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WFU dean of student services, aspiring lawyer receive building the dream awards

January 21, 2009

Harold Holmes, associate vice president and dean of student services at Wake Forest University, and Wake Forest senior Trayonna Floyd received the WFU/WSSU MLK Building the Dream Award Jan. 19 at Wake Forest. 

The award recognizes one professor/administrator and one student from each of the two universities for their efforts to promote racial diversity and harmony.  Recipients are nominated by faculty, staff and students at their respective universities and are selected by a committee of faculty, staff and student representatives from each school.  

This year’s recipients from Winston-Salem State University were Larry Little, associate professor of political science, and senior Ronald. C. Williams.

Holmes joined Wake Forest in 1987.  In the award presentation, he was recognized for his long-time, behind-the-scenes efforts as an advocate for diversity and multiculturalism in every office in the Division of Student Life.  He was also recognized for establishing Wake Forest’s Mission of Good Hope service trip at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa.  During the trip, students travel to Kayamandi Township to conduct a computer literacy program for local citizens.

The trip was the first international service trip established at Stellenbosch University and is the only Wake Forest international service-learning program that includes participants from another university.  Holmes created a partnership with WSSU in which students from both universities participate in the trip. 

Holmes holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Hampton University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Fordham University.  He also completed the College Management Program at Carnegie Mellon University and the Management Development Program at Harvard University.  He recently received a Meritorious Service Award from the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). 

“By making diversity a priority in every office in the Division of Student Life, he has helped create an atmosphere that especially nurtures and supports students of color,” said Barbee Oakes, director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs at Wake Forest.  “He is a gentle giant in higher education, one of the greatest hidden treasures of the Wake Forest community.”

Floyd, a senior from Gastonia, is a sociology major with a minor in women’s and gender studies at Wake Forest.  A dean’s list student, she was honored not only for her leadership in both campus and community activities, but also for her strong faith and family values. 

As a president’s aide in the Office of the President, Floyd works as an ambassador at major university events and a liaison between the student body and the university’s president and board of trustees. 

She was recognized for numerous other activities, including representing the state of North Carolina in an annual program for The Children’s Defense Fund; co-leading a Wake Forest Alternative Spring Break service trip to Stephens, Ark., where she and 14 other students mentored and encouraged local high school students to apply to college; working as a research assistant at the Darryl Hunt Project for Freedom and Justice; and working with the Twin-City Leadership Committee to promote leadership, community involvement and collegiate unity among three local universities. 

An aspiring lawyer, Floyd also interned at The Children’s Law Center of Winston-Salem where she served as Guardian Ad Litem for children in domestic violence and high conflict custody cases.  During her internship, she wrote a grant for $20,000, which was awarded to the agency. 

“Trayonna has a heart after social activism.  She is not afraid to intercede for people who are unable to speak for themselves,” said Wake Forest senior Adwoa Asare, who nominated Floyd.  “She remains committed and conscientious in a fast-paced world where it is easy to lose track of time and neglect responsibility.” 

Each year on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the WFU/WSSU MLK Committee honors the “Building the Dream” recipients at a dinner and co-sponsors and alternates hosting a keynote event featuring a well-known guest speaker.  This year’s dinner was held at Wake Forest and the keynote event was held at WSSU.  The keynote speaker was actress and political activist Ruby Dee.

Press Contacts:

Pam Barrett
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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