Scott and Krista Thomason
Since 1994, Strong College – one of UNC Greensboro’s three residential colleges – has prepared students to make connections. Previously known as Cornelia Strong College and once housed in Moore-Strong Hall, Strong College prides itself on hands-on experiences in sustainability and developing young adults’ views of the world. In 1998, Strong College also became the backdrop for one couple’s journey to fulfillment, growth, and love.
“We met at freshman honors orientation,” says Krista Thomason ’02, now an assistant professor of philosophy at Swarthmore College, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. “I was a double major in philosophy and classical studies. Scott was a soon-to-be senior history major with an English minor, and one of the student counselors. For me, it was love at first sight.”
Over the next two years, Krista and Scott got to know each other as members of Strong College. Through their participation in social functions, course work, and committee service, their relationship deepened.
“I was drawn to her intelligence, wit, and humor,” says Scott ’99, ’01 MA, a professional fiction writer and adjunct professor of creative writing. “I felt so comfortable around her. We had a lot of the same interests and goals. We wanted our lives to go down similar paths.”
They embarked on a 10-year educational journey after their marriage in 2002. After Krista earned her PhD at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Scott secured multiple master’s degrees from McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. They never, however, forgot their start.
“I didn’t think about what scholarships did when I was at UNCG,” Scott reflects. “Receiving the Richard G. Lane Memorial History Scholarship and the Mary Elizabeth Barwick & Carl Jackson Sink Humanities Graduate Fellowship was an honor at the time, but now I realize the opportunities those scholarships afforded me.”
For Krista, a scholarship was life-changing:
“The Ethel Virginia Butler Centennial Scholarship was everything to me. I was a first-generation student, and my parents couldn’t afford to send me to college. That scholarship opened UNCG’s doors to me, letting me get the two things I cherish most in life: Scott and my education.”
Neither of them squandered their opportunities. Krista and Scott now teach at the university level and have secured numerous accolades. Krista’s first monograph, “Naked: The Dark Side of Shame and Moral Life,” was published by Oxford University Press in 2018. Scott received a nomination for a Pushcart Prize for his story “I Am Goliath.”
With their 20th anniversary around the corner, Scott and Krista think fondly on those formative years.
“We wouldn’t be where we are without UNCG, its donors, and its faculty,” says Krista. “UNCG’s humanities and residential colleges are its strengths. We didn’t get training. We got an education and access to the fields we love and the tools we needed to succeed. We’re so grateful, and we hope more students have the same opportunity.”
Story by Michelle Danner-Groves, Donor Relations
Endowments provide donors with opportunities to create living legacies and touch the lives of future generations.