Manning, Aiken Honored with UNCG’s Highest Awards

Posted on May 22, 2014

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She has made a difference for the arts and a wide array of nonprofit organizations. He has worked diligently to serve those experiencing homelessness. Both are recipients of UNCG’s top university honors.

Kathy E. Manning received the Charles Duncan McIver Award, which recognizes individuals who have rendered distinguished public service to the state or nation. The bronze medal bears the likeness of Charles Duncan McIver, the founding president of the institution that is now UNCG.

The Rev. Mike Aiken received the Adelaide F. Holderness / H. Michael Weaver Award, which honors North Carolinians who have rendered distinguished public service to their community or state. It is named in honor of Adelaide F. Holderness ’34 and H. Michael Weaver of Greensboro.

The honors were presented by UNCG Chancellor Linda P. Brady during a May 21 program that also recognized donors to the university.


About each recipient:

Kathy E. Manning has long been an advocate for the arts in Greensboro. She is the current chair of the board of Triad Stage, where she was a founding member. She serves on the board of the Greensboro Symphony, and was the founding chair of “ArtBeat,” now called “Seventeen Days,” which was created to celebrate and promote Greensboro’s local arts organizations. She was on the original fundraising team for the Greensboro Children’s Museum and served on its founding board. She is the current chair of the board of the Community Foundation, where she previously chaired the Grants Committee and its Development Committee.

Her involvement in the local arts community and her talent and experience in fundraising made her a natural choice to spearhead the effort to secure private funding for a new downtown performing arts center in Greensboro. Under her leadership, the fundraising team has raised more than $35 million in private funds to build this facility, which will be called the Steven B. Tanger Center for the Performing Arts. Manning worked to gain approval of the Center by the Greensboro City Council, led the effort to create the governance structure for the Center and chaired the Architectural Selection Committee for the Tanger Center.

Manning’s passion for working with non-profit organizations extends beyond the arts. She recently completed a three-year term as the chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA), the national organization that oversees more than 155 Jewish federations around the United States. She was the first woman to hold that position, and was also the first woman to serve as chair of the JFNA Executive Committee and JFNA’s treasurer. She also serves on the boards of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Jewish Agency for Israel. She is a past chair of the Board of the Greensboro Jewish Federation, where she served as chair of the Women’s Annual Campaign, co-chair of the Operation Exodus Campaign, and chair of Women’s Cabinet. She has twice served as the chair of the Board of Trustees of the B’nai Shalom Synagogue Day School in Greensboro. Together with her husband, Randall Kaplan, Manning has led the United Way de Tocqueville Campaign and chaired the Annual Dinner for the Greensboro chapter of the National Conference for Community and Justice.

Manning received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. She practiced law in Washington, D.C., for six years before moving to Greensboro with her husband. She was a partner at Smith Moore for many years before establishing her own law firm specializing in immigration. She and her husband, Randall, an attorney, entrepreneur and an accomplished community volunteer in his own right, have three children, Elizabeth, Robert and Jennifer.


The Rev. Mike Aiken is the executive director of Greensboro Urban Ministry, an inter-faith outreach ministry serving the poor, a post he has held since 1985. In this role, Aiken has helped Greensboro and the Triad community make tremendous strides in addressing the needs of individuals experiencing poverty, hunger and homelessness.

Greensboro Urban Ministry was founded in 1967 by representatives of several downtown congregations to provide emergency financial assistance and meet the growing needs of the poor in the inner city. By 1981, support for the ministry had grown to 90 congregations, allowing for the opening of Pathways Center to provide temporary shelter to the homeless families. The next year, both Weaver House Singles Shelter and Potter’s House Community Kitchen opened, followed by Project Independence in 1984. This would lead to the building of transitional housing complex Partnership Village in 1999. Recognizing the cost and social benefits of rapid re-housing, the board of Greensboro Urban Ministry approved the implementation of Beyond Pathways, now Beyond GUM, in 2008 for the purposes of diversion and rapid re-housing.

Prior to joining Greensboro Urban Ministry, Aiken served as executive director of Fayetteville Urban Ministry. Aiken holds a bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and a master of divinity degree from Duke University, and interned in the School of Pastoral Care at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. He plans to retire in July 2015.

In a News & Record article about Aiken’s retirement, Fritz Kreimer, the chairman of Greensboro Urban Ministry’s board of directors, noted how passionate Aiken is about his work. “He does it from the heart,” Kreimer said.


Reposted from UNCG News & Features

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