Ernie's back in town
Former Echo editor keynotes convocation
Alumnus Ernie Suggs speaks at April 9 convocation. Willie Pace/Echo staff photographer
At N.C.Central University's 61st convocation, Ernie Suggs, a reporter with the Atlanta Journal Consititution, described the Campus Echo as an "incubator" that propelled him into a successful career in journalism.
Suggs, a 1990 English graduate and Campus Echo editor-in-chief from 1987-1989, was the keynote speaker at NCCU's April 9th annual Honors Convocation, an event that celebrates students' academics, community service and creative achievements.
Suggs described the day as one he will never forget.
"To see all of my old professors, classmates, and fraternity brothers, who came all this way to hear me speak was definitely a highlight of my life," he said.
Suggs established his reputation early in his career with an in-depth series of articles in 1997 about HBCUs called "Fighting to Survive." The stories ran in an 8 day series in the Durham Herald Sun which won him numerous awards including, Journalist of the Year by the N.C. Black Publishers Association.
As an English undergraduate, Suggs was the sports editor at the Campus Echo his freshman and sophomore years and editor-in-chief his junior and senior years.
"Working at the Echo was the most significant thing I did during my undergraduate years," he said.
Suggs said Echo reporters did not shy away from controversial news stories while he was editor-in-chief, but noted that NCCU administrators respected the students' freedom of speech.
After graduating, Suggs first worked with Gannett Westchester Newspapers in N.Y. for two years and then the Durham Herald Sun for five years.
While at the Herald Sun, Suggs was assigned to cover NCCU.
"I was able to give NCCU good coverage, frequently," said Suggs.
"It's important for journalists to cover everything and not simply the things that go wrong."
Suggs was awarded a Nieman Fellowship in 2008 by Harvard University, an award given to an accomplished journalist in mid-career.
During the fellowship, Suggs studied at Harvard's African and African American Studies Department.
He has since been named a trustee with the Nieman's Foundation Board.
Suggs was emphatic during his speech and his interview about NCCU students realizing that they can succeed anywhere, including an Ivy league school like Harvard.
"At Harvard, there is this sense of entitlement that the students have," he said. "And that's not necessarily a bad thing."
Suggs said African-American students need to feel that sense of entitlement.
"We have a sense of contentment, when we should be walking around knowing that we are entitled to good things, just as much as anyone else," he said.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
From Around the Web
More Campus Echo News Articles
Recent Campus Echo News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR CAMPUS ECHO
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST CAMPUS ECHO NEWS
RECENT CAMPUS ECHO CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Wellness Travel Is on the Rise
- 3 Steps to Build a Better Nest Egg
- Para los latinos, el Día de las Madres es una...
- Top 4 Signs You Need to Call a Pest Professional
- Another Reason to Choose Chiropractic Care First for Pain...
- Create a Precious Moment for Mom This Mother's Day
- 4 Basic Exercises to Help Older Adults Improve Strength...
- New Drug May Help Control the Spread of Cancer
- Uber to Passengers: Our Drivers May Be Unsafe
- Thermal Imaging Camera Helps Find Hidden Damage in Your Home
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- TD Ameritrade Seeks Applicants for NextGen Financial Planning Scholarships, Grants
- Make it Count: Get the Most out of the End of the Semester!
- FARE's College Food Allergy Program Pilots in a Dozen Schools Nationwide
- HOTSHOT® HOT Canned Coffee gets a Jolt from Kickstarter
- From dating to internships - it's everything you need to know about college: The Her Campus Guide to College Life, Out Now