The Art Gallery, The Library bowl.

Are there any ghost stories involving buildings or spots on campus?

The story goes that the Dr. Shepard statue will drop his books if a virgin graduates from NCCU.

How many “firsts” did you have at college ? What were they? (e.g. first road trip, first job interview, first love, first “F or A”, etc.)

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“First Love” Tajuana Greene | Image Credit:

I had quite a few “firsts”. My first love was Tajuana Greene. My first roadtrip was Freaknik 1995.

If you could speak to those family members that have risen but that live forever through you, what words would you speak?

Get your higher education, but more importantly, be ACTIVE at your university. Knowledge is a small part of the equation. People knowing YOU and YOU knowing different people will be the best part.

If you could only speak two sentences to the youth coming after you what would you say?

Attend any 4-year institution for the worth of your life. It is all about exposure and college will give so much worth to your life.

What situation in your life made you feel like you had arrived into woman or manhood?

Pledging Omega. That process is not for little boys.

When and how did you discover your passion in life?

I was very lucky. A friend of mines from Duke University started a t-shirt company and asked me to be a part of it. That was in July 2004 and we’ve never looked back.

That passion is “business”. I can recognize a good deal. I understand what being fair is, and people know us for doing “good business”.

What sports and/or extra curricular activities did you do in High School? And why?

Football, Basketball, Track, Chorus, SGA, Boy Scouts, and Band.

I am a natural athlete and always wanted to go on trips. It was a perfect fit.

What advice would you give high school students filling out college applications for the first time?

*PUT YOUR GUIDANCE COUNSELOR TO WORK!!! Don’t allow them to walk around looking busy and NOT work for you.

*Look for scholarships wherever you can find them.
*Start looking at schools as a High School Freshman.

How do you deal with racism if you encounter it?

Laugh. How are you still insecure about race in 2013?

Whats your take on life (in the philosophical sense)?

If you can remember that we’re on a blue rock floating through the sky…everything else is bullshit.

I enjoy my station in life. Everything, to me, is about timing and right now, it’s pretty sweet to be alive.

Questions about NCCU? Completing your college application? Reach out to Jamie today!

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