UNCG alumna creates legacy through scholarships

Posted on April 09, 2024

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l-r: Aunisty Belcher, Aleiza Higgins, Ava New, and Alex Moss, the "A" team scholarship recipients.

Curiosity is a hallmark of lifelong learning. As the late Mary “Bobbi” Miller Carson ’58 once noted, “I grew up with a very strong curiosity factor. Woman’s College gave me the life skills, education, motivation, and confidence to pursue that curiosity at many levels.” 

A physical education major, Bobbi began her distinguished career in athletics and physical education at Bradford Junior College, Penn State, Wellesley College, and Northeastern University, during which she acquired a wealth of knowledge about sports management. She spent the final 26 years of her career at Boston College and retired as Associate Director of Athletics in 1996, at which time she moved to Greensboro. 

Mary “Bobbi” Miller Carson ’58

Bobbi passed away in 2022, but left behind an enduring legacy at her alma mater by creating funds to honor two outstanding School of Health and Human Performance (now School of Health and Human Sciences) faculty members who stoked her curiosity and served as mentors during her undergraduate studies: the Class of 1958/Gail Hennis Scholarship Fund, established in 1996, and the Rosemary McGee Scholarship Endowment, established in 1999. 

Bobbi’s lifetime and estate giving to these scholarship funds exceeds $2.25 million. 

Dr. Gail Hennis joined the faculty at WC in 1950 as an instructor. On campus, Hennis became an honorary member of Golden Chain in 1970 and was named an honorary alumna of the School of Health and Human Performance in 1986. She was vice chair of the UNCG Planning Process from 1980 to 1983, a long-term study that helped shape the direction of the University into the 21st century. 

When she joined Woman’s College in 1954, Dr. Rosemary McGee was the youngest faculty member with a doctoral degree in the Department of Health and Physical Education. She taught for 34 years and served as Dean of Women from 1966 to 1968, as well as interim dean for the School of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance in 1979-80. McGee received many accolades, including honorary membership in Golden Chain, the Alumni Teaching Excellence Award, and the Gladys Strawn Bullard Leadership Award. 

Both the Hennis Scholarship Fund and the McGee Scholarship Endowment support full-time students in the School of Health and Human Sciences, with a preference for kinesiology majors. The impact of these scholarships has been significant. Since their establishment, the funds have benefited 55 students with awards totaling nearly $340,000. 

Scholarships like this one make all the difference in achieving my dream of teaching, researching, and writing for a living as a professor. Thank you.

— ALEXANDER C. MOSS, DOCTORAL STUDENT IN KINESIOLOGY

This semester, Aleiza Higgins and Alex Moss were awarded Hennis Scholarships. Recipients of this academic year’s McGee Scholarship are Aunisty Belcher and Ava New. 

Says Kinesiology Department Chair and Julia Taylor Morton Distinguished Professor Dr. Jennifer Etnier, “Attracting strong students to UNCG with the provision of additional financial support through these scholarships strengthens the program and department. We are truly grateful for Bobbi Carson’s exceptional generosity.” 

Learn more about UNCG’s Light the Way: The Campaign for Earned Achievement, which seeks to raise $200 million to increase access, elevate academic excellence, and enhance the tremendous impact of UNCG’s programs, at lighttheway.uncg.edu

By Christine Garton
Photo by Sean Norona ’13

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