Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg will be the featured speaker for the inaugural Chancellor’s Town Hall at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University on Monday, March 13, noon to 1 p.m., school officials announced Friday.
The Chancellor’s Town Hall initiative was created to bring nationally distinguished guests to Greensboro, NC for dialogue on matters of current and abiding importance to the campus community and the world beyond. It is part of the university’s commitment to creating an intellectual climate that encourages the creative exchange of ideas.
As a national leader in STEM education and America’s leading source of African American graduates in such disciplines as engineering, agricultural science and accounting, N.C. A&T seeks to provide through these town halls an ongoing platform for high-profile exploration of major social, political, cultural, environmental and economic issues.
Zuckerberg was invited to serve as the series’ premier speaker; he will focus on a theme of “Building Community,” an idea he wrote about extensively in a widely discussed community letter that he shared on Feb. 16.
A&T has a deep tradition of leadership in social change and dialogue. From the legendary civil rights activism of the A&T Four to the university’s role as host for a nationally televised town hall last fall with President Barack Obama on themes of achievement, race and sports, that legacy is alive and well today.
Zuckerberg’s appearance in the Chancellor’s Town Hall will be attended by approximately 200 A&T students, who are being invited by the university this week. Others at A&T and beyond will be able to watch the town hall via Facebook Live, where they will be able to “like,” comment and post questions.
Zuckerberg has led Facebook since launching it in his Harvard dorm room with several classmates 13 years ago last month. It is now the world’s most popular social media platform, with 1.86 billion active users.
With an enrollment of 11,177, A&T is not only the nation’s largest historically black college or university, but is home to students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories, as well as students from nations around the world. Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr., who has led the university since 2009, was recognized earlier this year as the nation’s most influential HBCU leader.
A&T is increasingly an originating point for graduates who go on to jobs in Silicon Valley, in web development and app creation and in cybersecurity and computer systems.
An undergraduate team of engineering students last fall won the national Black Enterprise TechConneXt Summit hackathon in Silicon Valley, for instance. Undergraduate Kristin Shipley was recently recognized for landing internships at Facebook and Google, as well as a spot in Stanford University’s prestigious MBA Future Leaders program.