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Tyshawn White

Tyshawn White - Finishing Strong

Tyshawn White didn’t start his college career at Shaw University, but he’s finishing it here strong. The senior biology major from Williamston, North Carolina originally began his career at a larger university in state before realizing that a big school wasn’t a great fit for him. 

“I always say there are the three Ps – more people, more parties, and more problems. My potential was limited by everything I was trying to be involved in, and so I wanted a smaller institution.” 

Now, Tyshawn is Shaw’s senior class president and is working toward applying to medical school. He says that the small class sizes and personal interaction with professors have helped him excel academically. 

“The high school that I went to was very, very small, so I was very used to a system where you have that rapport with your teachers. Transferring here, I got exactly what I wanted. I was able to connect with my professors. I’m a biology major and I thought that was really important.” 

Tyshawn is also very conscientious of history and was drawn to Shaw’s tradition as the oldest historically black college or university in the South.

“When I started doing my research I realized that Shaw has a rich history, and it meant a lot to me. Shaw had the first four-year program for black medical students and the first women’s dormitory. You can’t get any better than that.” 

Tyshawn credits Shaw for providing ample opportunities to develop leadership skills by participating in various student organizations, including student government, Greek life, and serving as the first ever Mr. Shaw University. 

“I’ve been able to find who I am as a person because Shaw allows students to get involved in many facets of campus life. I have served as external vice president where I’ve overseen student activities, student-led organizations, homecoming, and so much more. I’m currently senior class president and I think that being exposed to leadership positions is what allowed me to find myself and to see what kind of leader I can be. Shaw has afforded me a lot of opportunities and I’ve been able to accomplish a lot.” 

“I also had the privilege of being recognized as the 2017 Inaugural Mr. Shaw University. Being in that position has taught me the gentlemanly aspects of life. It provided opportunities to represent Shaw in a number of ways and moments, and to meet influential pioneers in various fields and academic


In celebration of Black History Month and Shaw University’s legacy as the first institution of higher learning for African-Americans in the South, Shaw will be profiling students, alumni, faculty and staff who exemplify what it means to be a part of the Shaw community throughout the month of February.