Graphic by Miranda Morris
The beginning of the 2021-2022 academic year for Greensboro College also marks the start of Meredith Mills’ first year as coach for the GC women’s softball team. Originally from Kernersville, North Carolina, Coach Mills attended NC Wesleyan, where she received a degree in psychology with a minor in English. She began coaching softball in New Bern, NC with a travel team, before returning to Wesleyan to coach their women’s team, where she stayed for five years.
Her decision to come to GC began when she received a phone call from Coach Tuders asking if she would be interested in taking over the softball team. After much consideration and discussion with mentors and family, she decided that this was simply an opportunity too good to pass up. She likes the fact that GC is a small, private college and prefers this over a larger school.
Currently, the team is conducting off-season workouts. In the short time she’s been at GC, Coach Mills is very happy to be working here and has enjoyed getting to know her players. She is very excited to get the season started and see’s much promise in the softball team, which consists of many returning players with a true “hunger” to win.
She says that they are already giving their workouts everything they have and hold an exuberant will to win. So far, there have been no injuries from workouts and no positive COVID cases on the team. The lessening restrictions will allow for more breathing room for games as compared to last year when restrictions were at their strictest.
Coach Mills feels that the team will be very successful in the upcoming season once they have everything in order and all of the kinks worked out, with the conference being very competitive. Especially anticipated will be games against GC’s softball rival teams of Pfeiffer, Averett, and NC Wesleyan. Coach Mills believes that the odds of those games will favor the Pride women.
All in all, Coach Mills is excited to see what the future holds for the team and is eager to be out on the field with her girls this spring. The woman’s softball season is to begin in January and their first game is February 19th at home against Ferrum College.
By Ethan Wilson
Graphic by Diana Castro-Vazquez
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.