NCCU Chancellor Debra Saunders-White battling cancer

Wednesday, October 14, 2015
NCCU Chancellor diagnosed with cancer
Debra Saunders White

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Students at North Carolina Central University say they're learning a valuable lesson in perseverance now that their Chancellor has revealed she's battling cancer.

"She seems like a strong lady to be going through all that and continue to work here," said NCCU student Brittanny Tanner.

The University says Chancellor Debra Saunders-White publicly disclosed she was diagnosed with kidney cancer at an event honoring single mothers hosted by men's basketball coach Levelle Moton.

Saunders-White declined to speak to ABC11 on camera about her prognosis and treatment. A spokesperson says policy forbids the university from publicly commenting on an employee's health. They emphasized that Saunders-White is still at the helm, focusing on students.

"The Chancellor loves NCCU. She loves the students," said Associate Vice Chancellor Ayana Hernandez. "She has a contagious passion for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Since day one, she has been very engaged in all aspects of the university, and continues to do so."

Saunders-White revealed she learned of her diagnosis in May. In May, she was also facing allegations of racial discrimination after current and former employees filed lawsuits and EEOC complaints.

Students are rallying behind Saunders-White, offering prayers on social media.

"I hope the best for her," said NCCU student Jazmine Dixon. "I hope that she pulls through and continues to pull through and continue to remain here at job at Central."

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