Impact on our world

UNCG has earned the Carnegie designation of a “higher-research activity” university. Not only are undergraduates and graduate students transformed while at UNCG, but knowledge itself is transformed year after year. “Service” has been the motto almost since the start. The impactful research is an extension of that motto.

Photo of Dr. Robert Cannon holding a picture of himself.

Cannon’s reach

Since 1972, Dr. Robert Cannon has served as a pre-med and health professions adviser in Biology. His engaging classes are legendary; he has been known to show a picture of himself with a full head of hair as a young professor to facetiously demonstrate the concept of evolution. He still has every class roll and grade book – the earliest is labeled 1972-75. He recalls many students and can tell you where they are now. They write to him. A doctor in Idaho. A dentist in San Antonio. A surgeon in Chapel Hill.


An emeritus professor, Cannon continues to teach classes and labs. He has advised aspiring medical professionals for 45 years, including alumni. “We’re pretty good about advising alumni after they graduate.” Dr. Robin Maxwell now has taken on most of the advising role. But Cannon still occasionally makes use of those grade books.


“I just wrote two letters of recommendation for alumni applying to medical school,” he said, standing in the doorway of Eberhart 441, his “headquarters” since 1972.


“I even had one who wanted a recommendation 20 years later – these books help.”

Photo of Dr. Robert Cannon holding some of his grade books.

Did You Know?

UNCG has surpassed the milestone of 1 million hours of service each year. Students make a great impact in the community, as they learn and grow.

Photo of two people with wheelbarrow in garden

SERVICE at the Greensboro Children’s Museum

O. Max Gardner Award

The UNC system bestows the O. Max Gardner Award on one professor each year who has “made the greatest contributions to the welfare of the human race.” Twelve UNCG faculty have been honored.


  • 1949 – Louise B. Alexander Education, Political Science & History
  • 1954 – Franklin H. McNutt Education
  • 1956 – Mereb E. Mossman Sociology
  • 1960 – Richard N. Current History (Lincoln Scholar & author)
  • 1962 – Randall Jarrell Literature, English
  • 1966 – Lois Edinger Education
  • 1971 – Naomi G. Albanese Home Economics
  • 1974 – Mary Elizabeth Keister Early Childhood Education
  • 1976 – Eloise Rallings Lewis Nursing
  • 1979 – Richard Bardolf History
  • 1986 – Fred Chappell Literature, English
  • 1996 – Vira Rodgers Kivett Gerontology, Human Development & Family Studies


Photo of WWI Overcoat worn by Dr. Anna Gove, who served soldiers and refugees.

WWI overcoat worn by Dr. Anna Gove, who served soldiers and refugees.

Space: Their Frontier

Dr. Jaylee Mead ‘51

Dr. Jaylee Mead ‘51, a mathematician and astronomer, joined the Goddard Flight Center in 1959 in the heat of the Space Race, and ultimately was associate chief of the Space Data and Computing Division. She also established the Goddard Astronomical Data Center. In 1986, she received the NASA Medal for Scientific Leadership. The Sullivan Science Building’s Mead Auditorium is named for her.

photo of Dr. Jaylee Mead ‘51

Dr. Jaylee Mead ‘51

photo of Virginia Tucker ‘30

Virginia Tucker ‘30

Virginia Tucker ‘30

Virginia Tucker ‘30 was one of five women to join the first “human computer” pool at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory in 1935. She recruited heavily at institutions across the East Coast, including at UNCG. According to “Hidden Figures” author Margot Lee Shetterly, UNCG graduated one of the largest cohorts of women who worked as human computers. Tucker became the head computer, managing hundreds of women across the laboratory. Her work helped pave the way for female mathematicians as the Space Race approached.