Connections Section Title
Alumni Association President Marirose Keyes Steigerwald
New beginnings
Remarks from Alumni Association President Marirose Keyes Steigerwald

We often think of spring as a time of new beginnings and renewal. And in nature, it certainly is — barren land sprouts green, empty branches of trees form tiny little buds of leaves, and the first flowers after winter begin to peek through the soil. There's nothing like the first day when you start to feel a little warmth — and that scent of warm, moist earth — we KNOW that the days will get longer, the sun will get brighter and we'll soon see green and colors everywhere.

In our own family we've experienced new beginnings. Our older daughter, Caitlin Steigerwald Conklin '10, and her husband welcomed Chase into the world in October. So now I'm a wise old crone — and watch with immense pride as I see my “baby” manage the responsibilities of being a mommy.

Our youngest child just got her driver's license! She now has driving freedom. And as her mother, I, too, am experiencing new beginnings — no more carpool lines, trips to the mall or driving to friend's houses.

And here, at UNCG, we're experiencing our own renewal — besides the beautiful flowering trees on College Ave., the school year is ending, the Class of 2012 is graduating, and the Alumni Association Board of Directors is wrapping up our year. Michael Garrett is our president next year — a very bright graduate of 2007 — and very politically astute. Michael is the perfect leader to take us into the election year.

Thank you for this wonderful year! I had the opportunity to get to know the leaders on campus, to meet fabulous students and to hear from our active alumni. If you've ever considered giving back to our vibrant community, please consider serving on the Alumni Association Board — you won't regret it!

Marirose Keyes Steigerwald '84
UNCG Alumni Association president

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UNCG license plate photo

On the road again

You've probably seen them on the road — specialty license plates that come with a school logo. All but three of the UNC system schools have them. Unfortunately, we're one of the three.

The UNCG Alumni Association wants to change that. To get a Spartan plate, featuring the UNCG rising shield, 300 applications must be received. The cost is $25 ($55 for a personalized plate) and a portion of the fees from each plate will go to support the UNCG Alumni Association and the Spartan Club.

Signing up is easy. Visit to fill out the application and payment information. Then, encourage all of your friends to show their UNCG pride and sign up for a new plate.

If you signed up for the previous license plate campaign, please note this new design replaces the one planned in 2008. The alumni association hopes you will continue to support UNCG with the current license plate design. However, if you do not choose to do so, your money will be refunded.

Plates will be produced after 300 applications have been received. The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles will mail it to you directly.

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Homecoming photo of alumni reconnecting with each other.
Homecoming gives alumni a chance to reconnect.
Homecoming's new date — Nov. 2-4

If you love sports, beer, live bands and a parade, mark your calendars for Homecoming 2012. This year, UNCG's biggest party will be held a little later in the fall — Nov. 2-4. That will give those who come to campus a chance to catch the men's basketball team in action. That's also the same weekend as the Southern Conference soccer championship, so, with luck, we'll be cheering our Spartans to victory. Other events for the weekend include family-friendly activities, tours of the newly renovated Quad, and host of reunions.

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Camilla Tucker '14 talks with her mentor, Jo Safrit '57.
Camilla Tucker '14 talks with her mentor, Jo Safrit '57.
Going places

Growing up, Camilla Tucker '14 was intrigued by the idea of going to college. But it always felt as if she were imagining someone else's dream. Her lifestyle was defined as one of poverty, but would poverty always define her life?

The UNCG Guarantee provided an alternative…a fully-paid college education. Suddenly there was a different path to realizing her vision, and now not only is Camilla in the spring semester of her sophomore year, she's spending it in China.

“Dr. Safrit really encouraged me to study abroad. She's been such a helpful source of guidance,” Camilla says. Jo Safrit is an alumna (Class of '57) and a retired university professor. She is also a mentor for the UNCG Guarantee program.

“I was motivated to become a Guarantee Scholar mentor for several reasons,“ Jo says. ”I felt I could utilize my experience as a professor in working with undergraduate students to help them succeed at UNCG. Also, as an alumna, I think it is important to give back to the university, in particular since I had such a rewarding undergraduate experience here.”

The two are a good pair, equally committed to their mentoring relationship. While most Guarantee Scholars stay with their mentors through the freshman year, Camilla and Jo have continued meeting monthly beyond her first year. “I was raised by my grandmother. Dr. Safrit is not just my mentor; she's my ‘grandmother’ away from home and has made an incredible impact on my education so far at UNCG. It's wonderful to know someone cares about your future.” Jo has advised Camilla on course selection and tutoring clinics. The two have participated in a collaborative service project. Sometimes they just get together to talk.

Camilla is studying health care management and entrepreneurship in the Bryan School of Business and Economics. Her long-range plans are to open a health care facility as well as a group home for underprivileged children. But for now, she's soaking in the college experience about which she always dreamed. Never did those dreams involve an intensive study abroad in China. But Jo Safrit's did. And now her mentee, a young woman who had never had the opportunity to travel outside North Carolina, is on the other side of the globe.

Interested in learning more about the UNCG Guarantee Mentor program or know someone who would make a good mentor? Visit

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Alumni Events
  • May 7 – Alumni & Friends gathering with Chancellor Linda P. Brady, New York City
  • May 7 – Summer send–off, a gathering for incoming UNCG students hosted by alumni in their home town, New York City
  • May 10 – Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting, Virginia Dare Room, Alumni House, noon-5 p.m.
  • May 15 – Alumni & Friends gathering with Chancellor Linda P. Brady, Virginia Beach, Va.
  • July 8 – Summer send–off, Cleveland, Ohio
  • July 15 – Summer send–off, Charlotte
  • July 17 – Summer send–off, Sandhills
  • July 19 – Summer send–off, Wilmington

Dates and times subject to change. For more information about alumni events, email the Alumni Relations Office at or call (336) 334-5696.