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UNCSA's 50th Anniversary: 2013-15


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Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts was the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation, opening its doors to its first students in the fall of 1965.

Nearly 50 years later, the School of the Arts is committed to expanding its role as a leader in creating the artistic culture of tomorrow by shaping the artists of today.

In 2012, the School of the Arts created a 50th Anniversary Committee to consider how the school would observe its 50th anniversary. The committee created a mission statement, and has begun to formulate plans for the anniversary.

This past summer, the Winston-Salem Journal marked the passage of the enabling legislation that created the school by running a guest column on the importance of the arts by longtime UNCSA friend and supporter J.D. Wilson.

During 2013-15 and beyond, alumni, students, faculty, staff, parents and community members will celebrate the traditions of the school’s founders and enthusiastically look forward to the future.


50th Anniversary Charge


To provide advice to Executive Council on the type of initiatives to pursue related to celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the School and to work directly on the implementation of approved initiatives.  The Committee will work with UNCSA boards, alumni, donors, faculty, staff and students providing expertise and effort toward achieving the goals of the Anniversary celebration.


50th Anniversary Mission Statement


The 50th Anniversary Committee of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA), the state’s unique professional school for the performing, visual, and moving image arts, seeks to honor the past and set the stage for a future in the global spotlight.

The Committee will bring distinction to the school through special events, performances, activities, communications, and other means that will:

  • Heighten interest  in and knowledge of the school’s mission and history, and improve the school’s recognition on a local, state and national level;

  • Thank those who have paved the way for the school’s success, noting achievements of founders, administrators, faculty, staff, and alumni, as well as contributions of donors and friends;

  • Continue to advocate for the value of the arts to society;

  • Strengthen the school’s relationships with its constituents, including students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni, donors, board members, neighbors, the city of Winston-Salem, UNC, and the N.C. Legislature;

  • Connect new supporters from segments outside our traditional base of support to UNCSA;

  • Build financial and human capital support to propel UNCSA into the future, and

  • Celebrate to bring joy and energize all participants. (Have fun!)


50th Anniversary Committee


Co-Chairs: Elaine Pruitt and Jim DeCristo

Member and Office(s)/Group(s) Represented:

  • Katharine Laidlaw – Executive Producer
  • Joseph Rawda - SGA
  • Kay Bosworth – Staff Council
  • Inez Davis - Faculty Council
  • Jonas Silver - Alumni
  • Patrice Slattery - Archives
  • Carin Ioannou – Finance and Administration
  • Deb Cheesebro – Campus Police
  • Ward Caldwell – Student Affairs
  • Wade Weast - Deans
  • Lynn Eisenberg - Board of Visitors
  • Judy Watson - Associates
  • Chris Boyd - Facilities
  • Brent LaFever – Campus Performance Facilities
  • Lynda Lotich – T. S. Kenan Institute for the Arts
  • Marla Carpenter – Communications and Marketing
  • Terri Renigar – Communications and Marketing


50th Anniversary Block Schedule (DRAFT)



Spring Semester


* April 28-29: Anniversary of the "Dial for Dollars" campaign; "Thank-you" Phone-a-thon

* May 5: Kickoff Gala


Fall Semester


* Sept. 20: Community Day





Spring Semester


* April 9-19: Featured performance and gala


Fall Semester

* 2nd Picklestock

* September: Celebration of 50th anniversary of the school's opening



UNCSA's 2015 featured performance: Guys and Dolls