Miss Irene Parsons of North Wilkesboro, NC has created the Irene A. Parsons Endowed Fund for the benefit of the Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project in the University Libraries of The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The Project acquires and preserves resources documenting the history of women veterans and women serving in related service organizations.
Chancellor Linda Brady said of the gift, “it represents a meaningful investment to sustain and further advance the level of excellence for which the University Libraries’ Special Collections has become known.”
Irene Adelaide Parsons was born in Wilkes County, North Carolina and graduated from high school in nearby Taylorsville. She attended Brevard College for two years and then worked in Wilkes County prior to enrolling at Woman’s College in Greensboro, North Carolina, in 1939. She graduated in1941 with majors in business administration and education, and later received her master’s degree from George Washington University. She spent three years with the Women’s Reserve of the Coast Guard (SPARs) from 1943 until 1946. Afterwards, she had a long career with the Veteran’s Administration, retiring after almost thirty years of service. Irene was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the position of Assistant Administrator of the Veterans Administration, the highest personnel post in federal government ever held by a woman in the third largest federal government agency. For distinctive service and career accomplishment, Miss Parsons received an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from UNCG in 1967.
This is Miss Parson’s second major gift to UNCG.