Thank You

Sarah Hankins ’16 MFA

Mary Sheila Nassif ’74, ’76 MFA immersed herself in the UNCG theatre program and appreciated the nurturing community of caring faculty she found there. A vivacious actress, director, and arts administrator in North Carolina and beyond, Sheila Nassif energetically embraced a life in the theatre. She and her husband of 20 years, Mel Mrochinski, shared their love of this collaborative art, working together in Ohio before settling in Savannah, Georgia. Sheila Nassif knew the best of times.

After Sheila’s death in 2006, her mother, Mildred S. Nassif, established a fund to honor her daughter’s devotion to theatre and love of UNCG:  the Mary Sheila Nassif Graduate Award.

Over the past decade, UNCG theatre students have benefited from the generosity of Mildred Nassif’s memorial gesture. Sarah Hankins ’16 MFA reflects the dynamic excellence required by the Nassif award. Directing Professor John Gulley describes Sarah’s work:

“Sarah Hankins represents the best of UNCG and the School of Theatre. She was an outstanding student at UNCG (she’s wicked smart), and she’s an incredibly gifted director…the year after she graduated from UNCG, Preston Lane (Artistic Director of Triad Stage and a School of Theatre faculty member) hired her to remount Triad’s production of A Christmas Carol…her production was beautiful and heartfelt.”

Coincidentally, Sheila Nassif also directed A Christmas Carol.

Sarah Hankins’ success is comprehensive. She is now an adjunct professor in theatre at both UNCG and Greensboro College, and has recently been hired as the new associate artistic director at Triad Stage.

Professor of Theatre Jim Fisher reflects upon Sheila Nassif and Sarah Hankins.

“I think it’s quite appropriate that Sarah received the Nassif Award…Sarah exudes the same extraordinary enthusiasm for and love of theatre in all its forms.  This was infectious with Sheila and it is very much the same with Sarah.”

Sarah Hankins is a vibrant voyager on the path that Sheila Nassif joyfully embraced before cancer cut short her life adventures. Transforming the worst of times into a positive legacy, the Mary Sheila Nassif Graduate Award provides inspiration for those whose relentless pursuit of theatre creates the best of times.

Story by Zoe Dillard, Donor Relations


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P. Kevin Williamson

Associate Vice Chancellor