“Everybody can be great because anybody can serve,” said Chancellor Folt, quoting Martin Luther King, Jr., at the annual C. Knox Massey Distinguished Service Awards Luncheon at the Carolina Inn on Saturday. “You only need a heart full of grace, and a soul generated by love.”
Carolina is known for our great student body and outstanding faculty, but if you’re interested in joining our community one day, we think it’s important that you know about the countless dedicated staff members who will walk with you. From housekeeping to maintenance to administrative staff, they are committed to your success, and will extend daily efforts (hearts included!) to make sure you you have the best possible experience here.
Six of these employees were honored for their work on Saturday, and one of them, we’re delighted to announce was our own Allison Legge, Interim Registrar and Senior Associate Director for Enrollment and Undergraduate Admissions. For all of us, Allison epitomizes what it means to have a soul generated by love. With characteristic humility, upon learning of her award, the woman on campus who is known as the “mother” of Connect Carolina, an online gateway for University administrative systems, said “I can’t believe I am so lucky as to be given an award for the work I love so much!”
After receiving her award, Allison lifted the hearts of everyone by reminding us of the African concept of Ubuntu, the profound sense that we are human only through the humanity of others. What a lovely idea — and one that both affirms and redeems us, I think.
A favorite metaphor in our office (thank you Ashley Arthur!) to describe Allison is a hummingbird. She may be little but she is fleet and efficient, and brings tremendous joy wherever she lands. She is also the last person to ever seek an award of this type, just the sort of person who deserves it. And the ability to honor her in this way is a gift of the best kind, and for this we thank the late C. Knox Massey and his family from the bottom of our hearts. Your generosity ensures that the University’s deeply-ingrained mission of public service will continue for years to come.
Meet Christopher Suggs, an incoming Class of 2021 Tar Heel.
Coming from Kinston, North Carolina, Christopher is the founder and CEO of Kinston Teens, an internationally recognized nonprofit with a mission to empower youth through service, leadership and civic engagement.
He was appointed by Gov. McCrory to NC Governor’s Crime Commission to serve as the youngest member of an advisory that addresses issues surrounding crime and justice. At Carolina, he plans to major in political science and aspires to be a policy maker.
“The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is a phenomenal school! I’ve been in love with Carolina since 2006, when my older brother’s high school basketball team played in the Dean Dome for the NC High School Men’s Basketball State Championships. From the campus, to the programs, to the student culture, to its alumni, there is so much to love about Carolina, and I truly love it all.
I have a strong passion for service, leadership and advocacy, especially when it comes to serving communities here in North Carolina. From starting my own nonprofit organization to being the youngest appointee to the North Carolina Governor’s Crime Commission, being a leader and representing my state is something I’m deeply invested in. It’s my hope to continue and expand upon these passions at Carolina.”
Meet Andrew Romza, Class of 2018
Major: Statistical and Operations Research
How did you decide to get involved with ROTC?
I actually didn’t come to college thinking that I was going to be in ROTC. I very much stumbled across it when I saw an advertisement for it in a student bulletin and thought it would be an interesting class. It wasn’t really until I started taking the classes at the Armory that I realized ROTC was much more than any one little paragraph could say. I really got invested in the program, and it became a lifestyle.
What is a day in the life of an ROTC cadet?
On any given week, you’re putting in 10-15 hours of work, which is great. It’s very fulfilling because you’re working with people who share the same passions. For example, I work with my peers in the operations office to plan events for ROTC. It’s very detailed and everything has to come together within the program in order for the cadets to get effective training to become better leaders, to go out into the army, and later into the civilian world to use the experience they gained here to help others and develop them into leaders as well.
What opportunities have you had with ROTC?
ROTC fills my summers. The summer after my sophomore year, I was given the opportunity to train in Mozambique with their military. But like many things in the army, it was not purely military training for that month. It was a week of that, and then a week of building gardens in a section of their capital. Then in the next week, I worked with the US Embassy to teach Mozambicans who have US Citizenship how to speak English.
ROTC is very eclectic. You can find yourself doing classwork one moment, and then going out and running with some cadets the other moment, then traveling all over the world. In the end, ROTC transforms you and makes you a better person. ROTC is the best conduit for developing leadership and developing others at the same time.
I really chose Carolina because of the quality of the education. The statistics department here is one of the best. For me, I got into a number of different schools that had good math and statistics programs, but Carolina just stuck out as as a very unique opportunity to learn both actuarial and optimization skills, of which other colleges only had one or the other.