Fripp gifts make big impact

With two degrees in history – a bachelor’s from Woman’s College and a master’s from UNC Greensboro – Gayle Hicks Fripp ’63, ’69 MA became one of the most impactful historians in Guilford County. 

Now, her impact in the field is assured for perpetuity.  

Mrs. Gayle Hicks Fripp and Mr. Terry L. Fripp have pledged testamentary gifts of $454,787 to the following UNCG funds:

Gayle Hicks Fripp Public History Program Fund This will support high-impact experiences for students in the UNCG Public History Program, recognized as one of the strongest in the Southeast United States.

Grace Boyd Hicks Endowed Scholarship This will honor Gayle Fripp’s mother, Grace Boyd Hicks, who valued education and graduated from this campus (then known as North Carolina College for Women) in 1920. The scholarship will be awarded to undergraduate students with financial need, majoring in accounting in the UNCG Bryan School of Business and Economics. 

Gayle Hicks Fripp Museum Studies Internship This gift recognizes Gayle Fripp’s contribution to museum work, research, and historic preservation, and it provides internship opportunities for graduate students pursuing a master’s degree in history with a museum studies concentration. Since the internship’s establishment, eleven students have received support to intern at the Greensboro History Museum.

“UNCG was a tradition in my family,” Gayle Fripp said. “My mother and two sisters attended, and I was happy to follow in their footsteps.” She notes that her mother’s three sisters attended as well. Additionally, Gayle and Terry’s daughter, Allison Fripp Harris, earned two degrees.

As a Woman’s College (UNCG) undergraduate, she was inspired by courses with luminaries such as Randall Jarrell in English. She was thrilled that even first-year students would be taught by the most celebrated faculty members such as Jarrell, the former national poet laureate. Dr. Richard Bardolph in history wowed the students. “History was not about dates, it was about people,” she said. Dr. Jordan Kurland made Russian history fascinating, and two female professors, Vera Largent and Josephine Hege, were great mentors for their history students, she noted.

She added, “I realized all through my working career how much I owed to the faculty because of the knowledge and skills they had given – everything I needed to be a success.”

The Henderson, N.C., native, joined the Greensboro Historical Museum as curator of education in 1977 and retired from the museum 25 years later as assistant director. She was appointed the Guilford County Historian in 1993. She has published several books, including “Greensboro: A Chosen Center, An Illustrated History” and “Greensboro Volume II: Neighborhoods.”

Gayle married Terry Fripp, a 1958 graduate of The Citadel and an Air Force veteran, in 1963, and they settled in Greensboro where he was employed with Burlington Industries. Terry, who retired as Director of Engineering and Real Estate in 2000, has always supported Gayle’s interest in UNCG and has endowed a scholarship at The Citadel. They have two adult children, daughter Allison and son Graham.

“Gayle and Terry Fripp’s support for students in public history and museum studies, as well as for students studying accounting, will make an impact for many decades to come,” said Beth Fischer, Vice Chancellor for Advancement. “Their spirit of giving is truly lighting the way.”

Gayle Fripp has served UNCG in several key capacities. She served on the UNCG Centennial Planning Committee, as a trustee of the UNCG Alumni Association, on the Executive Committee of the Excellence Foundation, on the College of Arts and Sciences Advancement Council, and with other University organizations.

These gifts are part of UNCG’s Light the Way: The Campaign for Earned Achievement. This comprehensive fundraising campaign seeks to raise $200 million to increase access, elevate academic excellence, and enhance the tremendous impact of UNCG’s programs. Visit for additional information.

Photography by Amy Newland at Alumni House, 2022.