Home Lifestyle Alumni to headline UNCP Distinguished Speaker Series

Alumni to headline UNCP Distinguished Speaker Series

N.C. Supreme Court Justice Trey Allen.

The upcoming guests for the 2022-2023 Distinguished Speaker Series at UNC Pembroke features a trio of former student leaders turned successful alumni.

The series continues on Feb. 7 with North Carolina Supreme Court Judge Trey Allen, Calstain Ganda, Real African Art museum founder, and Veronica Hatton, an educator with the state’s public schools.

The “UNCP Alumni: SGA Icons” event will be held in assembly room 225 at the James A. Thomas, beginning at 6:30 p.m. It is free for UNCP students with a student ID. Students are encouraged to RSVP on Handshake, as seating is limited. This is a student-only event.

Allen was installed in January as an associate justice of the state Supreme Court. After graduating from UNCP, he earned a law degree from UNC-Chapel Hill. He began his legal career as a judge advocate in the Marines.

After being honorably discharged, Allen completed a clerkship with Justice Paul Newby and later became a partner at Tharrington Smith LLP in Raleigh.


In 2013, he joined the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he was named Coates Distinguished Term Associate Professor of Public Law and Government. He was appointed general counsel for N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts in 2021.

Calstain Ganda

Ganda, originally from Zimbabwe, came to the United States in the 1990s to study business at UNCP. After earning his degree, he opened the Real African Art gallery in Charlotte. The gallery features artwork from more than 70 artists representing Zimbabwe and other African countries. The central mission of the gallery is to improve the lives of the artists represented.

Ganda played on the men’s soccer team and served as a resident advisor and president of the International Student Organization. He was also crowned homecoming king.

Veronica Hatton

Like Allen and Ganda, Hatton was active in SGA while a student at UNCP, serving as president. She was also a cross country and track team member and competed in the Miss UNCP pageant. Today, Hatton is employed as an educator with North Carolina public schools. She is a staunch child advocate, having lobbied at the U.S. House to support child safety in custody and divorce cases. She is working on getting Jesse’s Law passed in North Carolina to protect children from abuse and adverse childhood experiences.

The series is presented by Campus Engagement and Leadership and co-sponsored by the Thomas School of Business, the Career Center, and the Office of Alumni Affairs.

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