North Carolina Central University officials are inviting the public to a 100th birthday bash on campus on July 8.
The celebration will include dedications of a newly installed Centennial Garden on Fayetteville Street, the Centennial Chapel, (the relocated and repurposed Holy Cross Church) and a historic plaque commemorating the former site of Hillside High School. It is the final celebration of NCCU's centennial.
The birthday celebration will be held from 3pm to 6pm on and around the Brant Street plaza. After the dedications, the party will start with birthday cake and music.
Free parking will be available at NCCU lots on Lawson Street and Nelson Street and with shuttle service from St. Titus and St. Joseph's church lots.
The Centennial Garden, currently under construction, will be a swirling pattern of walkways and perennial plantings, with a mix of shrubs and hardwood and flowering trees. It will feature a fountain, and is situated on Fayetteville Street between the Shepard House and the former Holy Cross Church.
At first named the National Religious Training School and Chautauqua for the Colored Race, NCCU opened its doors to students on July 5, 1910, when Durham was a small tobacco town, and opportunities for higher education for African-Americans were slight. In less than two decades, the institution had become the first African-American liberal arts college in the nation to receive taxpayer support.
The event is free and open to the public. For more information, contact the NCCU Office of Public Relations at (919) 530-6295.