Alvarez psychology scholarship will boost UNCG undergrads

Milly Alvarez ’63 believes that psychology can help students change the world. “With the explosive advance of technology creating revolutionary changes in our society, the need for people with an understanding of the human brain and behavior is crucial,” she says.

She and her husband, Walter, have included UNC Greensboro as a beneficiary of their estate plans. Their gift will create the Mildred Millner Alvarez Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship in Psychology.

Alvarez was inspired by her time at Woman’s College (now known as UNCG), where she experienced a nurturing environment that helped students reach their full potential. “I want students dedicated to this pursuit to have the same opportunity that I had 60 years ago.”

She went on to direct a program for adults with major mental illness that helped participants integrate back into their communities after long-term hospitalization.

Other surprises awaited her, too. “Life is full of many improbable events, some taking our lives in directions we could never imagine,” she says.

Some were adventures with her husband, Walter Alvarez. A geologist, he would find evidence leading to the groundbreaking theory that an asteroid sparked the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Milly herself wrote about their experiences on five continents: in the Guajira peninsula in Colombia, in Tripoli, Libya, in a medieval village north of Rome, and elsewhere.

Dean John Z. Kiss of UNCG’s College of Arts and Sciences notes that Milly’s and Walter’s gift creates powerful opportunities for today’s students. “Careers in psychology and related fields can have a visible effect on the health and wellness of communities,” he says. “This is one of the many ways that UNCG graduates make an impact on the world. We are grateful for Ms. Alvarez’s generous support and her investment in our fine students.”

Today, Milly Alvarez is still doing what she reported at the time of her 50th class reunion. “I am savoring every day, enjoying family, friendships, travel, volunteering, and being grateful.”

The Alvarezes’ gifts, including an additional one to the scholarship’s spending fund, are part of the Light the Way campaign, which seeks to raise $200 million to increase access, elevate academic excellence, and enhance the tremendous impact of UNCG’s programs.

To learn more about UNCG’s Light the Way: The Campaign for Earned Achievement or how to create a lasting legacy at UNCG through planned giving, contact David Landers, director of Planned Giving, or visit

Courtesy photo: Milly Alvarez, Libya, 1970