Thank You

Katie Olson ’18

Katie Olson’s professional acting prospects are full of promise. After her performance at the recent UNCG Theatre Industry Showcase in New York City, Olson was approached by a casting director and a New York agency. Those are signs that indicate to an actor, “You’ve got what it takes.”

UNCG’s School of Theatre BFA in acting training prepared Olson for this affirming professional moment, in addition to her inherent talent, discipline, and motivation. Support from the Kathleen Pettit Hawkins Student Aid Fund also helped to give this gifted actor the opportunity to hone her skills in UNCG’s highly respected acting program.

Extending a helping hand is a tradition at UNCG, as exemplified by the late Kathleen Pettit, a 1920 Commercial Class student at North Carolina College for Women. She worked at her alma mater for more than four decades, including as director of student aid, and was known for her caring commitment to students whose pursuit of a college degree required some assistance.

“My family and I are immensely grateful for the financial aid I was provided,” Olson stated. “With its help, an education in the arts was tangible; it also provided the space for further educational and artistic pursuits, including this trip to New York. It lifted an enormous weight off our shoulders.”

Olson’s work in UNCG’s School of Theatre demonstrates her talent and initiative. Garnering major roles throughout her college career, she has taken advantage of every opportunity to learn, grow, and excel under the tutelage of experienced faculty who recognize her abilities and know how to cultivate them for the professional arena.

“Katie’s relentless drive to learn and to grow has made her not only a fantastic actor during her time at UNCG but also a pleasure to teach,” observed Assistant Professor Michael Flannery.

With prior experience in film and television, Olson’s potential was evident from the start of her UNCG journey. Those who seriously pursue careers in professional theatre, however, recognize the benefits of education and training. UNCG’s School of Theatre delivers both expertise and encouragement:

“It’s incredible how much I’ve grown since I’ve entered this program,” Olson said. “The support I received from faculty and peers these past four years is invaluable and helped me develop into the performer I am today. I can’t wait to see where it leads me next.”

Perhaps it will lead Olson to join the numerous UNCG School of Theatre alumni who took the giant step from “Showcase” to “Show.”

Story by Zoe Dillard, Donor Relations


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P. Kevin Williamson

Associate Vice Chancellor