WGSS Celebrates 50 Years and Generous Donation from Claudia Kadis

WGSS Celebrates 50 Years and Generous Donation from Claudia Kadis

Posted on 10/12/2022


Dr. Hephziba Roskelly speaking. 

In September, over one hundred students, faculty, alumni, and community members gathered to celebrate the Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program’s 50th anniversary. The event opened with remarks about the Program’s history by Linda Carlisle, one of the founding members of the Friends of WGSS, and Dr. Hephziba Roskelly, a past WGSS Director and Professor Emerita of English at UNCG.


Director Lisa Levenstein giving a bouquet to donor Claudia Kadis.

Program Director Dr. Lisa Levenstein then shared an exciting announcement! Claudia Kadis, who previously sponsored the Kadis Lecture for many years, is establishing a one million dollar distinguished professorship in WGSS. The Dylan Rose Kadis and Eloise Hall Kadis Distinguished Professorship in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies is named after Claudia’s granddaughters, with the hope that they will continue to carry on the important work of the Program throughout their lives. Dr. Levenstein noted that “this gift, our second distinguished professorship, arrives at a perfect moment- when budgets are tight and yet, attacks on women’s, transfolk, and other marginalized people’s bodies and lives are escalating.”


The Provost of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Debbie Storrs, also made an appearance at the 50th anniversary event in support of the Program’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion at UNCG. 


Amber Esters during her speech.

Amber Esters, who graduated from UNCG with their MA in WGSS in 2019, spoke about how she felt supported by the faculty in the department while pursuing her degree, and how much it mattered that the faculty cared how they were doing.


Eric B. Toler, who received both his BA and MA from UNCG in WGSS in 2018 and 2020, respectively, began with a joke about entering the workforce at the perfect time in the midst of COVID, and then recounted the support he received from the department during his studies and as he transitioned into a teaching position. 


Tiffany Holland laughing during her speech.

Tiffany Holland, PCB in WGSS from UNCG ‘11 and Professional Track Faculty, gave a generous look into her life as a part of the WGSS Program. She shared her feminist beginnings reading Audre Lorde in Sister Outsider to “talk to cute girls.” She also affectionately described the culture of love and care that the members of the WGSS Department create on the third floor of Curry as a bunch of introverted, academic nerds.


Dr. Danielle Bouchard, Director of Graduate Studies, gave a heartfelt statement about the joys WGSS students bring to her life to mark the end of the formalities and transition everyone into a period of refreshments and socialization.