01/16/2019
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 It’s been quite an impressive collegiate year for West Bladen graduate Macon Hammond.  Macon is a rising senior at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount where he has collected several awards and honors this year.  To begin, he has been selected twice as one of eight graduation ceremony Marshals due to his academic achievement.  He is extremely active with the inner workings of his school where he serves as an Ambassador–meeting, greeting, and explaining the advantages of attending Wesleyan to prospective students.  Macon says, “It’s important that students have a clear understanding of the school they choose before making a commitment.  A well-informed student has a much better opportunity at success.”  His efforts have translated into several rising freshmen selecting and attending NCWC. 

            Because of its small size, the staff and faculty are tied closely to the student body.  When vacancies occur in key positions, the college elects to incorporate the talents of some of the higher performing students into their search committees.  Macon has served on two such committees in his junior year being instrumental in the hiring of a new Director of Student Activities and a professor in the Exercise Science Department.  The search committee meets each candidate, reviews their qualifications, and actually has an interview session.  The committee then meets in a less formal lunch venue and has an opportunity to see how the prospective candidate interacts with the students and faculty.  All of these time consuming interactions result in a recommendation to the President for hiring. 

            While all of these activities keep him busy, Macon also serves the student body as President of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.  He believes that a solid faith-based education coupled with the knowledge gained through academics is a formula for success in life well after the formal educational process is completed.  The FCA meets each week and serves the students by upholding and reinforcing their belief system while planning and executing wholesome Christian programs. 

            If all these activities seem a strain on his time, he also serves as the President of the Exercise Science Club.  This organization is within the Department of Exercise Science and focuses on the activities that surround those majoring in Exercise Science.  During his educational career, Macon has always been a high performer.  That drive to succeed has not failed him in his college experience where he currently sports a 3.93 GPA.  His prowess in his major field has garnered him several awards and accomplishments.  First, he received the coveted Exercise Science Award.  Normally awarded to a senior, Macon received this award for his academic achievement, participation in the Department, and extraordinary contributions to the Program.  His achievement in his major field has resulted in him working on his senior thesis during his junior year.  Macon attended and became a member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Conference in Orlando, FL, last year and assisted a senior in presenting her thesis.  This year Macon will be in San Diego, CA, presenting his senior thesis that he has prepared over the course of his junior year.  The ACSM is the largest exercise science and sports medicine organization in the world with the intent of integrating and furthering scientific research to provide educational and practical applications of exercise science and sports medicine.  In keeping with his major, Macon has interviewed and been selected to intern at Nash Memorial Hospital in the Cardiac Rehab Department. 

            You may think this is a full plate for any student, but he is also a member of the NC Wesleyan varsity baseball team and has been on the varsity squad since coming to the college.  Macon has successfully coupled his academics with his athletics and has earned the NC Wesleyan Scholar Athlete Award.  The award is given to the player who has attained the highest GPA for the past two semesters–Macon’s was 4.0 for the period.  The award becomes even more impressive when you add in the fact that he is also an honors student at the college.  Extra course requirements are attached to being an honors student which in itself requires an even heavier academic workload.  Macon did not have to become an honors student, and many do not, but he believes that the program will greatly enhance his academic experience.  Not to be outdone by any opportunity, Macon ran for and was elected as the President of the Wesleyan Honors Program.  The program oversees the planning of events and aids in administration of the entire program by meeting with the Department Chair to enhance the total honors program experience.

            His accomplishments are many and his drive to succeed is great, but his desire to help others is even stronger.  Macon is a testament to those who are following him from West Bladen and into life, whether through work or college.

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