A Professor Inspired a Student, Then the Student Inspires the Campus

Nicholas Vaughn, Staff Writer

If you are making your way to class on any given morning at Wingate University you can find students walking to their destinations, getting coffee from Einstein’s, or talking with friends in the academic quad. Whether you are the student who will make it to class a little early or the student who is often seen running through the stairs of Byrum to get to class on time, you will meet someone. You will meet Isaac Aning. Not only will you meet Isaac, but you will meet his positive energy and contagious smile.

Issac is a junior here at Wingate University and is majoring in biology. A native of Graham, N.C., Isaac is the youngest of seven, yes seven, children.

Photo credit by Wingate University

Isaac has been holding the two doors at the bottom of the stairs in Byrum since he was a freshman.“I will emphatically proclaim that the primary reason I hold the doors every morning is to help my brother Dr. (Greg) Bell (a professor of mathematics) by giving him a transition from Burris building into Hayes building with ease. It all started my freshman year in Wingate University when I first saw Dr. Bell going through the doors of Hayes and Burris with a little difficulty.”

That’s how it all started. What started as a simple observation and Isaac’s initiative has led to a bright spot in the days of countless Wingate University students, including sophomore Erin Draughn. “As I am walking to statistics in the mornings and enter Byrum it makes my day to see Isaac smiling with his positive energy. It just makes my mornings better!” Draughn stated. “It just makes me want to be a better person.” Draughn added.

By admiring and being inspired by Dr. Bell, Isaac inspired his fellow students. He continues to do this for the simple and yet profound feeling of making a difference. No one can ever know what is someone else is going through, everyone should know that a simple smile or connection to someone can briefly change someone’s whole day around.

That is what Isaac is doing here at Wingate. “It is a feeling which I will never allow to be compromised by anyone or anything since that is the core of my being now. It is a feeling that gives me fulfillment, and keeps me strong in my faith.”

God comes first in Issac’s life. His drive to make a difference is grounded in his goal to keep steadfast and follow in the plans that God has for him in his lifetime.

Through being authentic, staying true to himself and giving back to Wingate University, Isaac has received the same from Wingate. He was honored with the Mr. Wingate Scholarship of $1,000 for exemplifying Wingate University’s motto of “Faith, Knowledge, Service.” “I did not think this act of mine was going to spread to others who also came through the door.”

In a time where our country is so greatly divided, Issac chooses the alternative route. He chooses to exemplify Wingate’s motto through simple and random acts of kindness to be a positive light for Wingate. “You see this is another way my God blesses HIS children—through little, tiny acts in our daily lives. He has plans for us all, but if only we will be willing to follow it, then we will know that those plans are to prosper us and to give us hope and a future,” Issac said.

So, if you ever find yourself hopeless and thinking that you can’t make a difference. Think of Isaac and smile too. You can make a difference. Thank you for being a friend, Isaac. Your acts have blessed us and inspired us.


Edited by: Brea Childs

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