Deborah Shaw ’84 Retiring – A Fond Farewell

As some of you may have heard by now, Deborah Shaw, the Director of the Quaker Leadership Scholars Program and Assistant Director of the Friends Center, will be retiring after this semester. Deborah, her loving presence and hard work at Guilford College, working with every single QLSP student since the inception of the program, is synonymous with the program itself. It is hard to imagine QLSP without Deborah Shaw and yet I know that she is eager to see it continue to grow, change and pursue its goal of apprenticing young adults to the Quaker tradition. I personally am grateful for the ways she has helped my transition into my role in Friends Center. Her patience, institutional knowledge and care, willingness to offer prayers, hugs, and a quiet listening presence, not to mention her colleagueship have done so much to help sustain me in my early work here at Guilford. I know that there are many others feel the same way as well.

When Deborah, Guilford Class of 1984, retires, how will she be remembered, ever so fondly, for her 25 years in Friends Center?

It will be for:

  • Welcoming each QLSP student who ever entered the program, through 2017
  • Her loving presence with students and staff, through a litany of joys and sorrows, and counseling from a deep well
  • Sharing the value of QLSP’s unique and rigorous experience for Young Friends with Friends everywhere
  • Spiritually refreshing vocal and sung ministry at Friends gatherings
  • Leading retreats, especially for women
  • Leadership in multiple Friends organizations
  • Times as Friend in Residence at Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre in Birmingham, England
  • Sharing tea in her cozy office
  • Singing with the Lumina Choir

We lovingly celebrate Deborah for all these accomplishments in the spring of 2018, her final months of unmatched devotion and exceptional service to the College. We will miss her spiritual guidance, listening ears and heart, radical hospitality and commitment to each student as they travel their own path.

In the coming months, we are working to prepare QLSP for a transition in leadership as we search far and wide for a new director for the program and think about how to build on the legacy of those who have carried it this far.

With Deep Gratitude,

Wess Daniels – Director of Friends Center

P.S. Contributions to Friends Center really matter. Please consider supporting our ongoing work, perhaps in honor of Deborah! Here is a link to make contributions online. We are happy to accept gifts in non-digital forms as well. Checks should be made out to Guilford College, with Friends Center in the memo line and sent to Guilford College Advancement Office, 5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro, NC  27410. Thank you!

QLSP Summer 2017 Update – Deborah Shaw

In less than two weeks the new QLSPers will be coming to campus for the pre-term orientation!  Eight of these are first-year students and two are transfers.  To learn a little bit more about this group – see at the bottom of this post. 

We are excited to anticipate welcoming them – with the help of four returning students, one of whom is Leanna Kantt, co-clerk for QLSP for the coming year.  As happened last year, QLSP students will be spending some of the three-day orientation with new Bonner Scholars – enjoying the “Alternate Tour of Greensboro” and an outing to Snow Camp, NC, to see the outdoor drama “Pathway to Freedom” featuring James Shields ‘00, Guilford’s Bonner Center Director.

Another activity will be a work morning at Guilford’s Farm – organized by QLSPer’s Amelia Hall and Jake Fetzer, whose summer was spent as Friends Center’s first “Summer Service Fellows” working on a new project Guilford is taking on, the Mobile Oasis – a program that was started by Guilford County Health Department to bring produce to food insecure areas in Greensboro.  For more on this exciting work – check out the following link.

Looking forward to welcoming our newcomers – creating a space for them to get to know each other – and imagining how each of their unique presences will add to the wonderful QLSP community!

Speaking of that wonderful QLSP community – well over 300 people have been a part of the QLSP program!  This year we are celebrating 25 years of existence for this amazing program – throughout the year of course – but with a special event in connection with Guilford’s Homecoming.  A special celebratory dinner, meeting for worship and program will take place Thursday, November 2, 2017!        

Plan to come – stay tuned for more details!

-Deborah Shaw
Director of Quaker Leadership Scholars Program & Assistant Director of Friends Center


Welcome to our New 2017 QLSP Students! 

Allison Andrade – Hillsborough NC – Community Church of Chapel Hill (Unitarian Universalist).  Allison is deeply involved with her church community and has attended camps and retreats and through this has volunteered at organizations that help sustain ethical and fair society.   She looks forward to learning about Quakerism and being able to discover her spiritual beliefs further in an open environment, in the company of others.

Asa Bell – Philadelphia PA – attended Friends’ Central School.  Asa is a soccer player and much of his volunteer service has been working at summer soccer camps.  While not a Friend, Asa has learned much about Quakerism from his time at Friends’ Central and incorporates the testimonies into his life.  Acknowledging how much he has learned about himself already from being at Friends’ Central, Asa is anticipating deeper, broader learning through QLSP.

Berit Beck – Baltimore MD – Concord Friends Meeting, Philadelphia Yearly Meeting.  Berit has been a regular participant in PYM’s Young Friends Group, serving as recording clerk for the Group for one year. Through this community, Berit has shared service in a variety of ways within the meeting and in the wider community.  Not able to attend her distant home meeting very often, Berit is looking forward to reclaiming the central place that worship plays in her life.

Trey Kawugule – Richmond VA – raised in the Episcopalian Church.  For the past two years Trey has been drawn to Quakerism as he explored his beliefs and began reading about Quakerism in books and journals.  Trey grew up in a spiritually/religiously diverse home and has sought to find his own path through studying theology and practice of many faiths. Trey hopes to live out his favorite leadership quote in the coming year, “no one cares what you know until they know that you care.”

Jordan Keller – Richmond VA – Richmond Friends Meeting, Baltimore Yearly Meeting.  Jordan’s deepening in Quaker worship came about during her time at Shiloh Quaker Camp – her appreciation of Quaker process is a result of her time with BYM Young Friends.  Her Quaker communities have provided her with numerous opportunities for strategic, spirit led activism.  Jordan looks forward to seeing how her understanding of what it means to be a Quaker grows and changes.

Caley Martin Mooney – New Haven CT – New Haven Friends Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting.  Caley has attended meeting for most of his life and feels a strong connection with his yearly meeting’s Young Friends.  Caley has gone twice to D.C. to lobby with Friends Committee on National Legislation. While in Young Friends he served on Ministry and Counsel for two years.  He looks forward to being able to share with others about spiritual beliefs.

Elijah Martin Mooney – New Haven CT – New Haven Friends Meeting, New England Yearly Meeting.  Elijah is active in his home meeting, helping out with child care and potlucks, among other things.  He has served his yearly meeting’s Young Friends group as a member of the Nominating Committee.  While serving on Ministry and Counsel Elijah grew into the roles of being a presence in the community, helping with clearness committees and holding worshipful space during business meetings.

Annika Norris – Silver Spring MD – not raised in a faith community.  Annika is a second-year student at Guilford and has become very interested in Quakerism through interactions with Quaker students, some in QLSP.  Annika has done a great deal of service in the Greensboro community and at the Guilford farm.  She says that the she is “excited to embark on a journey with QLSP that requires self-reflection and meditation and experiencing time with the self.”

Sydney Singleton – Lexington NC – raised in the Baptist Church.  Sydney is a transfer student who has often been able to worship with the QLSP community in the past year.  She carries a concern for the environment, is involved with the Resource Conservation Workshop at which she was a counselor this past summer.  Sydney looks forward to deepening her existing relationship with QLSP, learning more about Quakerism and seeking ways to balance all the demands of life within a spiritual context.

Brownie Southworth – Louisville KY – Chester River Friends Meeting, Baltimore Yearly Meeting. Brownie grew up in a Quaker Meeting – but most recently has been attending Central Presbyterian Church – a welcoming/inclusive congregation with a strong commitment to social justice work and community outreach.  Brownie is looking forward to engaging with QLSP in its work on racism and institutional systems of oppression, appreciating the opportunity to more deeply understand what role he has to play in the world.

Summer Friends Center Updates from Kate Hood

The Friends Association for Higher Education (FAHE) held its annual conference at Guilford in June. The theme was Global Education, Global Quakerism and commemorated the 1967 World Gathering of Friends at the College. Participants were treated to three stimulating plenary sessions on global topics (including memories of the World Gathering) and over 20 workshops designed to assist and inspire Quaker educators in improving their work. Field trips enlightened the group on Guilford’s Farm, Underground Railroad activities in the New Garden area, the International Civil Rights Center and Museum and Quaker Archives. Participants enjoyed the intellectual engagement, spiritual refreshment, and good fellowship during the long weekend.

The Tannenbaum-Sternberger grant Guilford received to educate public school students especially about Underground Railroad activity here in our woods ended its first year, having laid considerable groundwork. A sustainable trail built by volunteers was nearly completed, leading to a viewing platform constructed this year. The platform protects our 300+-year-old Underground Railroad (tulip poplar) Tree from foot damage to its roots and can hold a group of about 25, as they reflect on what this “silent witness” to interracial freedom-seeking actions might have to teach and inspire us to do. Trail signage is being developed, and a curriculum for 4th, 8th and 11th graders written. There is a website as well, which provides additional information:

Guilford College’s application to be designated as a site on the Underground Railroad, through the National Park Service’s Network to Freedom program ( was accepted in the spring. Visitors to our woods – or to our Friends Historical Collection in the College library, a designated research facility – can now request that we provide them a “passport stamp” on a Network to Freedom brochure.

-Kate Hood ’76 is our Friends Center & Friends Historical Collection Outreach Coordinator

United Society of Friends Women Fall 2016 Brunch by Hannah Billen ‘20

On Saturday, September 17th, I had the opportunity to attend the United Society of Friends Women (NCYM) annual gathering with Wess Daniels. Growing up in an unprogrammed meeting in Seattle, the Bible and Christianity were not central to my experience as a Quaker. So, attending a gathering of Christ-centered Quaker women was a little out of my comfort zone. Although I am coming to value and love the Bible as a part of my faith, I am still not used to sitting in pews and hearing Bible readings during Quaker gatherings. It is sometimes hard for me to connect this type of Quakerism to the faith that I was raised in. One of the only things I am sure about my Quakerism is that it believes in the Light (or the Light of Christ, the Divine, the Spirit, that of God, etc.) within all people, and the women of USFW are clearly living out this belief through their service and mission work. Their support of Friends Campus Ministry NCYM, Friends Center, Belize Friends School, FEMAP, and of many other wonderful programs is an inspiring testimony to their commitment to their faith and to Christ-centered service. The theme of their gathering was “Joy in His Presence” (Psalm 16:11). Not only were they joyful, but they were passionate, loving, powerful and incredibly welcoming. There was a deep sense of community which I felt was extended to me without a moment’s hesitation.

I grew up completely disconnected from Friends outside of my Beanite, unprogrammed yearly meeting. Most of the Quakers I interacted with had theological beliefs and practices very similar to those of myself and my family. I love and appreciate that community which has been so generous and supportive, but my beliefs about what it means to be a Quaker were not often challenged. Programmed Friends were “the other branch”, and I almost never interacted with them. Moving to North Carolina and seeing what it means to be Quaker for others, like the women I met at the USFW annual gathering, has pushed me to think about my faith in ways that are exciting, sometimes difficult, and always fulfilling. I am so grateful for the women of USFW for their gracious welcome and for their support of Friends Center.

Students Go to Belize – Reflections from Laura Adair

Reflections on the work trip from Laura Adair (Class of 2017):

Being from California I have never been able to go home for Guilford’s fall break; and as always Frank Massey invited me to come on the work trip with the Friends Disaster Service group, also known as FDS. This has been a routine trip for me every fall that I have been at Guilford, so of course, I was so excited. However, once I received the list of people who were going I started getting a little nervous because I didn’t really know anyone going on the trip. Since I really didn’t have any other option, I decided to go knowing what a rewarding experience it is to help build a house and to have discussions with people who don’t have the same experiences as me. It started with a very quiet van ride to Evergreen Virginia especially because I was in the van with only four Guilford students. Thankfully, once we arrived at our destination silence was never a problem again. Almost all of the other students knew each other, being either first-year students or international students that had crossed paths before. I, thankfully, was welcomed immediately by many of the older FDS workers who remembered me even though it had been almost two years since I’d been on a work trip.  All of the international students and people I didn’t know from Guilford welcomed me into their circle. As the week went on our relationships grew stronger, our work got better, and our laughter was louder. By the end of the work trip, whole group had grown much closer and really felt like a family. It was so wonderful to be building a house for someone in need while building our own community with all of the people from Friends Disaster Service, United Methodist Disaster Response and the Guilford College students.

A Trip to Peru for FWCC World Plenary

As we think about the future of Friends Center and the Quaker Leadship Scholars Program at Guilford College, one area we want to grow into more is with worldwide Quakers.

Part of this means that we are dreaming of what a Global Quaker Center for Quaker Leadership might look like. The landscape of the Quaker world has shifted considerably towards Friends in other parts of the worlds with vastly different experiences, practices and languages than our own. We want to be training young leaders for the Quaker tradition globally and not just for those primarily in the United States. To this end we are focusing some of our work on traveling and building more diverse connections home and abroad.

With that in mind, I had the great privilege to travel to Pisaq, Peru this January for the FWCC World Plenary with two of our QLSP students: Elena Robles (‘17) and Katie Claggett (’19).

The purpose of the trip was to learn more about global Quakerism, especially Latin American Quakerism, build connections with international Quakers, raise the profile of Guilford College and Friends Center and begin building a list of names of people we can connect with in recruiting international Quaker students.

The trip was positive in all these aspects. The soil has clearly been ploughed. The reputation of QLSP, Friends Center and Guilford College is very strong among Friends globally and there are many hungry and interested in our program. We made many new friendships and plans about how to move forward.

This trip south, and other work of similar nature, will impact the direction of our leadership program, our scholarship, recruitment, and fundraising. We see the need to expand our reach into more international circles so that we can be supporting more Quakers globally. This is only the beginning and your help is needed. The interest is there and now we need the resources to make it happen.

To read more updates on Twitter about the trip follow this link.

A Trip to Belize

Frank Massey, Campus Ministry Coordinator, led a January Term to Belize to learn of the work of Belize Friends School (BFS).  Thirteen Guilford students participated in the program, tutored and engaged with the BFS students several hours each day of the two week program.  The students will present a program to the campus community this spring, and write a history of Belize Friends School.  Another trip is planned for January 2017.