News Items from UNC Greensboro

Scott Hamilton and Chancellor Gilliam
Scott T. Hamilton '85 and UNCG Chancellor Frank Gilliam
Scott T. Hamilton ’85 and Chancellor Gilliam

At UNC Greensboro, we take pride in building the people who make North Carolina better for all – shaping those that help others transform potential into prosperity. And the class of ’85 College of Visual and Performing Arts alumnus Scott T. Hamilton is doing just that. 

He has made his life’s work leading innovative partnerships that help build rural and economically distressed communities and drive economic growth in North Carolina and beyond. Hamilton currently serves as the president, chief executive officer of the Golden LEAF Foundation which was established in 1999 to reinvest a portion of North Carolina’s tobacco settlement agreement monies back into the state’s rural tobacco-dependent communities. 

“The Golden LEAF Foundation’s priorities are job creation, workforce preparedness, and agriculture,” said Hamilton. “I believe that the definition of a job is hope, opportunity, and prosperity. Knowing that I can help a family or an individual have hope, opportunity, and prosperity satisfies my personal and professional missions.”

One of Golden LEAF’s first actions was to create a scholarship program for rural North Carolina students. “They knew that if they started working on education, that in the long run, that’s going to help rural tobacco-dependent and distressed communities continue to advance and grow,” shared Hamilton. “The impact that those students can have by getting their knowledge at a university like UNCG and taking that back to their community is transformational.” 

Scott Hamilton with UNCG's Golden LEAF Scholars
Hamilton with UNCG’s Golden LEAF Scholars

For Hamilton, one of the best parts of his job is getting to meet Golden LEAF Scholars, just as he did on a recent visit to UNCG’s campus where he met 20 of the University’s 40 current Golden LEAF Scholars. To date, UNCG has helped educate 119 Golden LEAF Scholars. 

“Hearing their life stories, realizing that a great number of them are first-generation college students, and receiving letters and cards from scholars that are saying, but for this scholarship, I could not have gone to school, fills me with excitement in the hope of what they’re going to do when they go back after they graduate.”

Hamilton’s recent visit to campus also gave him the opportunity to reflect on his time at UNCG. “It’s been great to be on campus. Seeing the change from when I was here in the mid-80s to today is amazing. Some of my favorite memories are the community and my friends that I still have from when I was here. I take away from my time at UNCG the professors going above and beyond by mentoring, working with us, and offering help they didn’t know they were providing.”

Are you Spartan Strong? 

Tell us how you are putting your UNCG education to work in the world. Contact UNCG’s Alumni Office and update your information. 

Story by Richard Campbell, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications

Video by Martin W. Kane and Michael A. Ream III, University Communications

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