GREENSBORO, N.C. – Greensboro College awarded its highest honor, the Nannie Lee Smith Exemplary Service Medal, during today’s Commencement ceremony to Calvin L. Gilmore, the college’s longtime director of campus safety and security.
In presenting the award, college President Lawrence D. Czarda, Ph.D., cited Gilmore for his helpfulness, kindness, patience and consistency, characteristics as revered by alumni from decades ago as they are by today’s graduates.
Since joining the college staff in 1982, Gilmore has been recognized as the 1995 Man of the Year by the college’s yearbook staff and has twice won the Ann P. Lojko Staff Service Award, in 2014 and 2019.
“Calvin is in many ways a symbol reflecting the best of Greensboro College: He finds ways to support people as individuals and offer that extra gesture of help and kindness that reminds us of the good in people,” Czarda said. “He seems to have the patience of a saint as he deals with serious threats as well as trivial lockout calls, all with equanimity and a smile.
“In a job in which almost everything is unpredictable, he has always been extraordinarily consistent in his presence, competence, kindness, professionalism and perceptiveness.”
A native of Cheraw, S.C., Gilmore studied business at Lees-McRae College as well as at N.C. A&T State University, where he also played football and met his wife, Doris, a Greensboro College alumna. They were married in Greensboro College’s Hannah Brown Finch Memorial Chapel and have two adult children.
“As part of his job, he has endured a lot of verbal abuse, and even physical injury, for Greensboro College,” Czarda said. “And he still remains the friendly, helpful person that he is. …
“And I would add from my own first-hand experience with Chief that he has many top-level traits that make him a perfect fit for his position, including the fact that he sees everything and he remembers everything!”
The Nannie Lee Smith Exemplary Service Medal, established in 2011, is named for an 1893 graduate of the college who, in 1903, raised $25,000 in cash and pledges within 30 days from congregants of Methodist churches throughout North Carolina to keep the college from being sold. She went on to serve as the first woman on the Board of Trustees, serving from 1903 until 1958.
The medal recognizes outstanding service to the college during an extended period of time, typically 20 or more years, and was last awarded in 2016. Candidates are nominated by faculty, staff, alumni, or trustees; reviewed by the Honorary Degrees Committee of the Board of Trustees; and approved by the full board.
Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.
Founded in 1838 and located in downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia, and seven foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and six master’s degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features a 17-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities. Learn more at greensboro.edu.
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Lex Alexander, Director of Communications
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