Edward Waters College (EWC) graduated its first Call Me MISTER scholar during the 2015 commencement ceremony Saturday, May 9th. The Call Me MISTER scholarship program is open to African-American males majoring in elementary education and pays for the last two years of course work. Upon graduation, recipients of the “Call Me MISTER” scholarship must teach in an inner-city elementary school in the Duval County Public School system for at least five years.
During the ceremony, President Nathaniel Glover presented Bernard Agurs with a Call Me MISTER blazer. Duval County Public Schools District Transformation Office Director, Iranetta Wright then met Agurs on the stage to give him his open teaching contract.
“I’ve had excellent role models in my life, and I want to be one that can make a difference in a child’s life,” said Agurs.
The scholarship program was created to help increase the number of African American males who teach in the elementary-level. According to the Department of Education, African American men only make up two-percent of the 4.8 million educators across the country. Less than one-percent of them teach in elementary schools.
President Nathaniel Glover conferred 139 undergraduate degrees on the Class of 2015. Florida State Senator Chris Smith delivered the commencement address. Agurs is the first person in his family to graduate with a college degree.
Edward Waters College (EWC), accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges, and Schools (SACS) and member of the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), is a private, historically black, urban college which offers a liberal arts education with a strong emphasis on the Christian principles of high moral and spiritual values. EWC was established in 1866 and is an African Methodist Episcopal Church-related institution of learning. It is the oldest private institution of higher education in the State of Florida.