Remarks from Alumni Association President Jana Welch Wagenseller
As we enter a new year, a new decade, we tend to look back at the last year, the last decade and often years gone by. We bring to mind memories of those years, of people, of events, of dreams fulfilled and dreams unfulfilled. We find ourselves smiling, laughing, misty-eyed and hopeful. One of last year's most impressive memories for me was the UNCG December Commencement. The excitement of the graduates, their families, their friends and their teachers was really striking. It was the culmination for so many, after so long, and now a new beginning.
How can these new graduates and newest members of our alumni association nurture this sense of excitement as they grow older? When you reminisce, do you frequently think of UNCG? If you graduated in the last 10 years, I am sure you do; but what if you graduated 20, 30, 40, 50 or more years ago?
In the UNCG Alumni Directory 2008 many alumni from 1917-2007 shared their fondest memories of WC and UNCG. The stories of dorm life, of friends, of the campus itself, of being welcomed as an individual, are prominent and enjoyable to read. When attending Reunion or FallFest/Homecoming, alumni recall with exuberance what WC/UNCG was like for them. The recollections, no matter what year they graduated, all carry the theme of being at a very special place.
Let our memories bring us together and rekindle that excitement that we felt during our college years. Let them not be just stories of the past when we were students, but stories of our alumni years as we strove to remain close to our alma mater.
Get reconnected with UNCG if you haven't in awhile, not just in your remembrances, but in person. Take advantage of our alumni activities. You'll be glad you did.
Jana Welch Wagenseller '76
UNCG Alumni Association president
When the Class of 1960 returns to campus this spring, they can expect some of the traditional trappings of Reunion the university song, the daisy chain, the Grand Luncheon, an invitation to join the Vanguard Breakfast.
But there will also be some unique programs that will recognize the historic events of their time at WC. On April 16, attendees will have an opportunity to remember the civil rights movement with dance, remarks and conversation with JoAnne Smart Drane '60 and Ann Dearsley-Vernon '60, '61 MFA. The next day, participants will have a chance to tour the newly opened International Civil Rights Museum, located at the site of the historic 1960 Woolworths sit-ins.
Other events highlight lifelong learning with UNCG faculty:
- Contemporary Art 101
- The Raft Debate
- The Woman's College Survey
- Is the Haw River Valley the Next Napa Valley?
- Updates on Bone Health and the Role Diet Plays in Preventing Osteoporosis
- Advancing Traditional Chinese Medicine with New Scientific Approaches
And coming back to campus wouldn't be complete without a chance to look at favorite haunts and a few surprises with tours of the Alumni House, Aycock Auditorium, secret gardens and general trolley tours.
Above all else, alumni from class years ending in 0s or 5s will have time to relax and enjoy one another's company with lunches and photo booths or take in cultural events such as a Margaret Maron '60X reading and the Miles Davis Jazz Festival.
To learn more about Reunion or to register, visit www.uncg.edu/ala/reunion.
While the springtime Reunion is just around the corner, don't forget to plan ahead for fall's favorite party.
Known as FallFest for the last several years, it's undergoing a name change. It's now officially Homecoming.
The name might be different but the fun will be all the same. You can look forward to live music, inflatables, games for the kids, a pep rally and parade, topped off with the homecoming soccer game.
So circle the date on your calendar, talk it up with your friends and start gathering your blue and gold for Homecoming.
OK, so you've connected with some of your college friends on Facebook. But what about the ones you haven't been able to track down? Sign up with UNCG's new alumni online community Spartan Village and have a way to get back in touch.
It's easy to do. Simply visit www.uncg.edu/alumni and click the Spartan Village icon on the right menu. Then, follow the links to the registration page. Once there, it will prompt you for your birthday. Enter it in mm/dd/yyyy format. Choose a username and password and you're ready to go.
On your first visit to Spartan Village, be sure to review your personal profile to update missing or incorrect information and set your privacy preferences. Then have fun exploring.
While reconnecting with old friends is a great benefit, the site offers even more. You can discover alumni events going on in your area and register for them. Not only that, but you can see who else is coming.
Looking for a chance to network? Upload your resume. Interested in finding a mentor? Search for other alumni who are willing to show you the ins and outs of their profession. Further along in your career? Sign up to be a mentor to others.
You can also submit class notes and see recent class notes submissions by others. It's a fun way to connect that's uniquely UNCG.
- April 16-17 – Reunion
- April 24 – School of Nursing annual meeting and distinguished alumni awards presentation, Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House
- April 30-May 1 – IARC Reunion
- May 14-15 – Warren Ashby Residential College Reunion, Mary Foust Residence Hall
Dates and times are subject to change. For more information about alumni gatherings, email the Alumni Relations Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (336) 334-5696.