In Memoriam: Greg Klaiber

September 18, 2017
Photograph of Greg Klaiber

Greg Klaiber, manager of the Digital Media Lab at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Undergraduate Library, passed away Sunday following several months of serious illness.

A memorial and visitation for Greg will be held Friday, September 22, from 6 to 8 p.m., at the Hudson Funeral Home, 211 S. Miami Bd., Durham.

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UNC Library mourns our friend and colleague Greg Klaiber, who passed away over the weekend following several months of serious illness.

Greg was the Digital Media Lab manager in the Media Resources Center (MRC) of the Undergraduate Library, a position he had held since 2001.

For users of the MRC, Greg was an enthusiastic, knowledgeable teacher and source of expert advice. He was the go-to person for students and faculty working on multimedia projects–from producing full-length documentaries, to editing field research, to putting the finishing touches on a visual thesis or a digital class project.

In 2010, he received the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, conferred for “meritorious or distinguished accomplishments.” Greg was recognized for developing new and creative ways to meet the needs of Media Lab users. The previous year, he had received the Library’s Outstanding Employee Award, recognizing his dedication and expertise in managing the Media Lab.

“Every day is unique,” Greg said upon receiving the Chancellor’s Award. “I work with some fantastic people here. That fact makes a huge difference. I serve these people as well as the campus community. It’s a satisfying, rewarding place to spend my time.”

Photogrraph of Greg Klaiber with guitar

UNC Library’s Greg Klaiber was an accomplished musician and sound engineer who played with the Durham-based band American Empire.

Greg brought to his colleagues the same caring and concern that he showed to students and faculty. Colleagues remember him as someone who would go out of his way to assist anyone—a colleague, a friend, or someone he had just met.

“Greg was wickedly funny, incredibly smart, and graceful under pressure,” wrote the director of the Undergraduate Library and the director of the Media Resources Center in a joint note to Greg’s colleagues. “Simply, Greg was the very best of who we all try to be.”

Outside of work, Greg was an accomplished musician and sound engineer. He was guitarist for the Durham-based progressive power band American Empire and he operated Caveman Studios, providing audio services for numerous bands in the Triangle and beyond.

Posts to Greg’s Facebook page reveal the many lives he touched through his music, kindness, and generosity.

Greg leaves his wife of one year, Solveig Evjen, and his mother, Pat,  sister Jennifer, and brother Jonathan.

Information regarding a service or memorial is forthcoming.

Rest in peace, Greg. You will be missed, immensely.

We invite you to share a remembrance of Greg in the comments below.

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22 comments on “In Memoriam: Greg Klaiber
  1. Dylan Thurston says:

    Thanks so much for this. Greg was the absolute best.

  2. Erin Lodeesen says:

    I am so struck and saddened to hear this news. While teaching at UNC I frequently had Greg Klaiber talk to my students about film editing and other MRC-related awesomeness that he was so very skilled in. He always made time for me, and I just really liked being around him. I didn’t know him well, but I’ve probably mentioned him to every one of my fellow TAs, as I just thought he was one of the coolest guys I’ve ever met. This is a huge loss for the MRC, UNC, and anybody who knew him…I know that you are all feeling this severe heartbreak that I feel today.

  3. Sara says:

    Another friend who misses Greg here. I think we met in the Pit when I was supposed to be in class. He was one of a kind and will be dearly missed.

  4. Steve Sommerville says:

    Great write up! Indeed, Greg was a wonderful human being– smart, funny, genuine, and a great friend. Had the honor of recording with him and playing shows with the man. He will be sorely missed in the local heavy metal community. R.I.P, Greg.

  5. James Cobb says:

    Greg was a great guy. I enjoyed the moments before he taught my 105 where we could bitch about the trivial things in life, or talk about metal: I always hoped I’d be able to hear his band one day. I’d tried to impress him with talk about videos I’d record for my class. Every time I went into the MRC I would hope he was there to chat. He was a wonder of a man and will be missed.

  6. Nate says:

    I met Greg in 2013 at the outset of my time as a UNC undergraduate from out of state. Greg turned the small and dingy library basement recording lab of the MRC into a special space for so many students, patiently and eagerly helping us kids out with various projects that we ourselves were often very un-eager to tackle. Numerous musician-friends at UNC point back to Greg as a source of inspiration, support, and encouragement. In my own case, that included Greg going far beyond his job description, offering up his studio, gear, and expertise to graciously help me record drum tracks every now and again on his own time at Caveman. Before I had the faintest clue about life at UNC or the local music world, Greg was a friend and a resource I could always count on. Not a lot of adults would do that for kids our age. I’m honored to have called him a friend, and I know I’ll see him at an absurdly loud concert in the next life.

  7. Andy Spain says:

    I met Greg in an experimental film class while we were both students at UNC. His work was so challenging and irreverent he even made Rich Cante avert his eyes and cry laughing. Nicely done, Grog. Spending any time with Greg you learned it was possible to be yourself – weird, funny, unapologetic, singular – and still be accessible and make lots of friends. He was truly a special guy. I found out about his passing while at The Pinhook Sunday night during a show where I hoped he might pop in. I’m glad to know he was as well-liked at his job as he was in his personal life.

  8. Becky says:

    It saddens me to learn of Greg’s passing. I have know him since he was a small child,his mother is a good friend of mine. He was always funny and an outgoing person. He grew up to be a kind and caring man. Greg was a wonderful person and he will be missed, by so many.

  9. Riley says:

    Terribly sad to hear. Greg was always extremely helpful and nice to interact with at the MRC. Always someone you could count on and look forward to seeing.

  10. Forest Schweitzer says:

    Thank you for bringing light to a truly inspiring individual. I had the fortune of working with Greg for about a year and a half, and I must say that he of all people sticks out to me as one of the most unique and powerful I have met at UNC. His presence will be missed within the MRC and across the Carolina community.

  11. Greg filled in as drummer for the band Wedlock, and was one really great guy that will be deeply missed.

  12. Andy Liguori says:

    Another FOG (friend of Greg) chiming in here. Greg was a really genuine, fun guy to be around, and he challenged you to put your everything into whatever was in front of you just like he did with his music and his job. I met him through a mutual friend, getting together to watch “Pink Flamingos” by John Waters. After the movie ended, he turned to me and says, “I want to live this movie for the rest of my life.” I thought it was one of the funniest things I had ever heard.

    I hadn’t seen him in a few years but when I found out he was sick, I reached out to him on Facebook and he was able to joke around about his dire circumstances and put ME at ease while I was chatting with HIM. Just a great guy, one of the best human beings I’ve ever met.

  13. Matt B says:

    Greg was so talented and genuinely cared about helping students and instructors make cool things. I worked with him several times as an English 105 instructor, and Greg used his considerable expertise, creativity, and humor to give my class confidence they could produce their own short films. I loved running into him around campus. Even though I didn’t know him that well, he’d always say hi when I saw him around. And he usually had me laughing whenever we talked. He was a hilarious, generous guy. I miss him.

  14. Kathy Williams says:

    I am devastated to hear this. Greg was one of the kindest and most patient people I have ever known. He instilled confidence in you. There was never any question too dumb to ask. I will miss him.

  15. Rebecca Shores says:

    Greg was so generous with his time– for me and my students– during our podcasting unit last year. What a loss for all of us; he was gracious, kind, and eminently helpful.

  16. Melissa Dollman says:

    I only met him once (in person), but his kind demeanor left an impression on me as he walked me through the lab’s audio recording equipment.

  17. Harry Halpin says:

    I met Greg when he was my roommate at Hinton James, and we shared a 9th floor dormitory with no air conditioning. After surviving that hellhole together, we continued to live together for a few years – where he was the one of the staunchest friends I ever had, and one of the most humorous and kind. He honestly didn’t care what anyone thought of him, and was a true punk.

    And the wonderful thing about Greg is despite the fact that he didn’t care what anyone thought of him, he was the most kind, generous, and humane person I ever met.

  18. Sunday Opaleye says:

    While I knew nothing about Greg before reading this memoriam, I have seen him at rec. center and UL at various times. I believe I have said “hi” or asked him for help a few times during his shift in UL. In spite of this I still felt saddened about this news because he always had a sort of calm and welcoming facial expression — similar to the one in the top picture — that makes approaching him easy. (Not many people of his physique could manage that.)
    I know no grandeur of words can fully describe how much Greg will be greatly missed by his real friends and family. But, I still hope they can take some measure of comfort when they read what Greg’s friends and even people like me, who knew him in passing, had written here about him.

  19. Stephanie Brown says:

    I worked with Greg periodically on library things — he helped me several times figure out how to circulate strange (i.e., non-book) items. He was always kind and patient, even though I asked him the same question multiple times. Rest in Peace, Greg, and thank you for your kindness.

  20. Steven Kolins says:

    Genuine and generous, if more than occasionally whity with cutting remarks on the insanities of life. I agree with the comments above. It was always good to work with him and I was in the unusual position of helping to solve problems he was having minding the installation of computers he managed. He was always appreciative – so he was good in giving and receiving. I hope his example inspires others to serve well.

    Being good is no easy task. Being consistently good goes way beyond words and images and ideas. I think Greg rose to this standard. When I think of him now I think how he lived and I am warmed again to the work.

  21. Nicole B says:

    When I bragged to people about the library services at UNC, I was thinking of Greg. He was incredibly thoughtful and helpful, and my students gained quite a deal from his instruction. More than that, though, he was hilarious and fun and friendly. The first time I met him, I felt like we’d already known each other for a long time. My classes didn’t just learn from him; they loved him. I didn’t know him outside of work, so the news of his passing was a surprise, and I’m shocked and gutted. I’m hoping he’s somewhere rocking out. We’ll miss him.

  22. Grace says:

    Greg did almost all the heavy lifting and 100% of the hand-holding for a summer film class Jan Yopp coordinated for A&S faculty for which we students filmed and edited a short movie. He also spent hours helping me transfer a DVD to an mp4 for classroom use. He always made me laugh. My sincere condolences to his co-workers at MRC, his wife, mom and siblings.