The University of North Carolina at Greensboro

Connections Section Title
Alumni Association President Jeff Colbert
Looking forward
Remarks from Alumni Association President Jeff Colbert

Recently I found a video tape on which I had taped the final episode of “The West Wing.” Realizing that I had never watched it, I put my other, more pressing, work aside, grabbed a bowl of rainbow sherbet ice cream and viewed the final show. In moments, I was transported back to that time when I watched it regularly and experienced the interactions and relationships of the characters. As I considered my emotional response to the program, it struck me that I have felt this way about several television programs — “The Waltons,” “M*A*S*H,” some of the Star Trek variations, as well as “The West Wing” (have you ever seen those programs in the same sentence?!). The common element was that they all were “ensemble” programs and successfully drew viewers into their lives and their experiences. You felt the love/affection, the shared experiences, their successes and their failures.

My next thought was how similar that is to UNCG. It is an “ensemble” experience. There are multiple characters (students, faculty, staff, alumni) with diverse story lines. People of all genders, races, religions and ages, from all over the country and all over the world, come to this place to learn and develop relationships, just like you did. While we didn't all say “good night” to each other like on “The Waltons,” most of us did develop “family” and, in many cases, these relationships last to this day. As you are reading this, most of you can remember friends, classmates, professors and staff members who changed you. You became a part of their life and they became a part of yours.

This legacy goes on and you need to share your “ensemble” stories with others. Find an alumnus, maybe someone from a different generation than you, and share your stories. It is part of the fabric that binds all of us together. And, be sure to display your Spartan Pride at EVERY opportunity! Wear that UNCG sweatshirt, and send in that license plate application!

Jeff Colbert '84, '86 MPA is the new president of the UNCG Alumni Association. In addition to earning his bachelor's and master's degrees at UNCG, he also is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science.

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Linda Carter image
Taking the lead

Only a few weeks into the job, Linda Carter already has a handle on the big picture.

Carter is the new assistant vice chancellor of alumni relations and executive director of the Alumni Association. But she's no stranger to UNCG.

Many alumni may know her from her role as the director of development for the School of Nursing. Prior to coming to UNCG, Carter worked in benefactor relations at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

But her first positions were in alumni relations. At the Graduate School of Business at the University of Chicago she got her start as the assistant director of alumni relations. She followed that with a position as director of alumni relations for the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“I never stopped doing alumni relations,” she says. “Everyone who has passion and love for this institution is an alumni relations person.” Being an alumni relations person means understanding that alumni today have different expectations than 50 years ago.

The key word these days is “affinity.” How do alumni see themselves? As members of a particular class year or as members of a specific type of group?

“We need to let alumni identify how they see themselves, whether by region, career, academic unit, where they are in life, race, gender, special interests — I'd love to see if there are any UNCG quilters or gardeners out there. The world is our stage. We want to create meaningful relationships.”

Another major component will be connecting students and alumni. “Students need to be aware of the shoes they are filling,” Carter says. Our alumni have changed society, and someday students will too.

Finally, Carter advocates creating a culture of philanthropy — and not just with financial resources. She wants to see alumni giving their time and talent as well.

“We're stewarding a century-old campus,” she says. “What alumni do now will impact what this university becomes in the next 100 years.”

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Members only

Not a member? Sure you are.

As of Jan. 1, 2009, all WC and UNCG alumni — by virtue of their degree — are considered members of the UNCG Alumni Association. No more annual membership dues. Every alumnus has access to all the benefits previously reserved for members of the association as well as the greatest benefit of all — pride in your alma mater.

The ultimate reason for removing membership dues is to provide more ways for alumni to stay connected and involved with UNCG. So get involved. Come to events like FallFest. Volunteer to serve on a board. Attend a concert or play. Talk to high school students about your UNCG experience.

Be proud. You're a part of a distinctive community that's 90,000 members strong. And growing.

If you have questions about this change, contact Cindy Dew at (336) 256-2010 for more information.

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Tag — you're it!

By now you have probably heard about the push to get specialized UNCG license plates. And maybe you've planned to send in your form but it got lost in the shuffle of day-to-day things. This is a friendly reminder.

Anyone — students, faculty, staff and friends of UNCG — can sign up to purchase a collegiate license plate. The plates will feature the letters “UNCG” along with the yellow and blue Minerva logo.

State law requires that 300 applications and fees must first be collected by the university before the plates can be manufactured. So far, the university has received close to 60. Once applications and fees are received the Department of Motor Vehicles will print the tags and mail them directly to applicants.

The plates cost $25 a year in addition to standard renewal costs for vehicle registration. Of the $25, $15 is returned to UNCG to support alumni and student programs. Personalized plates are available for $55. License plates are also available for motorcycles.

More than 20 North Carolina colleges and universities have their own license plates.

For more information contact the UNCG Alumni Association at (336) 334-5696 or visit

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Helping parents SOAR

Each year, incoming freshmen and their families come to campus for Spartan Orientation, Advising & Registration (SOAR). And every year, some of those parents look at the campus through two sets of eyes — both as parents getting ready to let their child go and as alumni, reliving pieces of their past.

This year, the UNCG Alumni Association welcomed those alumni back to campus by setting up a table in the Caf where they could all sit together, along with a few members of the board.

“It's a cool thing getting alumni sitting together,” says Jeff Colbert '84, '86 MPA. “It didn't matter which dorm you lived in, which degree you earned or when you were here. By the time you asked any of them a couple of questions, stories just flew around the tables.”

In addition to listening to reminiscences, Colbert made sure the parents were receiving the UNCG Magazine and the Alumni Association emails. “And, of course, we let all of them know about our current campaign to have a UNCG license plate here in North Carolina.”

Colbert initiated the idea of bringing alumni together with cooperation from the Office of Orientation and Family Programs.

“The alumni said it made them feel special,” he says. “We will do it again next year.”

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Alumni Events
  • Oct. 31 – Harriet Elliott Lecture Series, co-sponsored by the UNCG Alumni Association, Alumni House
  • Nov. 11 – Meet the Chancellor event, High Point
  • Nov. 20 – Will Read for Food, fundraiser for Greensboro Food Bank, co-sponsored by the Alumni Association, the Weatherspoon Art Museum and the MFA Creative Writing Program, Weatherspoon Auditorium
  • Nov. 30 – Raleigh alumni reception in conjuction with NC State vs. UNCG basketball game, RBC Arena
  • Dec. 5 – Graduates' Reception and Ring Ceremony, EUC Auditorium
  • Dec. 6 – Branches of Love, Student Alumni Ambassador's annual holiday service project, Alumni House

Dates and times are subject to change.

For more information, contact Terri Relos at or email the Alumni Relations Office at or call (336) 334-5696.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro
Location: 1000 Spring Garden Street, Greensboro, NC 27403
Mailing Address: PO Box 26170, Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
Telephone: 336.334.5000
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Last updated: Tuesday, 04 October 2011
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