We are proud to announce the 2008 Alumni Award Recipients. The Alumni Awards Banquet was held Friday, February 8, 2008 at 6:30 p.m. in the James B. Chavis University Center.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Dallas “Mac” Campbell
Mr. Dallas “Mac” Campbell is CEO of Campbell Oil & Gas and Minuteman Food Stores. He has served as a member of the UNCP Board of Trustees, is a former president of the Braves Club, and is a member of the UNCP Foundation Board of Directors and the UNCP Football Advisory Board. He also serves as Past President of the N.C. State Wolfpack Club, and is on the executive committee. Campbell is Vice Chairman of the N.C. Board of Transportation, and was recently re-appointed to a four-year term. In addition, he serves on the Board of Directors of Southeastern Oil Jobbers Co-op, is a member of the Elizabethtown Airport Industrial Board, an Elder in the Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church, and President and Founder of the Bladen We Care Foundation, a non-profit healthcare organization for underprivileged people in Bladen County.
In 2006, the Wellness Center in UNCP’s Jones PE Center was named after Mac and his wife Sylvia for their support to the First & Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence. Campbell also endowed the Mac and Sylvia Campbell Athletic Scholarship in Men’s Basketball, and in 2001, he was named Volunteer of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics for his work with UNCP Athletics.
Distinguished Service Award
Richard “Dick” Taylor
Mr. Richard “Dick” Taylor is a 1950 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill with a degree in Commerce. He is the owner of Taylor Insurance Agency Inc. in Lumberton, and has been operating the business for 56 years.
e is a member of the UNCP Board of Trustees and a member of the Executive Committee of the University of North Carolina Educational Foundation Board of Directors. He also holds membership in the UNCP Braves Club, the UNCP Chancellor’s Club Advisory Board, and the UNC General Administration Board of Directors, where he serves as a representative to the athletic department.
Mr. Taylor is a donor to UNCP, having supported the First & Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence and naming Taylor Track at the UNCP Braves football stadium.
He has also been a local, state and national champion in the Senior Games, a member and past president of the Lumberton Rotary Club, Chairman of the Lumberton Economic Advancement for Downtown Lumberton Association, President of the Downtown Lumberton Association, a member of the Lumberton Crimestoppers, and a four-time president of the Lumberton Board of Realtors.
Mr. Taylor has also been Vestryman and Senior Warden at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lumberton and President of the University of North Carolina Spiked Shoe Track Club. As a member of the UNC-Chapel Hill Track Team, he was an All-American in 1949 and a member of the UNC Hall of Fame.
Athletic Hall of Fame
Coach Mike Olson came to UNC Pembroke in 1971 and began the foundation for the Brave’s long-storied success in the sport of wrestling. He not only coached champions on the mat, but, prepared young men to leave Pembroke and go out and be successful.
Olson led the Pembroke State University grapplers for 10 seasons (1971-1982), registered a 143-32 career record with the Braves while mentoring 16 All-Americans, as well as 29 all-conference and 69 all-district honorees. The Braves won nine district championships under his watch, as well as five consecutive (1977-81) Carolinas Conference titles.
Olson, the school’s all-time winningest coach in terms of winning percentage (.817), recorded 14 or more dual meet victories in seven of his 10 seasons in Pembroke, including an 18-2 mark during the 1972-73 campaign after turning in a 17-3 clip the previous season. He is the only coach in the history of the UNCP wrestling program to record a perfect season as well, leading the Black and Gold to an unblemished 12-0 record during the 1979-80 season.
Olson, who was inducted into the Upper Iowa University Hall of Fame last year, retired in 2005 after a 41-year career with a 428-95-1 dual meet record. During his tenure, he produced 61 All-Americans and eight national championships at six collegiate institutions. Following his stint in Pembroke, he moved on to Monmouth College where he served on the coaching staffs of seven sports. He coached his last stint at Monmouth from 1990 until the completion of the 2005 football season. His 1997 team posted the only Midwest Conference wrestling title in school history.
Athletic Hall of Fame
Ginnell Curtis Birch ‘02
Ms. Ginnell Curtis Birch graduated from UNCP with her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and resides in Ladson, S.C., with her husband, Cyrus ’02.
A two-time All-American for the Lady Braves Basketball Team from 1998-02, she played in 106 games during her career at UNCP, averaging 19.5 points, 5.4 assists, 5.0 rebounds and 3.3 steals per outing in leading UNCP to a cumulative 59-48 record. Having made 99 starts during her career, Curtis shot 42.6 percent (732-for-1,718) from the field, including a 137-for-456 (.300) mark from outside the arc, while also canning 466-of-665 (.701) free throw attempts.
A four-time all-Peach Belt Conference selection, including a first team selection as a senior in 2001-02, Birch earned first team all-region and honorable mention All-America nods her last two seasons in Pembroke. She was named the PBC Freshman of the Year in 1999, earned four career league player of the week laurels and was also decorated with all-PBC Tournament accolades during her final campaign.
She ranks second on the school’s all-time scoring list and is one of just two UNCP players to record 2,000 or more points during her respective career. She owns school career records in free throws made and assists, and shares the UNCP single season record for assists (158 in 1998-99).