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Greensboro College Awards Its Highest Honor to Retiring Professor and Administrator Paul Leslie

May 30, 2020 1:36 pm
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GREENSBORO, N.C. – Greensboro College has awarded its highest honor, the Nannie Lee Smith Exemplary Service Medal, to Paul L. Leslie, who will retire this summer as Professor of Sociology and Chief Academic Officer emeritus.

The award was announced during today’s virtual Commencement by President Lawrence D. Czarda, Ph.D.

Czarda cited Leslie, who joined the faculty in 1989, not only for his lengthy service as a faculty member and administrator but also for his leadership during some of the toughest times of the college’s recent past, including his having served as acting president during the college’s fiscal crisis of 2009.

“Of particular note is his exceptional contribution to the improvement of GC’s accreditation status,” Czarda said, “from being on warning and probation from 2009 to 2013 to having the best possible outcome in 2016 when GC’s accreditation status was reaffirmed for 10 years with no further reporting required.”

The Nannie Lee Smith 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 become 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. 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.

Think critically. Act justly. Live faithfully.

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