Students First Campaign - Final Report Newsletter
Donors made great things happen throughout the Students First Campaign. Take a look at some of the most outstanding accomplishments and generous gifts over the five-year fundraising effort.
Elizabeth Davidson ’32 Bequeathed $1.6 Million for Students and Alumni
Elizabeth Davidson ’32 learned the value of education while studying at UNCG, and she always acknowledged her love for the institution that helped her become a teacher. After her death in 2004, Davidson bequeathed approximately $1.6 million which established The Elizabeth H. Davidson Undergraduate Enrichment Endowment and provided a permanent source of support for programs that enhance the undergraduate experience. “She felt she owed a lot to the university and she wanted to give something back,” said her sister May ‘40. “She couldn’t think of a better place for her money to go.”
Rebecca Lloyd ’50 Transforms International Honors College
A venture fund, established primarily with planned gifts of $4 million, is providing transformational support for the university’s international honors college. The gift is from Rebecca Lloyd ’50 and is the largest the university has received from a graduate. In appreciation, the university named the Aubrey Paul and Georgia Garrison Lloyd International Honors College, in honor of Rebecca Lloyd’s parents. “The International Honors College will give students the international viewpoint that’s needed in their education. To the extent that my gift could help world peace come about, I’m happy to be making it,” said Lloyd.
Irwin Belk Establishes Athletic Scholarships and Funds Public Art
While in college, Irwin (Ike) Belk was member of the track team, giving him a lifetime devotion to athletics and physical fitness. A philanthropist who is the retired president of the Belk Group Inc. retail chain, Belk made Student First Campaign gifts exceeding $350,000 for an endowed athletic scholarship and for a statue on campus. On Sept. 25, 2009, during FallFest, the university dedicated the Spartan Statue, and during the campaign, UNCG dedicated a recreation and fitness track in his name.
The Jamesons Became the Youngest Alumni Couple to Endow a Scholarship
Alumni Nathan ’01 and Robyn Freeh Jameson ’01, who were standout Spartan athletes in basketball and volleyball, gave back to UNCG by creating an endowed athletic scholarship fund. The youngest alumni couple to endow a scholarship, the Jamesons gave a $50,000 gift, which will provide awards to outstanding athletes on the women’s volleyball team or men’s basketball team who sustain exemplary academic performance. Both Nathan and Robyn were stellar students, graduating summa cum laude. Among their many honors, she was inducted into Beta Gamma Sigma international business honor society and he was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa.
The Bryan Foundation Gave $1 Million to Students
The Joseph M. Bryan Foundation made a $1 million gift commitment during the Students First Campaign to the Bryan School of Business and Economics . The gift supports the Bryan Scholars and Fellows Program, which provides the prestigious awards for undergraduate and graduate students. “Mr. Bryan thought a great deal of the business school, ” said Jim Melvin, president of the foundation. “In light of the campaign, the foundation thought it would be a good time to support the Bryan Scholars and Fellows, of whom I think Mr. Bryan would be very proud.” The program helps recruit and educate bright students who, in turn, are likely to stay in the area and contribute to the strength of the community.
Roddy and Vic Flow Send Students Abroad
Rodgeryn “Roddy” Flow is a 1952 graduate of Woman’s College. She and husband Vic made a $500,000 gift commitment during the Student First Campaign that supports student travel and study abroad opportunities through the Lloyd International Honors College “A global perspective is critical to nearly every occupation, which is why it’s important to help UNCG in its mission of bringing a life-changing international experience to students,” said Roddy. “UNCG students are our future leaders. We must help prepare them in every way possible. International education is a tremendous part of their preparation.”
Lissa and Bob McDowell Hope to Inspire Students
Alumna Lissa Shelley McDowell ’68 and her husband Bob McDowell pledged $3.85 million during the Students First Campaign. “Once you have earned your college degree, I think you have a responsibility to help others obtain that same opportunity,” said Lissa. The McDowells directed their donation to the Weatherspoon Art Museum, to the university’s Communication Across the Curriculum initiative and to the McDowell Global Information Technology Center. “My hope is that our donation will inspire students to do the best they can do and also build within them the desire to, in turn, help others succeed.”
Bill Black Honored His Late Wife with Multiple Scholarship Funds
Bill Black established not one, but five, scholarships at UNCG as part of the Students First Campaign. Black, who recently completed a term as president of the UNCG Excellence Foundation, got involved with the university through his late wife JoAnn Fuller Black ’53. “Hit by the thunderbolt and couldn’t see straight” is how he describes their youthful meeting, courtship and marriage. Among other involvements at her alma mater, JoAnn successfully co-chaired her class’s 50th reunion giving initiative, to which the couple made a significant gift. After her death, Bill continued their shared tradition by making gifts of his own. His gifts honor JoAnn’s volunteer work in health care and his banking career, and they also pay tribute to his family’s lifetime appreciation of music.
Campaign Gifts from Duke Energy Foundation Support Multiple Initiatives
The Duke Energy Foundation's total giving to UNCG during the Students First Campaign exceeded $290,000 – with the largest piece, $150,000, given to promote electrical safety among immigrants through the creation of bilingual safety materials by UNCG’s Center for New North Carolinians (CNNC) “Safety is vitally important to Duke Energy,” says Duke’s Ellen Ruff. “As the Hispanic population has grown in our service area, so have our efforts to communicate safety messages in Spanish.” The Duke-CNNC Consumer Safety Education Project distributed information through churches; a bilingual web site; its workshops and a Spanish-language radio program hosted by the center’s assistant director.
Maurice ’74 and Earlene Hardie Cox ’74 Doubled Their Scholarship Fund in Honor of Diversity
Once college sweethearts, the Coxes have enjoyed a long marriage, earned multiple advanced degrees and built exceptional careers. Collectively, their experience is the result of a lot of hard work – and of the powerful effect of a door being opened, via education. Their experience was the impetus for the Coxes to establish a scholarship. During the campaign, Hardie, a UNCG trustee, and Maurice decided to double the dollar value of their scholarship fund through a combination of personal gifts and employer-provided matching gifts. This effective strategy significantly expanded the scholarship’s reach. The couple is proud of UNCG’s commitment to diversity, and their giving reflects that support. “This is our way of expressing appreciation for the university’s diverse student body,” said Hardie.
Jack Varner’s Bequest Honors Wife and Supports Classroom Teachers
A 1958 graduate of Woman’s College, Jacqueline Wallace Varner spent her entire career teaching in Guilford County. Upon her death in 1998, UNCG established in her memory a scholarship for elementary education students. After her husband Jack Varner died in 2006, the university received an estate gift from him of more than $1.8 million. The bequest honored Jacqueline’s devotion to teaching and provided major endowment support for the scholarship now known as the Jacqueline W. and Jack H. Varner Endowment Fund. Scholarships are awarded to students in the School of Education who want to become elementary teachers.
Cone Health System Endowed a Distinguished Professorship in Nursing
As a part of the Students First Campaign, the Moses Cone Health System established and endowed a distinguished professorship in nursing with a $333,000 gift, matched by the state’s Distinguished Professorship Endowment Trust Fund, to become $500,000. The timing of the professorship is ideal. It gives the UNCG School of Nursing a clear competitive advantage in recruiting senior nursing faculty. Past Cone support helped create a nursing program at UNCG, which led to the founding of the School of Nursing in 1967. The School and the hospital system have succeeded in multiple collaborations, including the School’s first clinical partnership, its first joint research endeavor and the Moses Cone Scholars program.
Anonymous Donor Gave $6 Million – UNCG’s Largest Gift Ever
An anonymous donor gave $6 million to UNCG – the largest gift in its history – to be used for student aid and new professorships. As described in the full news release the donor designated $5 million to provide financial assistance to students. UNCG administrators designated the remaining $1 million to create distinguished professorships, including the Florence Shaeffer Distinguished Professorship in the Sciences and the Smart-Tillman Distinguished Professorship in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance.
The Florence Shaeffer Distinguished Professorship in the Sciences will support a faculty member who studies pharmaceutical compounds. The appointment will be made in the Department of Biology or the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. The professorship is named for Florence Schaeffer, a faculty member and department head in Chemistry from 1922 to 1964.
The Smart-Tillman Distinguished Professorship in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance honors JoAnne Smart Drane and Bettye Ann Davis Tillman, who were the first African-American students to attend Woman’s College. By the time these pioneers graduated in 1960, WC had 20 African-American students on campus.
Bettye Tillman died eight years after graduating. JoAnne Smart Drane went on to earn her master’s degree at Duke University and became a public school official in Raleigh. In 1990, she was elected vice president of the UNCG Alumni Association and served on the UNCG Board of Trustees from 1996-2004. JoAnne is a member of the Board of Directors of Strengthening the Black Family, Inc., a nonprofit community-based networking organization. In 2004 JoAnne was named to the YWCA Academy of Women for her commitment to improving the quality of education in North Carolina.
In addition to the anonymous gift, both professorships are being created with two matching funds. The first is a $333,000 match from the Distinguished Professorship Endowment Trust Fund, a fund provided by the State of North Carolina. The second is $250,000 from the C.D. Spangler Foundation, Inc. The professorship will rotate among the disciplines of music, theatre and dance every five years.