Announcement of joint graduation met with mixed reactions

On September 14th, Greensboro College announced via their Instagram their long-awaited plans to give the class of 2020 an in-person graduation, saying “…Greensboro College announces an unprecedented honor for Class of 2020, by including them in the actual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 7, 2022.”

 

Though this sounds like a victory after the cancellations of several Greensboro College alumni Homecoming events, the reactions from the classes of 2020 and 2022 have been largely negative.

 

Senior Haley Austin writes on their Instagram, “With Graduation, does that mean that the 2022 graduates will have less tickets for family? If it is unsafe for them now, how will there be enough room for the class of 2022, 2020, and both families? Consider the class of 2022 too.” She later elaborated on her stance, saying, “After having [a] majority of our college experience taken away due to COVID, we at least deserve our own graduation. The class of 2020 deserves their own as well.”

 

A similar sentiment was expressed by Class of 2020 alum Madison Powers. She commented on the school’s Instagram post saying, “Stop trying to give us something that is long overdue. Instead, why don’t you forgive part of our Perkins loan… Especially since we did not get to enjoy the latter end of our senior year.”

 

Despite the negative reactions, some graduates are excited to reunite with their friends in the Class of 2020. Senior Cynthia Porter says, “I hope this time it sticks! My boyfriend has been waiting [for] his chance to walk since 2020…and with me graduating and walking [in] 2022, it would be amazing if we walked together!”

 

Powers summed up the feelings of many disgruntled members of the classes of 2020 and 2022, saying, “There are so many of us that are disappointed….. We loved our college experience, but the way it end[ed] was crazy.”

 

The new graduation ceremony could prove to be a better opportunity for the class of 2020 to reunite, as around 20 alumni RSVP’d to the initial graduation ceremony planned for September.

 

Regardless of their stances on the joint graduation ceremony, past and current students expressed a similar sentiment about the importance of having a graduation for the class of 2020. “I just know from a personal perspective that it would be absolutely devastating to never get the chance to walk,” says Porter. “I’ve seen my boyfriend be disappointed twice now, and I know I would be just as upset. Walking across that stage is almost like a sense of closure; like it seals that chapter in your life. It’s important for everyone to experience this!”

 

Though details are yet to be announced, including how the class of 2020 will be incorporated into the ceremony, the date is set for May 7th, and it is expected that the ceremony will be held on front campus in front of the Main building, per tradition. Hopefully, the ceremony will prove to be a satisfying conclusion to years of hard work for members of the class of 2020 and 2022.

2021 graduate Lindsay Mead Photo courtesy of Miranda Morris

Sankofa Center block party

This semester has already been busy for the Sankofa Center, which just held Greensboro College’s first ever block party during homecoming! Along with all the other fun activities happening during this time, the Sankofa Center could not have missed the chance to show that we know how to support the Pride, and that’s what we did!

This year’s block party consisted of so much, including a live DJ who helped us engage the crowd with great music, food catered from GCs dining hall, games, including uno, black card revoked and cards against humanity, as well as a photo station with polaroids and scrapbooking, along with Greensboro College props. The block party also included free t-shirts and other prizes for participants.

Sankofa partnered with other organizations, departments and clubs around campus, having these groups host a table where they could talk about their organization or provide an activity. Some of the organizations invited from around campus were religious life, the Department of Housing and Residence Life, U.A.A.S., athletics and The Lyre. Many students, faculty, and friends stopped by to be a part of the fun.

Between 75-100 students came out to support the Sankofa Center. This event definitely helped in creating a diverse place on campus. For many students of color, having a place to be represented is important. So to have this event and to have so many students come out in support says a lot about how much of a difference the center is on Greensboro College’s campus.

The Sankofa Center block party was a huge success for everyone involved! As for the rest of the semester, the Sankofa Center has a ton more fun events in store. If you haven’t gotten a chance to come to one of the Sankofa Center’s events, our next event is patio Tuesday on Oct. 7th. Make sure to be there! You can also visit the Sankofa Center located on the first floor of the student center.

Jordan Thompson and Trevor Mason Photos courtesy of Destinee Allen
Dre’ Jackson and Tasha Myers, Director of Diversity Equity & Inclusion and Interim Director of Retention
Jonathan Hall, Director of Student Engagment

The Pride welcomes home one of their own

The Greensboro Pride men’s soccer team welcomes Manbi Nyepon home. Nyepon, a native of the Greensboro area, attended Page High School before beginning his athletic career at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina.

After playing there for two years, he transferred to Greensboro College where he spent his final two collegiate years as the Pride’s starting goalkeeper. Nyepon still holds the current record for in-conference shutouts and clean sheets. He was elected to the all-conference teams both years he was a member of the Pride, leading his team to the conference finals his junior and senior year, winning in 2013.

After graduating, Nyepon stayed on with the Pride as assistant coach to former head coach Tony Falvino. He spent two consecutive years as an assistant coach before moving to Washington D.C., coaching a year at American University and eventually settling at George Washington University.

After his tenure in the nation’s capital, Nyepon returns to his alma mater, assuming the role of head coach following the exit of six-year head coach Tony Falvino. Falvino led the team to 3 regular-season titles (2015, 2018, 2021). In addition to those titles, he also won twice (2015, 2021) in his time here, and was elected USA South coach of the year in 2015. Following the conclusion of the 2021 spring season, Coach Falvino joined the Mercer University Bears, with Nyepon filling his place at GC, assisted by an alumni of the team, Camden Brooks.

“It feels good to be home.” said Nyepon. “This is my first season as a head coach, and we have got a good, responsible group of guys that I am excited to get to know. I think we have the chance to do something special, it just takes effort and trust in each other, and if we have those, I do not think there is anything that can stand in our way.”

According to the USA South coaches’ poll, the Pride is listed in third place to win the regular season, despite being the previous season’s champions. With players transferring, the change in coaching staff and a packed game schedule, the men’s Pride soccer team faces new obstacles. Now listed with 18 games, compared to the 12 played in the spring earlier this year, they look to defend their title and bring another championship home.

Returning senior Jordy Briceno who led the team in goals and assists this past year has given word he fully intends to end his college career on a high note. “We will be facing a much tougher scenario than last year, given that we have a new coach as well as a larger roster and more out of conference games,” said Briceno. “But nothing has ever stopped us from achieving what we want to when we put the work in.”  

In addition to the new coaching staff and recruits, the Pride is also presented with the chance to play night games, with the new flood lights that were recently installed. Bringing back the possibility for Friday night light games, many members are excited to take on opponents at home after a long year of empty stands due to Covid-19. As the men’s soccer team prepares for their first conference game, they will brave this new atmosphere.

New men’s soccer head coach Manbi Nyepon looks over his squad during one their first practices.
Photos courtesy of Alex Trepper

By Keita Ikenna-Gresham

Remembering 9/11

The date September 11, 2001 will forever live in the minds of Americans and forever be cemented in history. On that morning, 19 members of the radical Islamic terrorist coalition Al-Qaeda hijacked four airliners and flew them to specially designated targets in the United States.

Within 20 minutes of each other, two of the airplanes slammed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, with both towers collapsing in quick succession shortly after. One hour later, another airplane hit the Pentagon in Washington D.C. The fourth aircraft, United Airlines Flight 93, with a planned target of either the White House or Camp David, crashed in a rural area near the town of Shanksville, Pennsylvania after its crew and passengers rallied against their hijackers and attempted to regain control of the aircraft.

By the end of the day, according to the 9/11 article on the History website, a total of 2,996 people were dead in the largest foreign attack on United States soil since the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. 2,763 were killed in New York City, including 400 firefighters, paramedics, police officers, and port authority employees. At the Pentagon, the result was 249 killed, along with the 44 passengers and crew of Flight 93.

September 11, 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the attack, which has become known simply as “9/11.” While most students currently attending Greensboro College were infants or young children on 9/11, there are faculty and staff still working at the college who were here on that day. They all tell different stories of where they were when they first heard and what their initial thoughts were. Even so, they all expressed feelings of shock, horror, fear, and uncertainty for the future.

Yet, the events of 9/11 also hit much closer to Greensboro than most know. As a stewardess aboard Flight 93, Sandy Waugh Bradshaw called the Gate City her home, having worked for United Airlines for 11 years. In a phone call with her husband, from the Flight 93 Friends website, Bradshaw explained that she had snuck into the plane’s galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water in preparation for the revolt, saying before hanging up, “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go.”

Recovered amongst the charred remains of the aircraft was Bradshaw’s flight handbook, severely burned by jet fuel. Today, that handbook has been preserved and is on display at the Greensboro History Museum.

According to the 9/11 Memorial website, for the anniversary, at the site the towers once stood, a commemoration was held where family members of the deceased read the names of those who were killed in the attack. It also included six minutes of silence at the times the planes struck the towers, Pentagon, and Pennsylvania. Along with this, there was a citywide commemoration at galleries and museums around New York City. At sundown, the memorial began its “Tribute of Light”, where two spotlights shone up into the sky at the spots where the towers stood.

The hope of these commemorations is to not only remember that terrible day. But to also rejuvenate a spirit of “9/12”, the day after the attack, where Americans came together in hope and compassion for what had happened in the aftermath. This is something that will hopefully be felt not only by New Yorkers, but throughout the nation. As President Bush said that night in a live broadcast, “These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.”

By Ethan Wilson