On Friday, December 9, 2022, for the first time since the pandemic, Norfolk State University inducted 32 individuals into the prestigious Emerald Society. The inductees were recognized for their financial and personal commitment to NSU and their leadership in the greater community.
The Emerald Society recognizes individuals whose lifetime giving to Norfolk State University is $50,000-$99,999. The members are honored with an elegant lapel pin with a green emerald. Upon reaching this milestone, new members of this society are inducted every 1-2 years on average.
“I can say with great confidence that the fundraising success that we have seen is in great part attributed to the financial support that this class (of the Emerald Society) has provided,” said Clifford Porter, vice president for University Advancement. He was the first of many to say “thank you” for continuing to be the foundation upon which NSU can build and grow.
NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston formally welcomed the honorees, former inductees, and guests at Friday evening’s event.
“I am so pleased to be in the presence of so many of Norfolk State University’s most loyal supporters and advocates,” Dr. Adams-Gaston said. “I want to personally thank each of you for your continued support of the University. “Your continued investment is essential, and our education is enabling and empowering the future leaders of our communities. On behalf of the Norfolk State University family, I want to thank you. Thank you for believing in us. Thank you for investing in us. And thank you for supporting us.”
NSU President Javaune Adams-Gaston shook hands with each recipient, pinned each honoree with the official Emerald Society lapel pin, and presented them with a crystal vase etched with their name, induction date, and congratulatory words of expression.
Honorees who attended: Mrs. Parisiene T. Clark accepted the award for her and her spouse; Mr. Russell A. Clark, Jr.; Lajuana M. Collins, MD; Mrs. Blanche Neal Duggins; Mr. Ernest M. Ellis, Jr.; Deborah C. Fontaine, Ph.D.; LTC (Ret.) James R. Harris, Jr. accepted the award for him and his wife; Mrs. Angelita Harris; Dr. Grady H. James; Mr. Clevester Jones and Mrs. Dameron L. Jones; Tamara A. Jones, MD; Ms. Lorie A. McCowan; Mr. Delbert Parks; Mr. Mervin Pitchford and Mrs. Sandra Pitchford; Mr. Robert Maurice Randall; Mr. Chester L. Steward, Sr. and Mrs. Frances Steward; and Mr. Bobby Norris Vassar.
Honorees not in attendance were: Dr. Morry D. Brown, Sr. and Amy Brown; Hon. Jerome James; Ms. Crystal C. Lassiter; Mr. Challis and Mrs. Mary Purrington; Mr. Archie W. Robinson; Jon and Kathy Yarbrough; Dr. Michael M. Shackleford and Mrs. Dorothy Shackleford.
In 2015, Norfolk State University inducted 20 individuals into the inaugural class of the Emerald Society; in 2017, NSU inducted seven individuals and one foundation; and in 2018, sixteen individuals were inducted.