CONGRATULATIONS
UNC GREENSBORO GRADUATES

#UNCGGrad

Graduates from the December 2021 UNCG Commencement.

UNCG TO AWARD OVER 2800 DEGREES

Read about the May 2022 Commencement

Watch the UNC Greensboro May Doctoral Hooding Live at 10:00 a.m., May 5th
and the UNCG Commencement Live at 10:00 a.m., May 6th with the links below

WATCH THE CEREMONIES BELOW

Event recordings available at both of the links below.

YouTube video

May 2022 Doctoral Hooding Ceremony

YouTube video

Class of 2022 Commencement Ceremony

Meet members of the class of 2022

Colby Borges
Colby Borges

COLBY BORGES BLENDS SCIENTIST’S MIND WITH ARTIST’S SOUL

For all of us, life is a series of choices.

And UNC Greensboro senior Colby Borges has had to make many in these last five years.

Biology or chemistry? Start a fashion business or pursue medical school? Rugby or lacrosse? Work in an emergency room or in the field as a paramedic? Music or poetry?

Spoiler alert: Borges found ways to do all that stuff and more, making decisions that allowed him to pack a whole lot of living into his time at the G. Now his undergraduate journey comes to an end, as he will graduate with honors in a few short days with a major in biology and minors in both chemistry and psychology.

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Yahira Robinson from the UNCG class of 2022
Yahira Robinson

YAHIRA ROBINSON FINDS POWER, PASSION, AND PURPOSE

Yahira Robinson was just 12 years old when she knew – seriously knew – she wanted to be a Spartan.

Like most kids that age, she wasn’t sure about being a teenager or life as a grown-up or a career. And as one of six siblings growing up in a single-parent household, she wasn’t sure if going to college would be an option.

But then she learned to dance. And that changed everything.

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Sky Kihuwa-Mani

A DREAM REALIZED FOR SKY KIHUWA-MANI

Sky Kihuwa-Mani has dreamt of becoming a physician for as long as she can remember. 

Now, that dream is becoming a reality.

In a few short days, she will turn her tassel, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology. At the same time, she will turn the page to the next chapter of her life as she prepares to move to New York City to pursue her MD-PhD at one of the top medical schools in the country, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“I think what made me stand out as an applicant was everything that UNCG has cherished about me over these last four years: the different intersections of my identity – being unschooled, Native, and an undergraduate researcher – and not only holding these identities, but living them out.”

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Julian Kennedy
Julian Kennedy

1ACHORD’S JULIAN KENNEDY SHARES GIFT OF MUSIC WITH THE WORLD

There’s a place where Julian Kennedy goes that belongs to him, and him alone.

It’s a place inside himself, within his artist’s soul, where his gift lives. It’s where the music exists, waiting for him, coursing through his veins and biding its time.

And when we’re lucky, Kennedy taps into that secret place, opens up and shares his gift with the rest of us.

It’s magic.

Magic that he harnessed here at UNC Greensboro and showed to nearly 7 million viewers of the “America’s Got Talent” television show back in August.

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MAY COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER: BETH LEAVEL

Beth Leavel, UNCG May commencement speaker and recipient, UNCG Honorary Doctor of Letters
Beth Leavel

HONORARY DOCTOR OF LETTERS PRESENTED TO BETH LEAVEL

Beth Leavel owns some of Broadway’s biggest awards, including a Tony Award. Over the course of her brilliant acting career, she has become a Broadway legend. 

Her kindness and gift for sharing her knowledge are well known. She coaches, mentors, and provides master classes regularly, elevating the potential of the next generations of acting students. She has visited the UNC Greensboro campus several times to give master classes and speak with UNC Greensboro acting students. At each master class, she tells her own story and offers tips and advice.

The most important thing the Raleigh native learned as a graduate student at UNCG? “That I was in the right place, and doing what I should be doing. To have that affirmed and confirmed, in the two years I was there, gave me the confidence to leap and take the next step.”

After graduating from UNCG with her master’s in fine arts in 1980, she headed to New York to build her acting career – and is now recognized as one of Broadway’s greatest stars. In fact, she is currently preparing for the lead role of Miranda Priestly in “The Devil Wears Prada” in Chicago this summer, before a much-anticipated Broadway run.

Leavel’s star turn in Broadway’s “The Drowsy Chaperone” (2006-7) – in a role written especially for her – earned her a Tony Award as well as Drama Desk, NY Outer Critics Circle and L.A. Drama Critics awards.

She was nominated for a 2019 Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League and NY Outer Critics Circle award for her performance in the critically acclaimed Broadway show “The Prom.”

She also received Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle nominations for her performance in “Baby It’s You.”

Other Broadway roles include Mrs. June Adams in “Bandstand,” Emily in “Elf,” Donna in “Mamma Mia!,” Frau Blucher in “Young Frankenstein,” Dorothy Brock in the revival of “42nd  Street,” Tess in the original company of “Crazy for You,” Mrs. Bixby in “The Civil War,” Ellie in Hal Prince’s “Showboat,” and Anytime Annie (her Broadway debut) in “42nd Street.” She has numerous Off-Broadway, regional theater, commercials, and TV credits, including the final episode of ER and most recently “The Walking Dead” and “The Bite.

She has starred in 13 shows on Broadway – and counting. 

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro bestows upon her one of its highest recognitions, an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters.

HONORARY DOCTOR OF HUMANE LETTERS PRESENTED TO DENNIS QUAINTANCE AND NANCY KING QUAINTANCE

Dennis Quaintance, recipient, UNCG Honorary Doctor of Letters
Copyright © 2015 Tigermoth Creative. Photo Credit Chris English Tigermoth Creative.

Dennis Quaintance

Dennis Quaintance’s story is that of self-made success.

It’s the story of an 8-year-old entrepreneur selling rocks he found in the Nevada desert at his own roadside stand — “112 miles from the middle of nowhere,” he says — who grew up to become CEO of a successful luxury hotel and restaurant company in Greensboro.

The youngest of five children, Dennis was born in Spirit Lake, Iowa, and raised out west in the rugged ranch country of Currant Creek, Nevada, and the Bitterroot Valley of Montana. Dennis learned the value of environmental conservation early. In Nevada, his rural one-room elementary school didn’t have electricity or running water.

Dennis started his hospitality career at age 15, taking a job as a housekeeper’s assistant at a hotel in Missoula, Montana, two years before graduating from Hellgate High School. He worked in leadership positions at luxury hotels throughout the west and south for the next four years.

Dennis moved east to Greensboro in 1979 to help a friend open a restaurant, “Franklin’s Off Friendly.” It was there he met Nancy King. They were married three years later, and the couple decided they wanted to be Greensboro’s “Mr. & Mrs. Hotel-Restaurant.”

Dennis teamed up with Mike Weaver, and in 1989 opened Lucky 32, a restaurant named for a racecar Dennis’ father drove, a 1946 Mercury with Ford’s famous flathead V-8 engine.

In the years since, Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels have grown the business, which now includes two Lucky 32 Southern Kitchens, the 130-room O. Henry Hotel and its Green Valley Grill, and the 147-room Proximity Hotel with its Print Works Bistro. It’s a success story about more than personal success.

Dennis is an innovator and community leader who exemplifies values that parallel those of UNCG. He came from humble beginnings, worked hard and treated people right. He’s a role model and inspiration to UNCG’s Sustainable Hospitality and Tourism students.

Perhaps born from his conservation roots out west, Dennis and the QW team made history in 2007 with the four-diamond Proximity Hotel and Print Works Bistro — the first hotel and restaurant to gain Platinum certification with the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program.

Inside the company, QW emphasizes a culture of collaboration, ongoing education, and continuous improvement. The management team works in tandem to make strategic and operational decisions for the organization, and everyone plays a role on the leadership team.

And the company cares about Greensboro’s history. The QW Craft Guild’s full-time and adjunct artists and craftspeople make and restore items for the business.

In 2016, Dennis led the transition from traditional company ownership to 100 percent employee ownership, setting up a trust that provides retirement benefits for QW staff
members.

In Dennis Quaintance’s career of vision and service, he has earned a list of awards and accolades as long as that desolate stretch of desert highway in Nevada.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is proud to add one more, bestowing an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Nancy Quaintance, recipient, UNCG Honorary Doctor of Letters
Photo credit: Jerry Wolford

Nancy King Quaintance

The vice president of one of North Carolina’s best hotel and restaurant companies started her career in the hospitality industry washing dishes at The Most Magical Place on Earth.

Nancy King Quaintance was just 15 years old when she took a job at Walt Disney World in Florida, working during summers and holiday breaks from Greensboro Day School.

Nancy eventually became a full-time Disney employee. At the time, she was the youngest person to complete Disney University’s College Work Study Program.

She took hospitality seriously, studying culinary arts at Johnson & Wales in Providence, Rhode Island. She transferred to Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, graduating in 1982 with a degree in hotel administration.

Nancy worked as a teaching assistant to Tom Kelly, the department head for Cornell’s food and beverage department. She soaked up real-world experience during her college years, working at the Cape Codder Hotel in Massachusetts; The Broadmoor, a five-star resort in Colorado Springs; and two summers for Marriott Corporation, where she helped pilot an IT program for management training in the sales and front office departments.

Nancy met Dennis Quaintance in 1979 when she took a Christmas break job at Franklin’s Off Friendly. They were married in 1983, after Nancy finished college, and decided they wanted to be Greensboro’s “Mr. & Mrs. Hotel-Restaurant.”

That’s exactly what they did.

Nancy spent five years with Marriott, two with Guest Quarters, and eight with John Q. Hammons Hotels as a regional director of sales.

She opened five Marriott and Embassy Suites hotels, managed sales departments, and conducted feasibility studies for new hotel development. Nancy co-authored a sales training program for Hammons — used in more than 40 hotels — and was president of the advertising cooperative for Embassy Suites Hotels in the Southeast. 

In 1994, Nancy joined Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants and Hotels — the company Dennis started with partner Mike Weaver — in Greensboro. As vice president, she works with the communication and marketing team, the culinary team, the hotel sales team, and as a leadership team mentor.

Today, the QW portfolio includes Lucky 32 restaurants in Greensboro and Cary; the O.Henry Hotel and Green Valley Grill; the Proximity Hotel and Print Works Bistro. Both the O.Henry and Proximity are four-diamond hotels, and Proximity is certified LEED Platinum, the greenest and most environmentally-friendly hotel in America.

Nancy has shared her expertise with UNCG. She served on the committee that helped create an interdisciplinary program in Hospitality Management, which ultimately became a B.A., then a B.S., in Hospitality and Tourism Management.

She was a founding member of the Hospitality and Tourism Program Advisor Board. This partnership has benefited both UNCG and Quaintance-Weaver. The company’s staff includes many UNCG students and alumni. 

Nancy is a Spartan at heart. Her mother (Class of 1957) and grandmother (Class of 1930) are both alumni of the college now known as UNCG.

Nancy King Quaintance lives a life dedicated to service and excellence, consistent with the values embraced by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, which bestows upon her an honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

Greensboro Coliseum