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May 15, 2013/For Immediate Release

Media Contact: Lauren Whitaker, 336-734-2891, whitakerl@uncsa.edu



(Winston-Salem) The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has named Nancy and Paul Gwyn of Winston-Salem as the recipients of the 2013 Giannini Society Award, one of the school’s most prestigious honors.

The Gwyns were recognized at the School of the Arts University commencement at the Stevens Center on May 4. They were cited for years of steadfast service to UNCSA and passionate support of its student productions.

In 1999, the Gwyns established an endowed scholarship in the School of Music. They have been members of the UNCSA Associates, and Nancy served as president of the volunteer group. For many years they have been Giannini Society-level donors. The Gwyns are past co-chairs of the Giannini Advisory Committee. They recently were appointed to the UNCSA Board of Visitors.


The Giannini Society was established in 1989 and was named in honor of Vittorio Giannini, a founder and the first president of the School of the Arts. It is a group of dedicated ambassadors who seek to provide support for the training of UNCSA student-artists.


Previous recipients include founders, board members, alumni, volunteers and former chancellors.

Paul and Nancy Gwyn

About the Gwyns

In 1962, Nancy Hooper, from Elizabeth City, N.C., met Paul Gwyn, from Elkin, N.C., at Duke University Hospital. Nancy was a nursing student and Paul, a surgical resident. Paul had already received an A.B. degree in Chemistry (Magna Cum Laude) from Princeton University and an M.D. degree from The College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University. Nancy received her B.S.N. degree from Duke University in the spring of 1963. They married in the fall of 1963 while Paul was serving in the U.S. Air Force Medical Corps. Following his service time he resumed his surgical training first at N.C. Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem and then at Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia.

In 1970, the Gwyns returned to Winston-Salem, where Paul started his practice as the first “in town” plastic surgeon. During his 37-plus years of practice, he was a member of numerous local, regional and national medical and surgical associations. He is a founding member and a past president of The North Carolina Plastic Surgery Society.

Once their three children were established in school, Nancy returned to school and received her Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from Salem College in 1988. Many of her classes were at the then-North Carolina School of the Arts. She worked for approximately 20 years as a church organist.

The Gwyns are long-time supporters of the arts in Winston-Salem, and specifically, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.  

Additionally, Paul and Nancy have each served as board members of Piedmont Opera. Nancy serves as a board member of the Friends of Music of Salem College, and Paul has served on the board of the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art. Paul is a member of the Music and Arts Ministry at Centenary United Methodist Church, where they both volunteer for the DAYBreak Respite Care. Nancy also volunteers in the NICU at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

In their spare time, they enjoy their six grandchildren, traveling, and their beach house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina.


As America’s first state-supported arts school, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is a unique stand-alone public university of arts conservatories. With a high school component, UNCSA is a degree-granting institution that trains young people of talent in music, dance, drama, filmmaking, and design and production. Established by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, the School of the Arts opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.