Thank You

Kasey Lynn Schmidt ’16

Like many new undergraduate students, Kasey Lynn Schmidt ’16 at first wasn’t sure what she wanted to study. In fact, she hated school growing up and never expected to go to college at all.

“School was really hard for me,” she said. “I fundamentally believed I was incapable of learning.”

But her senior year in high school, her boyfriend (now husband) encouraged her to look into different colleges. In her search, she found herself drawn to the community and diversity of UNCG. Schmidt enrolled for a trial semester, and once on campus, she began to thrive.

“I made all A’s my first semester.”

That boost of confidence inspired Schmidt to continue her enrollment at UNCG, but studying what? Faced with that decision, Schmidt thought about the most important things in her life, one of which is very close to her heart: her bond with her younger sister, Melissa.

Melissa has Asperger’s syndrome, a condition on the autism spectrum. Schmidt saw Melissa’s social, emotional, and academic struggles as the sisters grew up, and she realized that her experiences with Melissa had imbued in her a passion to advocate for autistic children. Inspired by her sister’s needs, Schmidt chose to pursue a teaching career in special education for middle school autistic students.

Such sisterly love transcends generations. Like Schmidt and Melissa, sisters Nita Parker Brogdon and Mollie Parker Montgomery were close. Nita received her degree from the North Carolina College for Women (now UNCG) in 1926. In her honor, Mollie created a scholarship fund for UNCG students with financial need. Schmidt was a Nita Parker Brogdon Scholarship recipient in 2015-2016 and graduated 90 years after Nita did. UNCG’s “one great unbroken band” defines these bonds of sisterhood, past and present.


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P. Kevin Williamson

Associate Vice Chancellor