UNCG is celebrating the opening of its new $105 million Nursing and Instructional Building, as it should.

Or perhaps celebrating as much as it can in this time of limited gatherings and social distancing – there is no ribbon cutting event planned.  It’s taken three years to construct the five-story, 180,000-square-foot building that is commonly referred to as “The NIB.”

Back in 2016, when the Connect North Carolina Bonds that paid the tab for the NIB passed, some people suggested a different name, the Trudy Wade Building.

Former state Sen. Trudy Wade, who served until 2018, was given credit for having the UNCG nursing school building included in the bond package.

Neither the version of the bond package endorsed by Gov. Pat McCrory nor the one that passed the state House included the $105 million for UNCG.  The problem was mainly one of geography: NC A&T State University was already in the bond for a $90 million engineering building, and some in state government objected to Guilford County getting $200 million of the $2 billion statewide bond. There are 100 counties in the state and they all wanted more than their fair share, which meant Wade had a lot of convincing to do to get UNCG included in the Senate version of the bond and then in the final bond package.

When asked about it in 2016, Wade said, “It was a team effort.  We work together in the Senate.”

This week former state Sen. Jerry Tillman agreed with Wade, he said, “Trudy had a hand in it.  But it takes three or four to pull off that big a deal.  She certainly did her part, yes, she did.”

Tillman added, “She worked on the big budget chairs.  You’ve got to get their attention first.  But Trudy was savvy enough to know the people who could deliver for her and she twisted arms as only Trudy could do.”

Back in 2016, President Pro Tem of the state Senate, Sen. Phil Berger (R-Rockingham) said, “Sen. Wade has been a strong and consistent advocate for UNC-Greensboro, and she played an integral role in ensuring the new nursing and STEM building was included in both the Senate proposal and the final Connect NC Bond.  Her work will help the university educate more students and better prepare them for well-paying 21st century jobs.”

Wade lost her bid for reelection to the state Senate in 2018 to state Sen. Michael Garrett (D-Guilford), who was reelected in 2020 and is a UNCG graduate.