Anna Poteat ’17
In 1967, Jim Allen arrived at UNCG, answering the call to be the Presbyterian campus minister. He was named Dean of Students in 1971 and appointed Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs in 1973, a position he held until his retirement in 1996.
Allen arrived at a time of conflict: The Vietnam War and de-segregation of the South’s schools were front page news. His leadership, calm compassion, collaborative consensus building, and respect for student concerns healed divisions on campus. Allen led by example, changing lives and inspiring loyalty. In 1999, a group of colleagues, friends, family, and students created the James H. Allen Student Leader Scholarship Endowment Fund to support a rising UNCG senior who demonstrates superior leadership skills at the university. Anna Poteat was the recipient for 2016-17, almost 50 years after Jim Allen arrived on campus.
The world has changed in the past five decades, but a need for committed, caring leaders is perpetually critical in higher education — and with leadership comes service.
Poteat values inclusion, the environment, and diversity, cherishing her Ecuadorian heritage. She wants to develop the power of student leaders as agents for positive change in the world. As an undergraduate, Poteat pursued a degree in geography with a concentration in earth science and environmental studies. She earned the Gold Leadership Medallion from UNCG’s Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement, served as secretary of academic affairs for UNCG’s Student Government Association, and participated in Spartan Day of Service, LeaderShape, Heart Walk, Green Fund Committee, and Campus Conservation Nationals. The UNCG Alumni Association selected Poteat for the 2016 Spartan of Promise award, recognizing her exceptional achievement in both academic and service endeavors.
Building on her dynamic undergraduate work, Poteat is pursuing a master’s of education in student affairs administration in higher education and is the program assistant for the Global Engagement Office at UNCG. In her position, Poteat connects our community to global issues through programing such as the International Festival and the “Think Global, Act Local” conference.
Why is Poteat so committed to service?
“I wanted to invest back into the community that invested so much in me. When I reflect on my service at UNCG, I think of the word ‘community.’ Every time I was serving, I was not alone — I was next to students, faculty, staff, and community members. I think that is why UNCG does service differently — we have a community effort that makes profound impact.”
The world will doubtless offer challenges over the next 50 years, but the legacy of Jim Allen continues to inspire and facilitate the work of leaders who serve — people like Anna Poteat.
Story by Zoe Dillard, Donor Relations
Endowments provide donors with opportunities to create living legacies and touch the lives of future generations.