The picture of Clarence Newsome painted by recent N&O articles is nothing like the person I have known as president of Shaw University for the past six years. Dr. Newsome is one of the finest, best educated, most articulate and most capable presidents this university has ever had.
He is a dynamic speaker! No matter where I hear him speak he always lifts up Shaw University and reminds people of its history and its accomplishments. I was not surprised two years ago when I heard that he had inspired John Mack, CEO of Morgan Stanley, to donate $5 million to Shaw.
The Raleigh-Wake alumni chapter -- Shaw's largest -- is in the middle of one of its biggest fundraising drives ever. As a member of that chapter I can assure you that Newsome has encouraged and supported our efforts and participated in many of our fundraising activities, including our recent walk-a-thon. Our chapter has stood behind him as he sought to raise the profile and standards of Shaw University.
Newsome brought a feeling of sophistication, intelligence and class to our school. This is the direction I and many who love Shaw still want the university to pursue. I believe Newsome's departure is a tremendous loss.