In the Summer of 2015, an idea was exchanged amongst fellow Alumni (Anita Jackson, David Mason Jr., and Eric Owens) that developed into an interest meeting with over fifteen Trojans in attendance, held at the Hasentree Club House in Wake Forest, NC.  during the Fall of October 2015.

Readily, eighteen Alumni responded to the call and votes were cast. A charter request was then submitted to Virginia State University’s National Alumni Association. On February 20, 2016, The Greater Triangle Area (NC) Chapter was duly chartered and Articles of Incorporation from the state of North Carolina were received. Our charter members are Edward V. Busch, Orlando Conner, Zatella Conner, Keonte Edmonds, Michael Eley, Beaumont Hansen, Randolph Harrison, Anita Jackson,Iris Layne (Life Member), Vivian Rawlings Lewis (life Member),David J. Mason, Jr., Nicole R. Mason, Cassandra M. Smith, Dennis M. Snead, Herlene M. Thomas, Koren Underdue Bowman, Faye Watkins, and  Michael Wesson II. 

The Greater Triangle Area Chapter (NC) remained steadfast during the pandemic times. Not only did the chapter maintain its purposeful engagement, but it expanded upon its goals, activities, and accomplishments. The scheduled GTAC (NC) Leadership and Chapter meetings were held consistently as scheduled to ensure that COVID 19 did not become an excuse for inactivity, but, rather, a reason to raise the bar.

The 2020-2022 GTAC (NC) Officers consisted of the following:

  • President- Dennis Snead;
  • Vice- President- Sybil Ingram-Henson;
  • Secretary- Rhonda Holley- Shanks;
  • Treasurer Orlando Conner:
  • Chaplain- Edward Busch;
  • Parliamentarian-Cicily Marsh;
  • Sgt.-at- Arms Timothy James.

Committee Chairpersons were as follows:

  • Membership- Edward Busch;
  • Fundraising- Cicily Marsh;
  • Outreach- Sybil Ingram-Henson;
  • Scholarship- Rhonda Holley Shanks & Percell Anderson;
  • Social Media & Publicity- Timothy James;
  • By- Laws Orlando Conner.

The GTAC (NC) Membership grew from 30 to 62 members during 2020-2022, resulting in a106.66 percent increase in membership! Some of the strategies used to recruit, retain, and reclaim members included formalizing the chapter’s Social Media/Public Relations (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube, Quarterly Newsletters, Website, and Emails) to keep members and Trojans at- large abreast of activities and accomplishments. Currently, the chapter has a listserv of 202 area Trojans, who we send out correspondence to regularly. Realizing that it is common for individuals to not readily read text, the chapter made a plethora of flyers for events and activities. Also, a quarterly GTAC (NC) newsletter was begun in June 2020 for the same purpose. GTAC (NC) began giving value-added membership items to new members in June 2020. A five-year membership increment award commenced in June 2021 in which members who reached any 5-year increment of membership were awarded plaques for the respective milestone. For 2021-2022, GTAC (NC) instituted incentive drawings for members who recruited new members. GTAC (NC) conducted a mid-year survey to ascertain members’ perspectives of chapter operations and a survey to determine the feasibility of resuming in- person meetings. GTAC(NC) designed a new logo and chapter paraphernalia (caps, polos, shirts) for members to order in an effort to further brand GTAC (NC) and VSU. At the onset of the 2021-2022 year, a GTAC (NC) GroupME was established as yet another means of chapter communication. GTAC (NC) is excited about the growth in our membership and programs as well as our promising future. May The Trojan Beat resonant in our hearts as we continue to brand the legacy of our beloved VSU.

GTAC (NC) was involved in the following Student Mentoring and Recruitment activities during the 2020-2021 year:

  • 2020 Thurgood Marshall College Fund Fleisher Summer Program (recruited a student participant);
  • Surprise Drive by Graduation Parade was conducted for a VSU Recruit;
  • Two scholarships were presented to VSU students;
  • Letters were written to and scholarship flyers made and sent to all Guidance counselors in Raleigh and Durham, as well as the counties of Warren, Vance, Lee, Orange, Alamance, Guilford, Person, Franklin, Wake, and Edgecombe;
  • A HBCU Virtual College Fair was, sponsored by St. Joseph AME Church, Durham, NC, which GTAC (NC) advertised, participated, and attended). During the 2021-2022 year.

GTAC (NC) increased the number of GTAC (NC) Scholarships from two (2) to four (4), connected VSU Admissions with the sponsor of a HBCU College Fair, Cary, NC, purchased and placed VSU pennants in area schools, donated water to the VSU Trojan Explosion Hydration Drive and Gatorade to the Trojan Explosion Gatorade Drive for band members. Two GTAC (NC) members served as coaches for the IBM Accelerate Program. GTAC (NC) members met with three of the four 2021-2022 GTAC (NC) Scholarship Recipients and money was donated to assist with the efforts of the Zeta Psi Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi Fraternity and the Beta Gamma Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity at homecoming. Also, a GTAC (NC) member bestowed gifts and monetary donations to the two students who stay, currently, in the same dormitory room as she did when she attended VSU. To prepare for upcoming college fairs, GTAC (NC) purchased Stylus ink pens for giveaways. Paraphernalia was worn by GTAC (NC) members, who worked in schools and information about VSU was made available in their classrooms for their students. A virtual VSU spotlight done by President Dr. Abdullah to the students of Rolesville High School was orchestrated by a GTAC (NC) member. Communication between Dr. Abdullah and GTAC (NC) resulted in virtual VSU Spotlight that was presented to the students of Rolesville High School, Rolesville, NC. GTAC (NC) communication was made with Dr. Palm, regarding concerns of the past Admission Office and members attended a virtual meeting with Dr. Alexis Brooks Walter, VSU Assistant Vice Provost for Enrollment Management.

GTAC (NC) Outreach Projects in the 2020-2021 year included the following:

  • S.O.A.R Hygiene Drive for students in Wake County Schools;
  • Aluminum Can Tab Drive for Ronald McDonald House in Durham, NC;
  • Kearah’s Place Benefit Bingo Fundraiser (Participation and Donations);
  • Breast Cancer Awareness Drive for Maria Parham Cancer Center, Henderson, NC;
  • Thanksgiving and Christmas Community Dinners in Kenbridge, VA;
  • Non- Perishable Food Drive for Loaves and Fishes Ministries in Warrenton, NC: Fill that Bus School Supply Drive for Durham Public Schools,
  • NC; Meals on Wheels (Adopt a Senior Citizen) Raleigh, NC;
  • Covid 19 Vaccination Site, Bethel Baptist Church, Rolesville, NC;
  • Book Donations,Dabney Elementary School Library in Henderson, NC;
  • Person County’s Litter Sweep, Person County, NC.

During 2021-2022 GTAC(NC) executed the following Outreach Projects:

  • S.O.A.R Hygiene Drive for students in Wake County Schools;
  • Aluminum Can Tab Drive for Ronald McDonald House in Durham, NC;
  • Kearah’s Place for Domestic Violence (Food, Clothing & Household Items), Breast Cancer Awareness Drive for Duke Cancer Center, Durham, NC;
  • Thanksgiving and Christmas Community Dinners in Kenbridge, VA;
  • Non Perishable Food Drive for Loaves and Fishes Ministries in Warrenton, NC: Fill that Bus School Supply Drive for Durham Public Schools, NC;
  • Meals on Wheels (Adopt a Senior Citizen) Raleigh, NC;
  • Sickle Cell Anemia Awareness Donation, Durham, NC;

GTAC (NC) donated to every VSU Fundraising Campaign of the 2020-2021 year. GTAC (NC) presented a total of $3,000 in GTAC(NC) scholarships to six VSU students during the period 2020-2022. GTAC (NC) Members Dennis Snead and the late Geraldine Harris Holloway were VSU Class of 1980 Coordinators and assisted in raising funds for VSU. GTAC (NC) President Dennis Snead was also a Trojan Explosion 100 Yard Campaign ($100,000) Planning Committee Member.

The chapter’s fundraising projects included the following:

  • Lawrence & Perry Barbeque Food Truck;
  • Belk Charity Coupons;
  • AmazonSmiles;
  • Facebook Birthday Celebrations;
  • Facebook Giving Tuesday.
  • Facebook General Fundraisers;
  • Avon Campaign; and Donations.
  • Along with the previously listed fundraisers,

GTAC (NC) 2021-2022 Fundraisers included Chipotle and Panera Bread. Also, GTAC(NC) held a “TROJAN TAKEOVER” at the Seven Springs Farms & Vineyard, on April 2, 2022, in Warrenton, NC.

GTAC (NC) participated in the following:

  • 2020 Virtual Homecoming Activities, including the Trojan 5K and Rogers Stadium Sell Out;
  • Spring 2021 VSU Freshman Move;
  • 2021 Virtual Founder’s Day; 2021 Commencement;
  • 2021 Trojan All White Dinner;
  • 2021 Virtual Alumni Weekend Activities including. “HBCU101 and “Trojan Hangout”.

In 2021-2022. GTAC (NC) members attended Homecoming, where they took part in various activities such a Pep Rally, Game, VSUAA Tailgate, Live on the Hill, Day Party, Trojan Explosion Alumni Exhibition. Class of 1980 Picture. Also, donations were made to two fraternities and two students in Room 30 of the dormitory, originally known as Branch Hall. GTAC (NC) members were elated to meet three of the four 2021-2022 GTAC (NC) Scholarship Recipients, in person at Homecoming. GTAC (NC) conducted its own VSU Founder’s Day Observance by worshiping at New Bethel Church, Rolesville and then having a fellowship meal at Nantucket Grill, Raleigh, NC on March 13, 2022. GTAC (NC) has submissions in every category of the 2022 VSUAA Awards. GTAC (NC) Members were represented at each Alumni Weekend 2022 Activities and volunteered for the 2022 VSU Spring Commencement.

GTAC (NC) strives to be an active part of VSUAA and VSU. During the 2020-2021 year, the chapter was involved in the following: 2020 Virtual Homecoming Activities; Trojan Yard 100 Yard Campaign Planning Committee- (Taylor Whitehead and Dennis Snead); Trojan Explosion Band Boosters- (Taylor Whitehead, Dennis Snead and Ronald Hairston); VSU Class Coordinators- (Dennis Snead and the Late Geraldine Harris- Holloway). Virginia State University Band Alumni Chapter-(Dennis Snead); VSUAA Awards Committee- (Dennis Snead); VSUAA Heritage and Archives Steering Committee-(Dennis Snead and contributor Sybil Ingram- Henson); 2020 VSUAA Award Submissions (Chapter and Chapter President}. GTAC (NC) extended its VSUAA involvement during 2021-2022 by volunteering to become members of the VSUAA Budget & Finance Committee and the VSUAA Alumni Giving Committee- ( Timothy James and Gayle Rowell). A GTAC (NC)member was appointed VSUAA Financial Secretary at the November 2021 VSUAA Board Meeting- (Shardae’ Holmes). Three GTAC (NC) members were selected as Trojan 10 Under 10 recipients for 2021-2022- (Keonte Edmonds, Courtney Epps and Mikela Jackson).Two GTAC (NC) Members were selected as VSU Foundation Fellows- (Shardae’ Holmes and Michael Wesson). GTAC (NC) selected designated members to submit applications in all categories for the 2022 VSUAA Awards Competition. GTAC (NC)GTAC (NC) was represented at all VSUAA Board Meetings and both of the End-of -Year Reports were submitted by the requested deadlines. During 2021-2022, GTAC (NC) established partnerships with the Surry, Prince George, Sussex Chapter, the Greater Roanoke Chapter, and the Richmond Chapter, to conduct the sessions for a week on Trojan Unity Prayer Warriors and established a partnership with Fayetteville Area Chapter to co-host a Meet and Greet prior to the VSU vs Fayetteville Football Game.

On May 13, 2022, Thirteen GTAC (NC) Members, along with seven family members attended the VSUAA Board Meeting/ Awards Presentation along with five family members, Shown in the picture are the GTAC (NC) Members who were in attendance, holding the ten received awards: (L-R-Front Row) Anita Jackson- Immediate Past President; Denis Snead- President; Sybil Ingram- Henson-Vice- President: (L-R-Back Row) Koren Underdue Bowman; Edward Busch-Chaplain; Vivian Lewis; Gayle Rowell; Chiquita Hicks- Moore; Dr.Michael Williams; Mikela Jackson; Timothy James; Shardae’ Holmes. Family members who attended were the following: Dexter Jackson, Charles Moore; Marcus Bowman, and children, Clarence Lewis, Timothy James’ son. GTAC (NC) received the following Awards: Out-of-State Large Chapter of the Year- Greater Triangle Area Chapter (NC); Certificate for Alumnus of the Year Submission- Vivian Lewis; Large Chapter President of the Year- Dennis Snead; Young Trojan Awards- Mikela Jackson, Courtney Epps; Orange and Blue Awards- Koren Underdue Bowman, Timothy James, Shardae’ Holmes; VSUAA Life Membership- Koren Underdue Bowman,Dennis Snead.

“We strive to share the pride & love we have for Virginia State University across the Triangle & surrounding areas.” 

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