Lexington, KY -- From front pages of national newspapers to TV sets all over the country, the North Carolina A&T Aggies are getting the sort of positive exposure money can't buy.
The university's chancellor, Harold Martin sat down with WFMY News 2's Philip Jones in Dayton, OH, after the Aggies got their first-ever NCAA tournament win. Martin reflected on what these last few days and the media attention they've brought say about the past, present and future of North Carolina A&T.
"We think we have a great history and set of traditions about our institution," Martin said. "The [Greensboro] Sit-Ins certainly come to mind with a number of individuals throughout America. But we also want them to know that today we are a very thriving, strong institution with great commitments to excellence in our academic programs and our research.
"And oh, by the way, we have an excellent athletic program, as well."
The on-court success has led to a great opportunity for the university to reconnect with many of its graduates, Martin said.
"It's such an exciting time with our alumni. And they are reflecting their, I would say, pent-up anxieties about the basketball program in very healthy, positive ways," he said of the vocal support many alumni are offering.
The timing of the basketball team's NCAA Tournament run comes at a great time for the university, Martin says, because there's been a concerted effort recently to raise its profile and its standing.
"The last several years we have been focusing on really advancing the institution in very aggressive ways: hiring new administrators, focusing strategically on quality of academic programs, engaging of students and being an incredible asset to our city, our state and our region," Martin said. "And so, now you add the successes of athletics, which add an additional light on the university. It's incredible. It really is."
Chancellor Martin stressed the importance of that relationship with Greensboro, and says he's grateful for the overwhelming support the Triad is offering the Aggies.
The goal now is to make North Carolina proud -- not only against Louisville, but every day.
WFMY News 2