Johnson C. Smith to Host Fourth Annual Arch of Triumph Gala

Johnson C. Smith University will host its fourth annual Arch of Triumph Gala at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, at the Charlotte Convention Center Ballroom.

The signature black-tie event of the university, the Arch of Triumph Gala honors distinguished JCSU alumni and notable philanthropic achievers. This year, the university will acknowledge those who have made a significant impact in the arena of foster care, a personal cause of Dr. Ronald L. Carter, president of JCSU and former foster parent of four youths.

This year’s Arch of Triumph Gala Award recipients include: Mary and Carl Brown, executive directors of the South Carolina Foster Care Association; Talmadge Willard Fair, a JCSU alumnus and President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Miami; Dr. Catherine McKee McCottry, a JCSU alumnae and Charlotte’s first African-American female physician; and Victoria Rowell, actress, author and foster care advocate.

The ceremonies during the gala will also spotlight the university’s newest initiative, The Foster Village Network Center, and its ground-breaking Phasing Up to New Possibilities program. The program is designed to ease the transition for at-risk youth phasing out of foster care. The program seeks to maximize community partnerships and provide a holistic approach to supporting the unique needs of nontraditional college students.

“As a former foster parent, I’ve seen first-hand the ambition and determination of students who have risen from the constraints of foster care to lead incredibly influential and successful lives,” said Carter. “Because of our unwavering commitment to improving our communities, we as a university cannot overlook the youth in the foster care system who have the potential and the talent to better our city and our country.”

Proceeds from the Arch of Triumph Gala go to support the JCSU Fund, which provides needed funds for scholarships, teaching and learning initiatives, in addition to programs that are vital to providing a high-quality education to JCSU students. The inaugural Arch of Triumph was held in 2009 and grossed more than $128,000 to benefit the JCSU Fund, bringing more than 690 Charlotte residents, local corporations and members of the philanthropic community together for the black-tie occasion.

For more information on sponsorship opportunities with the Arch of Triumph Gala, contact Sharon Harrington at 704-330-1437 To purchase tickets, contact Katrina Gordon at 704-330-1424 or

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is the premier independent urban liberal arts university located in the heart of Charlotte, N.C. It offers a progressive liberal arts curriculum with 26 fields of study to nearly 1,500 students. The University prepares students for success through excellent academic programs with a focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility.