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Students sitting at a dining table smiling and eating food

This holiday season, there’s a lot to be thankful for at UNC Greensboro.

Chancellor Gilliam said it best in his message to the campus community:

“This is the time of year when we reflect on what we are thankful for, a time to appreciate the people in our lives and the beautiful campus we are fortunate to call home.

Today I want to express my sincere gratitude to each of you as we approach this week’s holiday break and the end of the fall semester. With our students, faculty, and staff back, our campus is more vibrant and energetic. This would not be possible without your individual commitment to keeping one another safe. As a campus community, we remain healthy because of your dedication to Shield Our Spartans. Thank you.

Together, this fall, we took monumental steps toward our goal of becoming a national model for how to blend opportunity, excellence, and impact to transform the lives of individual students while at the same time making a major contribution to the prosperity of the local community, the region, and the state. We officially opened the Nursing and Instructional Building – a new home for the School of Nursing as well as for students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Health and Human Sciences.

We are proud that our tenacious commitment to student success gained national attention as we retained our ranking of number one in North Carolina for social mobility – a measure of how a UNCG education elevates our students’ careers and socio-economic standing. And perhaps more significantly, our national ranking rose 10 spots this year to number 13. In this regard, I’d like to recognize our hardworking faculty and staff. Each and every day they work to transform our educational landscape through knowledge, research, and creative activity, which contributes to a more equitable future for all. An inclusive and equitable campus is part of our DNA as demonstrated by our action framework and campus-wide efforts including our diversity dashboard series and leadership training programs.

The launch of the University’s first capital campaign in 15 years, Light the Way: The Campaign for Earned Achievement, is evidence of our commitment to access, excellence, and impact. I am proud to say our supporters steadily are helping us reach our $200 million goal.

I hope you reflect on your achievements this semester. I know it has been challenging, but we are proud that you did your best. Please take the next few days to relax and recharge. Remember, it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. Let’s finish strong.”

More Spartans had the opportunity to give gratitude and enjoy food and fellowship at UNCG Dining’s “Thank•ful” event on Nov. 19, part of Chartwells’ Joy-Ful program, which is a year-long campaign aimed at welcoming students back to campus in a memorable way.

The event featured a turkey carving demonstration and a postcard booth for students to express what they’re thankful for.

Molly Oldham, a junior musical theatre student and two-time brain cancer survivor, gave the keynote speech and a standing ovation-worthy performance to students, faculty, and staff.

“I think when you go through something like brain cancer, you kind of realize, ‘Oh, wow. I took a lot of things for granted before.’ I didn’t know I was going to survive the first time, let alone the second, and I’m just extremely blessed and thankful for the fact that I’m still able to speak, I’m still able to walk, and I’m still able to breathe on my own, which are things I never thought of before.”

Watch the video below to hear what more Spartans are thankful for and see Oldham’s speech and performance:

Story by Alexandra McQueen, University Communications
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Communications

Videography by Grant Evan Gilliard, University Communications

 
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