In July 2006, Shelton and then-Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Peggy Jablonski, created two full-time positions — a director and an assistant director — to lead a newly established and administratively separate LGBTQ Center. The center was tasked with providing programs, services and resources to create a welcoming environment for all members of the UNC-Chapel Hill community.
By the next summer, the LGBTQ Center was open in Student Academic Services Building South, where it is today.
“There was a lot of effort, thoughtfulness and intention behind the leadership that wanted to establish a space for students who identify in the LGBTQ community so they could have resources for education, awareness, empowerment and support.
“I hope that when we look back at this moment, we will see this journey, the time, effort and thought that we put into the center grow from seeds we’re planting now, ready for harvest at the next anniversary.”
Jamillae Stockett, assistant director of the LGBTQ Center
Terri Phoenix has been the director of the LGBTQ Center for the majority of the center’s two decades. Phoenix began working with the center in 2005 as a graduate assistant and then as the assistant director before becoming the director in 2007. Under Phoenix’s leadership and the work of many students and staff members, the LGBTQ Center has established itself as a staple on Carolina’s campus.
“The center wasn’t well known when I got here in 2005,” Phoenix told University Development. “I spent the first years on campus doing a lot of outreach to try and make people aware of the center. Additionally, I helped get us representation on various committees around campus, such as the Faculty Committee on Community and Diversity and the Employee Forum. The center has become bigger, more robust, more well-known, and I think it has much more of an influence on the everyday operations of student affairs and the University as a whole.”