Livingstone College W-S Alumni Chapter Throwback Picture . . .

Here is the second of what we hope are several pictures (throwback) of W-S area alums.

Our focus today is the Rev.  James Ferree in a 1969 photo.

Who is next? Send your picture now.


Rev. James W. Ferree

Rev. James W. Ferree


Livingstone College Grad Follows Her Passion . . .

Note: If you attended the homecoming game this year, you may have seen this Pink Truck parked outside the stadium entrance. This Livingstone College grad has an inspiring story to share.
Fashion Foward (and Reverse)
Fashion Foward (and Reverse)
Meka Harrell sits at the entrance of her “store.”Meka Harrell is hoping to become a “driving force” in local women and children’s fashion.

The Baltimore native is the proud owner of Pink Culture Inc., billed as the Triad’s first fashion truck. She opened the doors to her vibrant “Barbie pink” Chevrolet Step Van in August during a Greensboro event, officially embarking upon a dream that began more than a decade ago when she got her first job working in her godfather’s clothing boutique.

Harrell said she was a tomboy prior to starting at the boutique, but she quickly fell in love with clothes and fashion there.

“Honestly, I worked for clothes when I was 16,” confessed the 32-year-old. “I worked and bought clothes … I was kind of like a walking billboard for my godfather’s store.”

Fashion was a positive escape from the harsh realities of Harrell’s youth. She grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. Her father was murdered when she was four, and her mother was addicted to drugs. Many of her friends had dropped out of school by the time they reached eighth grade. Never one to follow the crowd, Harrell, who relocated to Winston-Salem during her senior year of high school, earned her diploma and then became the first person in her family to earn a bachelor’s degree after completing her studies at Livingstone College.

“I’m always asked the question, ‘How do you do that when you don’t have any positive influences around you?’ I’ve always had this motivation to be successful,” related Harrell, who also holds an MBA from Pfeiffer University. “I think it’s weird, but I always believed, I felt like God told me to be successful.”

Harrell spent years in the corporate sector at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina and later at BB&T, where her husband, JoColby Harrell, works as a mortgage loan officer, but says she never felt fulfilled. With the birth of their second child, Maveric, six months ago, the couple decided it was time for her to take a leap of faith and start the company.

“After Maveric was born, we prayed about it, and we decided she was finally going to step out on her dream, and I was 100 percent behind her,” JoColby Harrell said. “This is her passion.”
Harrell used her maternity leave to research and plan Pink Culture Inc. The couple purchased the used van after finding it on Craigslist and, with the help of family, their church family at Winston-Salem First and friends, began to outfit the former plumbing van into a destination for fashionistas.


“It’s something for everybody … anyone who loves fashion,” Harrell said of the fashion offerings creatively displayed in the van.

The van has logged many miles with Harrell behind the wheel. She’s parked and opened her doors to attendees at festivals and events in Greensboro, Charlotte and Winston-Salem, where Pink Culture Inc. was a hit attraction at the recent Pride and Fiesta festivals. The van also has made stops at Winston-Salem State University and Salem College. Being able to meet her customers where they are – literally – is one of the many advantages of operating a mobile business, Harrell said.

“The main advantage to this is not having to pay a lease fee because everything you need is right here in the truck,” noted Harrell, who will bring the truck to her customers if they commit to a purchase of $25 or more. “I have the advantage of going to people’s homes, going to different festivals, or just parking on a random street. It attracts attention because it’s bright pink.”

Fittingly, Harrell’s most successful venue to date was her alma mater, Salisbury’s Livingstone, where her fellow Blue Bears were keen to open their wallets during last month’s Homecoming.

Meka Harrell carries a unique variety of clothing and accessories in his Pink Culture van.

Meka Harrell carries a unique variety of clothing and accessories in her Pink Culture van.

“I had a line wrapped around my truck of people waiting to come in,” she happily reported. “I’m still on a high from that.”

Overall, Pink Culture has received high marks from customers.

“They love it,” Harrell said of her customers, who patronize her in person and on Instagram, where she also sells her wares. “They love the concept. I always get great compliments on the items and how innovative it is, the fashion truck.”

The truck is just Harrell’s latest venture. She started Colby’s Closet – an online children’s clothing store named for her four year-old daughter, ElleMari Colby Harrell – and Pink Culture Momtourage, a nonprofit for other mothers with a philanthropic bent.

“Pink represents femininity, and culture is for all cultures,” she explained. “That’s how I came up with the name.”

Although the Harrells are saving on day care costs because Meka cares for Maveric, JaColby Harrell said going from two incomes to one to make the business a reality was a sacrifice for the family. The reward – seeing his wife happy – was well worth it, though.

“I’m just so happy to see her finding her passion,” said the WSSU alumnus. “A lot of people don’t get achance to really follow their passion in life.”

 Meka Harrell with her husband, JoColby.

Meka Harrell with her husband, JoColby.

Meka Harrell said she believes she’s found her purpose in life, and she’s never felt more fulfilled. Already, she has inspired several friends to chase their dreams in their careers. She hopes to one day parlay her story as a first generation college graduate and businessowner to motivational speaking engagements, where she can encourage youngsters from difficult backgrounds to believe in their dreams.

“If you want things to happen, you just need to really pray about it and everything falls into place,” she remarked. “I feel like I’ve been stress free ever since I started the truck. It’s just in my spirit; I always knew what I wanted to do.”

View more photos of Harrell’s mobile business here.

For more information about Pink Culture Inc., follow the company on Twitter or Instagram @PinkCultrTruck, email or call 336-517-PINK.



Remembering Livingstone College . . .

Note: More than three years ago I wrote a column about my experience at Livingstone College. I was later asked to expand on it for a feature in a Livingstone College publication. What follows is that longer article. 

Leather coat and platform shoes

Leather coat and platform shoes

I arrived on Livingstone College’s campus in August 1970 ready to play football – or so I thought. I didn’t really know what to expect. It was hot. And making matters worse we practiced three times a day – early in the morning, midday and early evening. For about a week or so we were the only people on campus.

After the last practice of the day we had meetings to review our assignments and plays. And we were also at the mercy of the upperclassmen. We ran errands for them, oftentimes reluctantly, and tried to get some sleep before the grueling process started all over again the subsequent day. It was hard work, just like a job. And to add insult to injury the upperclassmen shaved our heads. Suffice it to say we were at the bottom of the food chain and treated as such.

I almost quit.

A couple of weeks after I arrived on campus, on a day designated for parents of freshmen to visit, my parents and paternal grandmother, Florence Alston, came to town. When they entered my dorm room they were surprised to see my bags packed, waiting at the door. What they didn’t know was I was ready to go home. I’d had enough of the three-a-day practices, the treatment upperclassmen were dishing out and I just didn’t think this was the place for me at that time. My grandmother, Mama Florence, looked at me and said: “Stay for a year and if you don’t like it, then come home.”

Fortunately I took her sage advice and didn’t quit.

Pledging in the spring of 1972

Pledging in the spring of 1972

Turns out I truly enjoyed my college experience after making some initial adjustments, adapting to the routine, meeting new people and developing some friendships that have become lifelong. I pledged Omega Psi Phi fraternity and believe it or not was the only one on my “line.” My guidance counselor, Marie Burney at R.J. Reynolds High School in Winston-Salem, had connections that helped land me a full scholarship at Livingstone. Also helping me get adjusted to college were two high school teammates, Walter (Sam) Dillard, who became my roommate, and Charlie B. Dulin, who sadly is now deceased.

Getting adjusted to college life is one thing. Buckling down and applying yourself is another. I credit Mrs. Lancaster, one of my professors, with providing the spark that motivated me to take full advantage of the fact that I was in college with a chance to better myself. One day while I was walking across campus she appeared out of nowhere, tapped me on my shoulder and said: “Mr. Alston, football season is over. You can do better.” That was it. She kept walking, leaving me to think about what she’d said. That was truly a defining moment for me. Without being specific, I knew she was getting on me about my grades. More profound to me, however, was the fact that she obviously saw something in me. I wasn’t sure what she saw, but her words inspired me to change my ways and live up to her expectations.

Football, as you may imagine, was a big part of my campus experience. Coach Fletcher Jones, our defensive coordinator at the time, was a big man who commanded attention with or without his paddle. He used it occasionally to reinforce a point – on your behind. Of course coaches can’t do that today, but back then Coach Jones could and did. The best way to ensure you spared yourself the embarrassment – not to mention the pain – was not to mess up.

As I recall, one player just wasn’t getting the job done in practice. Basically, he was indecisive, which was a “no-no.” His inaction irritated Coach Jones to no end, prompting him to bark a few choice words I can’t repeat in this column. I can tell you that with a sense of urgency he yelled, “Do something, even if it’s wrong! Then at least I can correct you.” If memory serves me correctly, Coach Jones used his paddle that day. I know it sounds harsh, but all he really wanted was the players to act so he could provide feedback on their actions and help them make the necessary adjustments. Being decisive is a message that has stuck with me to this day.

I vividly remember my first road trip as a Livingstone College football player. It included running through the “belt line,” a ritual for your first trip that was just another step in the initiation process.

The Livingstone College Blue Bears football team was easily recognizable when we traveled because we wore light-blue blazers with the Blue Bear emblem on the breast pocket. For the most part we were teen-agers, barely into manhood. Yet, we knew we represented something much larger than ourselves, much bigger than our individual talents. Though only young men at the time, we understood we represented a black college – the term HBCU hadn’t exactly caught on back then – and that meant we had to show up, to do and be our best at all times.

Nigel and Sarah (Freshmen Ball)

Nigel and Sarah (Freshmen Ball)

I received a good education at Livingstone College, and that’s also where I met my wife of nearly 33 years, Sarah Debra Littlejohn. We met three months into our freshmen year and began dating on November 14, 1970. We celebrate that day as well as our December 17th wedding anniversary each year.

I am so thankful for Mrs. Burney’s connections, for the infinite wisdom of Mama Florence, Mrs. Lancaster’s much-needed verbal kick in the butt and the influence of my coaches. Because of all of them, I graduated ready to compete and have fared well in the decades since.

And while it’s probably pretty obvious by now and doesn’t really need to be said, I’d be remiss if I didn’t state that I’m eternally proud to be a Livingstone College Blue Bear.

Nigel D. Alston is President of Nigel D. Alston & Associates, Inc. He is a motivational speaker, Dale Carnegie trainer and meeting facilitator. He also writes a bi-weekly column for the Winston-Salem Journal and was honored for his column “Today, I cried” by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) in 2002. He and his wife reside in Winston-Salem.




Livingstone College “Throwback” Pictures . . .

Recently, we posted a story that appeared in the W-S Journal in 1998 featuring three sisters: Mildred E. Knox, Dorothy E. Wynecoff and Olivia E. Morgan.

The Golden Girls

The Golden Girls









Here they are again in our first “throwback” pictures featuring W-S area alumni.

Back in the Day

Back in the Day

Spotlight on Dr. Erby R. Oglesby . . .



Dr. Oglesby is a proud Blue Bear

Dr. Oglesby is a proud Blue Bear

Dr. Erby Rudolph Oglesby, a native of Granite Quarry, North Carolina, was Valedictorian of his high school graduating class in 1949 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Livingstone College in 1953, where he was an honor student.  In 1957, he earned his D.D.S. from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee, and received a Fellowship from Fitzsimmons General Hospital in Denver, Colorado in 1964 to study Restorative Dentistry.  He also received a M.S. degree in Removable Prosthodontics from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Missouri in 1971.

Brother Oglesby has had an extensive career in dentistry and the military.  He served in the United States Army as a dentist for twenty years and retired as a Colonel.  He served overseas in France, Germany, and Vietnam.  He was the only African-American Commander of a Dental Company in the U.S. Army from 1974-1977 at Ft. Devens, Massachusetts.  He was an adjunct Clinical Professor at the dental school at Tuft University.  After his military career, he practiced Family Dentistry in Asheville, North Carolina for twenty-four years.

He has always been active in the communities in which he lived.  In Asheville, he served as Vice Chairperson of the Asheville City School Board, Chairman of the Board of Social Services in Buncombe County, served on the Board of Directors of the Asheville Symphony, Daniel Boone Boy Scout Council, the YMCA Board, and the First Union National Bank Western Regional Board.

In Kernersville, he is a volunteer with the Shepherd’s Center and serves on the Institutional Review Board of Winston-Salem State University.

Brother Oglesby served as the Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School teacher, member of the gospel choir and Chairman of the Trustee Board at the Hopkins Chapel AME Zion Church in Asheville, North Carolina.

He is an active member of the United Metropolitan Missionary Baptist Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, where he serves on the Finance committee, Laymen’s League, Assistant Sunday School Teacher and Bible Study.

Brother Oglesby is a life member of the NAACP, the American Dental Association, and the North Carolina Dental Society.  He is a member of the International Optimist Club, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, the Livingstone College Science Associates (1992), a recipient of the 60 year member pen of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and he was inducted into the Livingstone College Leaders Hall of Fame (2010).

He is the recipient of many military and civic honors: The Legion of Merit, The Army Commendation Medal, The Bronze Star, The National Defense Medal, The Republic of Vietnam Campaign, The Vietnam Service Medal, The Vietnam Unit Citation, The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Man of the Year (1980), The Business Associate of the Year of the Greater Asheville Chapter (1985), and The Chamber of Echoes Man of the Year (1988).

He and his wife, Treva, celebrated 53 years of marriage in April, 2013.  They have five adult children and four precious grandchildren.

He enjoys reading, traveling, listening to smooth jazz, and spending time with his grandchildren.


Spotlight on Dorothy Wynecoff . . . Still Going Strong

Dorothy Wynecoff Class of '48

Dorothy Wynecoff
Class of ’48

College Organizations:  
Member of the Choral Union
Member of the College Octet
Member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.- Alpha Xi Chapter
Member of the Student Council

Life Work:    
Clerk Typist at the Kate B. Reynolds Hospital – 13yrs
Teacher in Forsyth County Winston-Salem School System – 24yrs
Married to Donnell Wynecoff (59 yrs), deceased
Daughter – Dr. Debra R. Wynecoff-Ogden, Winston-Salem, NC
Grandson – Garry A. Ogden, Jr., CPA, Conyers, Ga.
Granddaughter – Sophia E. Ogden, Conyers, Ga.

Special Recognitions:  
Hat Queen in the book, “Crowns”
Miss Goler Metropolitan 2002
Miss Livingstone Alumni in 1951

Community Involvement/Interests:  
Member of Goler Metropolitan AME Zion Church
Member of Goler’s Cathedral Choir
Life member of the Woman’s Home & Overseas Missionary Society
Vice-President of the Stewardess Board
Member of the Goler Christian Education Board
Member of Goler Sunday School
Member of Phi Omega-Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
Member of Phi Omega, Inc.
Member of the Sittercise Class at the Carl Russell Recreation Center
Favorite/Most Memorable Livingstone Moment (s): 
Senior Voice Recital on May 15, 1948, my birthday and on Mothers Day with my mother (Sadie Ellis) in attendance.
Crowning of “Miss Alumni” – 1951  (Winston-Salem Chapter)
Singing in the College Choir & Octet

Livingstone College Class Reunion Pictures . . .

2013 Reunion Class Photos shared by Carmen Wilder (Alumni Affairs)

It was a great reunion year for Livingstone College with a combined total of $210,000 contributed to the school. The Class of 1963 (Golden Grads) contributed the largest ever Reunion gift of over $104,000 and received the Outstanding Reunion Class Award!

W-S chapter members included: Dr. Oglesby (’53), Peggy Moore (’68), Jackie Astrop (’73) and Orlando Mitchell (98).

Class of 1998

Class of 1998

Class of 1973

Class of 1973

Class of 1968

Class of 1968

Class of 1953

Class of 1953

Livingstone College Homecoming 2013 . . .

One of many food vendors

One of many food vendors

Well, we fell short by three points in a loss to Fayetteville State University, 34-31.

At the same time, it was a good day to see classmates, eat a hot dog, fried fish and fries and a lot of hugs and kisses.

We sold another 225 raffle tickets  (that is 325 tickets sold today and last saturday) at the Livingstone College W-S Alumni Chapter table today.

Our own Dr. Oglesby joined us as he celebrated his 60th year by proudly wearing his gold medallion around his neck.

Dr. Oglesby is a proud Blue Bear

Dr. Oglesby is a proud Blue Bear

Click here to view more pictures from homecoming.