"Do Something Bigger Altogether"

My original summer plans were to visit several colleges with my nephew visiting from Rhode Island to help him understand that he needs to find colleges that are an academic, social, and financial fit for him. We managed to squeeze in one visit to UNC Greensboro (UNCG) mainly because I have students interested in UNCG and I wanted to visit the International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM), also in Greensboro. “Doing something bigger altogether” describes the philosophy of UNCG and this is evident throughout the campus.

Arriving a little early for our tour, we spent some time in the Elliott University Center (EUC), a beautiful, light-filled building that is the home of UNCG’s bookstore and a Starbucks, among other student services. Decorated with artwork depicting literary works and authors, we grabbed a quick snack in Starbucks (his first visit to a Starbucks) before the information session began.

Joining about forty other tour participants in the Dail Room of the EUC, an enthusiastic Josh Artrip, assistant director of admissions, introduced the group to UNCG through video and a short talk with a Q & A session.  Then we were off with our student tour guide; our guide was Lauren, a rising senior majoring in speech pathology with a minor in human development and family studies. We had beautiful weather for a tour, none of that humidity that makes you feel like you are wearing one of those suits designed to make you sweat while you try to lose weight.

Here are a few highlights about UNCG that we learned during the information session and tour:

  • UNCG in 3 provides a pathway to graduate in 3 years. Designed for highly motivated students, with at least 12 transferable college credits and majoring in selected areas, this option allows students to save time and money.
  • The Lloyd International Honors Program offers motivated students opportunities for honors coursework, travel abroad, and housing. Click here for admission requirements.
  • The Education Trust, a leading education advocacy organization in Washington, DC, recognizes UNCG for its works in increasing the graduation rate for black students.
  • UNCG is one of 3 North Carolina institutions with membership in the Folger Institute “a dedicated center for advanced study and collections-focused research in the humanities at the Folger Shakespeare Library”.
  • The Supplemental Instruction Program (SIP) offers additional support for selected courses, mainly in the sciences. The supplemental instruction sessions are led by SIP leaders who completed the courses successfully.

Following the tour, we had ample time to continue meandering around the campus; we ended up at Yum Yum’s, a local ice cream and hot dog establishment that’s been around since 1906.  Cash only and no denominations higher than $20 are the rule if you want some of their delicious homemade ice cream.

Leaving campus (thanks for the validated parking), we ventured downtown to visit the International Civil Rights Center & Museum (ICRCM). Walking down Elm Street, we peered into the windows of the many shops and restaurants that beckoned to be explored on our next trip to Greensboro. Our destination, located a mile from campus, was a fascinating journey into a period of history that changed America.  The International Civil Rights Center & Museum, formerly a F.W. Woolworth’s, has preserved the lunch counter where four students from North Carolina A & T University began a nonviolent protest to integrate that lunch counter and other establishments in 1960. Joseph McNeil, Franklin McCain, Ezell Blair, Jr., and David Richmond were the leaders of a movement that “history records that standing up for your rights may not require standing at all”.

From the interactive displays to the riveting video footage and photographs of moments from the Civil Rights Movement, the ICRCM gives us a place to reflect on where we have been as a nation and how far we have to go.

Visiting UNC Greensboro, a medium-sized college with beautiful landscaping, a diverse student body, and many academic offerings, was a good choice for my nephew’s first official college visit. Watching the incoming students with their families in tow scouting out items to purchase in the bookstore and seeing their joy in being on UNCG’s campus, may motivate him to think about where he would fit as a member of the Class of 2022. UNCG’s motto, Doing something bigger altogether, may become our theme as we venture into the world of college admissions together.

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