Mildred English, a native of Monroe, NC, possessed an early love of adventure and travel, so after graduating from Monroe High School, she headed north to the Richmond Professional Institute of the College of William and Mary which is now Virginia Commonwealth University to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. As a commuter student living with her aunt and uncle, she worked each day in the Dean of Students Office while she was attending school. She says, “Working there shaped my career in student affairs.” She pursued graduate work at Syracuse University where she earned a Master of Arts degree in Student Personnel.
In her first professional position, Mildred worked at the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges in Washington, DC where she met many national, influential leaders. Mildred accepted the position at the AACJC because she said, “I could wear socks to work, not hose!” Of the three employees at AACJC, Mildred held the position of secretary clerk to the manager and the executive bookkeeper. The American Council on Education had an office in the same building, and there she met Miss Bonnie Cone from Charlotte College. Mildred soon left Washington, DC and moved to Virginia to take a position at Averett College (a girls’ boarding school) in Danville, VA. She worked there for two years, and then wrote to Miss Cone inquiring about a position with Charlotte College. Mildred was invited for an interview with Miss Bonnie, and Mildred became the first full-time Charlotte College administrator. Mildred arrived well-equipped to handle the new challenges of a fledgling school as she had served quite successfully as the bursar and manager of the Averett College bookstore.
In 1957 Mildred became the Director of Student Personnel and the Placement Officer at Charlotte College which was then located in the Central High School building. In 1963 Charlotte College became a four-year college. On July 1, 1964 UNC Charlotte became a part of the Consolidated University of North Carolina and adopted its current name. While at UNC Charlotte, Mildred’s work went beyond her official job title as she was also active in managing the bookstore and the business office and serving as advisor of international students, the annual, and the cheerleader squad. In succeeding years Mildred was named the Assistant Director of Career Planning and Placement for UNC Charlotte. She is a Lifetime Member of the North Carolina Association of Colleges and Employers. In 1989 Mildred retired from UNC Charlotte as Director of Placement Services. In 2005 Mildred was honored by the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association as the Alumni by Choice recipient. She is known to be one of the most loyal and staunch ambassadors and supporters of UNC Charlotte!
During her tenure at the university and in her retirement years, Mildred has remained very active in the life of UNC Charlotte and the city of Charlotte. She is truly an avid sports fan of the UNC Charlotte 49ers, the Carolina Panthers, and the Charlotte Bobcats. Because she is a loyal and generous fan, many folks in the Charlotte area have been recipients of complimentary tickets to basketball and football games! Mildred has attended every Charlotte Panthers home game for 20 years! She has been known to care for the 49er teams in many ways from helping with office mailings to baking cookies to attending conference and post-season games. Mildred was one of the first charter members of the UNC Charlotte Athletic Foundation and generously supports athletes through endowed scholarships. Some of Mildred’s most enjoyable past times are fishing, going to the Beef and Bottle restaurant with her friends, and spending time with her nephew David, niece Beth, and many cousins. Mille (pronounced Mill), as known by her close friends, is a kind and generous person, always giving of her time, resources, and talents to improve the life of others.
Mildred is quite the consummate community leader and volunteer. Her talent of helping others is shown in numerous ways. One of the respected organizations Mildred supports and endorses is the Altrusa International Club of Charlotte. Mildred joined the Altrusa International Club of Charlotte in July 1958 to support the organization’s goal of creating better communities. In addition to her work with the Charlotte club to provide support for a local elementary school, Mildred personally purchases books and clothing for the students who have need. Mildred has served as an Altrusa leader holding many club offices from president to committee chair positions. She frequently invites Altrusa members to attend UNC-Charlotte basketball and football games and has been successful in recruiting Altrusa members to join the 49ers club and become season ticket holders.
With an endorsement from Mildred and many others, in 1950 the Altrusa Club of Charlotte established the first scholarship at UNC Charlotte ($25). The club later renamed the Altrusa Scholarship the Mildred English Altrusa Scholarship in her honor. This scholarship is now administered through the Office of Adult Students and Evening Services, and many students continue to enjoy the benefits of the Altrusa Club of Charlotte’s generosity.