From 1932-1963, the institution we now know as UNCG was a very different and very special place.
What had been known as the North Carolina College for Women prior to 1932 became one of three charter campuses of the Consolidated University of North Carolina, along with UNC Chapel Hill and what was then known as the North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering (now NC State). Along with the shift in organization and mission came a new name: The Woman's College of the University of North Carolina.
Woman's College students pose in their class jackets in 1953.
For three decades, WC, as it came to be known, educated thousands of women from across the state and nation. During this time, WC achieved the distinction of being the largest residential college for women in the nation, with a student enrollment surpassing 3,500 by 1962.
These women went on to accomplish great things and lead full lives, and in honor of the 50th anniversary of the transition from WC to UNCG, the Alumni Association is honoring some of WC's most noteworthy graduates.
The Women of Distinction are 30 members of graduating classes between 1933 and 1963 who demonstrated exceptional personal and professional achievement in their lives and careers. They became novelists and artists, business executives and military leaders. Their ranks include one of the first female engineers to work with NASA shuttle operations, one of the first African-American students to graduate from a North Carolina college and a Pulitzer Prize winning author.
Woman's College alumnae provide UNCG with a model for excellence, tradition and service, said Mary Landers, director of Alumni Relations at UNCG. We will always be grateful to them for showing us what true commitment to one's alma mater means for future generations.
These extraordinary women, who are listed below, will be honored in a special ceremony that will take place Oct. 24, 2013, as a part of this year's Homecoming festivities.
We congratulate them all and salute their extraordinary lives and careers.
(* indicates a deceased honoree)