North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, along with key state officials and Triad academic leaders, visited UNCG on Thursday, Jan. 21, to discuss the proposed $2 billion Connect NC bond, which will be put to a vote March 15.

In a packed room of city leaders, business executives and UNCG faculty, staff and students, among others, McCrory highlighted some of the state’s most critical needs – including education, infrastructure, recreation and safety – and discussed how the bond will provide funds to address those issues.

“One of the main goals in our state must be developing the talent for the future,” McCrory said. “Right now, there’s a skills gap in our nation and in our state. We have job openings, but employers are telling us, ‘We cannot find the talent to fill those jobs.’”

UNCG Chancellor Dr. Frank Gilliam stressed the imminent need to provide additional, more adequate resources and facilities for nursing and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education at UNCG.

If the bond is approved by voters, UNCG will receive $105 million in funds for a new nursing and STEM instruction building to replace the aging McIver building on campus. This new facility will increase capacity to graduate more students in science and health care fields and help ensure the highest quality pre-service clinical preparation.

“The support for this bond is bipartisan … It shows you how important this is,” Gilliam said. “It’s not about shiny buildings. It’s about people and it’s about prosperity.”

N.C. A&T Provost Dr. Joe Whitehead and Winston-Salem State Chancellor Dr. Elwood L. Robinson addressed the lack of adequate facilities on their campuses for engineering and science, respectively, and the proposed buildings that the bond will fund.

North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz ’88 discussed how the bond impacts the North Carolina Zoo and the state park system.

Major General Gregory Lusk, adjutant general of the North Carolina National Guard, shed light on the growing needs of the 91 armories across the state.

“These bonds are fiscally responsible. They require no new taxes,” McCrory said. “Our debt in five years will be less than our debt today, even with this bond passing.”

To learn more about the bond, visit


Photography by Martin W. Kane, University Relations