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HPU Interior Design Faculty and Alumni Redesign Humane Society Lobby



From left to right are Victoria Valentinas, HPU Class of 2012; Erin Stratford Owens, executive director of the Humane Society of the Piedmont; and Dr. Jane Nichols, chair and associate professor of interior design at HPU, along with a few furry friends in the redesigned lobby reception area at the Humane Society.

Dr. Jane Nichols, chair and associate professor of interior design at High Point University, and Victoria Valentinas, HPU Class of 2012, recently volunteered to redesign and refurbish the lobby reception area for the Humane Society of the Piedmont.
The design centers on the idea that new pet owners coming to the facility are providing a ‘forever home’ for their new animals. The concept of the faux brick wall and ‘row-house’ door designs were developed by Nichols and Valentinas, owner of VLV Designs, who executed the custom painting.
“Being asked to collaborate on the Humane Society of the Piedmont project with Dr. Nichols and High Point University was such an honor,” said Valentinas. “It was so rewarding to be able to use the skills I honed at HPU and to help bring joy and beauty to such a great cause, right in the middle of a pandemic. I am so grateful now, not only for the experiences HPU provided me with while I was a student, but also for the opportunities that they have referred to my business as an alumna.”
The space looks like an urban park that welcomes both owners and pets and provides the sense of coming home. A graphic across the wall states, “Maybe we were born to roam, but Baby, there’s no place like home!”
“We wanted to create a welcoming and whimsical place that demonstrates the mission of the Humane Society,” said Nichols. “And we wanted to spread the word about the great pet care the Humane Society provides to the community.”
The mission of the Humane Society of the Piedmont is to provide affordable medical care, education and advocacy for animals. The Humane Society is located at 4527 W. Wendover Ave., Greensboro.

Nichols operates High Point Design Institute (HPDI), a nonprofit interior design division, providing interior design to other nonprofit organizations. HPDI utilizes HPU students and alumni to accomplish interior environment goals. Nonprofits or NFP organizations interested in partnering with High Point University on a pro-bono facility design can contact Dr. Jane Nichols at



About High Point University: At High Point University, every student receives an extraordinary education in an inspiring environment with caring people.® HPU, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a liberal arts institution with 5,600 undergraduate and graduate students. It is ranked No. 1 by U.S. News and World Report for Best Regional Colleges in the South and No. 1 for Most Innovative Regional Colleges in the South. The Princeton Review named HPU in the 2021 edition of “The Best 386 Colleges” and on the Best Southeastern Colleges “2021 Best Colleges: Region by Region” list. HPU was recognized as a Great School for Business Majors and a Great School for Communication Majors. HPU was also recognized for Best College Dorms (No. 1), Most Beautiful Campus (No. 9), Best Career Services (No. 19) and Most Active Student Government (No. 19). For 10 years in a row, HPU has been named a College of Distinction with special recognition for career development, business and education programs, and The National Council on Teacher Quality ranks HPU’s elementary education program as one of the best in the nation. The university has 60 undergraduate majors, 63 undergraduate minors and 14 graduate degree programs. It is a member of the NCAA, Division I and the Big South Conference. For more information, visit


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