As one of the top students in his eastern North Carolina high school graduation class and a talented musician, Isaac Hawkins could have gone to college just about anywhere he wanted. Ultimately he is going to college exactly where he wanted to go.

Crisscrossing the state, visiting a number of public universities, Hawkins wanted to make sure he made the right decision.

“During campus visits I found myself comparing all of the other universities to The University of North Carolina at Greensboro,” Hawkins said, remembering the experience.

UNCG was his older brother Kirby’s alma mater and it was a place he’d visited many times over the years. He enjoyed the unique blend of UNCG’s urban vibe and tightly knit campus community – UNCG was a university of more than 19,000 students but had a small school feel.

“I finally realized UNCG is the school I should go to,” he said.

Hawkins, enrolling as a member of UNCG’s Lloyd International Honors College, is a recipient of the Katharine Smith Reynolds Scholarship. The scholarship is a prestigious four-year scholarship made possible by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and awarded through the honors college to North Carolina residents who qualify.

A high school advanced placement course in human geography sparked his passion for studying diverse people and cultures, which is an interest he’ll pursue as an international studies major. Hawkins is excited about the smaller class sizes, usually eight to 10 students, and the access to top faculty offered by the honors college.

Hawkins also plans to join UNCG’s pep band, “Band of Sparta,” building on his vast high school experience with marching band, concert band, brass quartets, jazz ensembles and handbell choirs. “I’ve played a lot of music for several years,” said Hawkins, who has won several “all county” and “all district” honors during the past four years.

With a deep attraction to politics and government, he is considering a potential career in public administration or advocacy, with a special focus on preserving the environment. He admits his interest in government and politics might be influenced a bit by two Washington, D.C.-based TV series: “The West Wing” and “Scandal.” He’s watched each of them in their entirety.

Still, the Shallotte native hasn’t ruled out an array of other options, including public school teaching and academia.

“There are so many things I’d like to do,” he said, “and UNCG is going to be a great place to explore them.”


Story by Stephen Martin, contributor
Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Relations