Connections Section Title
Alumni Association President Marirose Keyes Steigerwald
Moving forward
Remarks from Alumni Association President Marirose Keyes Steigerwald

I'm sitting in my living room, listening to my son's band, Old Avenue, practice. Recently their sax player decided to leave the group — and it has caused a significant difference in their sound. They've auditioned a couple of folks, but none held the same “vibe” and they weren't asked to join the band. Now they are playing with a new guy who is a gifted electric guitar player. The sound is different — a guitar sounds nothing like a sax, but in some ways it's richer and more sophisticated.

I can't help but think about the similarity of what we're experiencing as a university. Budget cuts and the economy have caused change — and our school is not the same as it was. But, perhaps, with focused, positive leadership and the courage to make the proper decisions, we will emerge richer and more sophisticated.

When faced with adversity, we have choices — we can moan and whine and wish for the way things were or we can move forward, face the challenge positively, and work to make our school better. Just like Old Avenue is moving through the change into a better sound, our beloved school will also emerge stronger and more vibrant. Join us in moving forward to a positive future!

Marirose Keyes Steigerwald '84
UNCG Alumni Association president

Go to top of page
image of Mangum painting

The big reveal

The portrait painting of the Alumni House is finished.

Last fall, the UNCG Alumni Association commissioned a watercolor painting of the Alumni House from artist Bill Mangum '75, '83 MFA. The painting celebrates the renovation of the Alumni House.

Mangum came to campus several times this spring creating “field studies” of the Alumni House from different angles. The angle ultimately chosen includes the entrance of the alumni walk in front of Foust Building as it approaches the Alumni House.

Naturally, the painting includes the azaleas so colorful on campus in the spring.

“I think it turned out quite well,” Mangum says. “It's lovely.”

The painting was shown for the first time at the inaugural “Around the House” event Oct. 13. After a wine and cheese reception, Mangum talked about his career as an artist and about the process he uses when working on a painting.

“Each painting of mine begins with a line drawing, called a cartoon” he says. After the sketch is in place, he begins working on the most distant elements such as the sky and then moves into the center.

“It looks tight and precise, but it's rather abstract, with soft strokes creating atmosphere,” he says. “Watercolor is the most demanding medium to paint with. It takes a lot of calculating and timing, incorporating a variety of techniques such as using drafting tape to mask out windows and doors, which I later peel off and paint.”

While the painting is mixed media, it is predominantly watercolor. After he puts on the finishing touches, the “cartoon” disappears. He does a wash with opaque watercolor and uses pastels to create the lush atmosphere in the sky. For the final touch, he uses Italian wax pencils, which lay on the surface and give the painting reflective impressionistic qualities.

The finished work, approximately 20"x40", will hang over the mantle in the Pecky Cypress Room in the Alumni House.

Those interested in having a reproduction of this painting in their home can purchase a signed, numbered limited edition lithograph for $250. A portion of the proceeds from the sale will benefit the Alumni Association operational endowment fund. To order, visit or contact the Alumni Association at (336) 334-5696.

See a video of Mangum showing his creative process as he painted the Alumni House.

Go to top of page
Around the House and on the road

One of the best parts about being on a college campus is being surrounded by the buzz of ideas and creativity and brainpower.

To tap into that, the Office of Alumni Relations is staring a series of events this year that will bring some of that excitement to alumni.

Called “Around the House,” these 6 p.m. events will start with a wine and cheese reception in the Virginia Dare Room in the Alumni House with a small presentation from the featured speaker. Afterward, the speaker will mingle so that attendees can ask follow-up questions or discuss the topic more thoroughly. Plans are under way to take several of these faculty speakers “on the road” to places like Raleigh, Charlotte, Atlanta, D.C. and New York City.

Planned evenings include:

Jan. 24, Mike Byers, associate vice chancellor for campus enterprises, who will discuss the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed Use Village

Feb. 7, Dr. David Wyrick, associate professor of public health education

Feb. 21, Dr. Joy Bhadury, associate dean for graduate programs and research in the Bryan School of Business and Economics

Feb. 28, Dr. Karen Wixson, dean of the School of Education

March 13, Dr. Celia Hooper, dean of the School of Health and Human Sciences

March 20, Dr. Rick Bunch, associate professor and director of the Center for Geographic Information Science

Go to top of page
Getting the nod

The Alumni Association is looking for a few good alumni to honor.

Each year, the association gives Alumni Distinguished Service Awards and a Young Alumni Award to those who have made exceptional achievements in their field or communities.

The deadline for nominations is Jan. 5. To learn more about the awards and to place a nomination, visit

Go to top of page

Keep up with all the up-to-the-minute Alumni Association events and news at

Go to top of page
Alumni Events
  • Dec. 3 – Branches of Love, Alumni House, noon
  • Jan. 24 – Around the House: Mike Byers on the UNCG/Glenwood Mixed-Use Village, Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room, 6:30 p.m.
  • Feb. 7 – Around the House: Dr. David Wyrick, Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room, 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 21 – Around the House: Dr. Joy Bhadury, Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room, 6 p.m.
  • Feb. 28 – Around the House: Dean Karen Wixson, Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room, 6 p.m.
  • March 13 – Around the House: Dean Celia Hooper, Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room, 6 p.m.
  • March 20 – Around the House: Dr. Rick Bunch, Alumni House, Virginia Dare Room, 6 p.m.
  • April 13-14 – Reunion of the Woman's College

Dates and times are subject to change. Each Around the House program, which includes a wine and cheese reception, costs $10. For more information about alumni events, email the Alumni Relations Office at or call (336) 334-5696.