N.C. Sen. Malcolm Graham has been named Johnson C. Smith University’s special assistant to the president for government and community relations, the school announced today.

Graham, a 1985 JCSU graduate in his third term as state senator, will assist JCSU President Ronald Carter build strong relationships between the university and outside entities, such as governments, community groups, nonprofits and churches.

Improving the school’s public image has been one of Carter’s most publicized objectives.

Graham will not step down as an N.C. legislator but has said he would not lobby for the school or vote on matters directly affecting it. He has worked with JCSU in the past to improve the Beatties Ford Road corridor near the university.

“We want it to become an urban atmosphere so that when kids come to school here, they not only receive a good education, but their student life is enhanced outside campus…,” he said.

Graham holds a bachelor degree in political science from JCSU.

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