Representatives from more than 35 community organizations visited UNCG on May 9 for the Office of Leadership and Service-Learning’s Community Partner Appreciation Breakfast. The annual event is a way of thanking organizations that help students develop real-world skills through service-learning, and celebrating the UNCG and community partnerships that are transforming Greensboro.
Dr. Cathy Hamilton welcomed guests to the event and used a jazz trio from the School of Music to illustrate the idea of “leadership jazz,” in which each individual explores new themes and experiments with ideas as they also find a way to weave their efforts into a strong collective. This was also a living example of UNCG’s challenge to “Do Something Bigger Altogether” and a demonstration of how together we can do things that we couldn’t do alone.
Dr. Celia Hooper, Dean of the School of Health and Human Sciences, was the keynote speaker for the event. She reminded community partners of UNCG’s long tradition of service and democratic engagement, which many attribute to Harriet Elliot. Harriet Elliot came to UNCG (then the State Normal) in 1913 as a faculty member and became Dean of Women in 1953. A prominent worker in the woman’s suffrage movement, she worked to instill the spirit of “responsible freedom” in students, and encouraged their interest and involvement in current affairs.
The event concluded with community partners participating in round-table discussions about ways to increase democratic engagement in students so that they find ways to take active roles in society.
One event participant commented, “We have loved the opportunities afforded us to partner with exceptional students, from the undergrad to graduate level from various departments, who have breathed new ideas and passion into our non-profit’s mission and helped us grow our services.”