We are proud to announce the 2011 Alumni Award Recipients. The Alumni Awards Banquet was held Friday, February 4, 2011 in the University Center Annex.
Outstanding Alumnus Award
Dr. Johnny Hunt, a native of Robeson County, graduated from UNCP in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science/Certification in Social Studies. Dr. Hunt began his professional career as classroom teacher at Southside Ashpole and Union Elementary. In 1982, he returned to his alma mater to acquire a mathematics and physical education certification.
Completing his Master of Education Administration in 1985 at UNC-Pembroke provided opportunities for
Dr. Hunt to serve as an administrator within the Robeson County school system. He served as Assistant Principal at Littlefield Jr. Sr. High School, Principal at Rex-Rennert, Union Elementary, and Prospect School. He was employed as the Executive Director and Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources for Robeson County from 1998-2003. In 2006, Dr. Hunt was named the Superintendent for the Public Schools of Robeson County. He has received numerous awards and recognitions to include, but not limited,to Principal of the Year, Administrator of the Year, Distinguished Service in Indian Education, and Outstanding Service Educator Award.
Distinguished Service Award
Evan Davenport is a 1982 graduate of South Robeson High School. He was valedictorian of his graduating class and the first Lumbee to be nominated for the Morehead Scholarship from Robeson County. In 1986, Evan earned three Bachelor of Science degrees in Chemistry, Biology, and Biochemistry at UNCP.
Evan has been instrumental in coordinating mass donations to charitable organizations and causes such as the Service Men of Fort Bragg, Boys and Girls Club of Pembroke, and the Public Schools of Robeson, Scotland, Dillon, and Hoke County. He also participates in the coordination of the Robeson County Superior Court Christmas festivities. Evan gives back to the school system by volunteering and providing motivational speeches to local youth and educators. He is employed at Unilever as the Safety Health Environment and Quality Manager. Evan and his wife, Tammy, reside in Fairmont. They are the proud parents of three children: Madison Davenport, Matthew Davenport, and Nicholas Leggett.
Young Alumnus of the Year
Matthew Staley was born and raised in Whiteville, N.C. After serving six years in the United States Navy, Matt returned to North Carolina. In 2002, Matthew obtained his Bachelors of Arts in History from UNCP. After graduation, Matt began his career with the Social Security Administration in Lumberton, NC. He has worked in several offices, including Tennessee, Georgia, and South Carolina. Matt is currently the District Manager for the Social Security field office in Conway, SC.
In his spare time, Matt enjoys volunteering by helping clean litter from the Waccamaw River as well as mentoring and tutoring children. Matthew is a member of the St. Alban Masonic Lodge and the Sudan Shriners of America. He holds lifetime memberships in the following organizations: Phi Alpha Theta, Alpha Chi, and Alpha Sigma Lambda.
Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Timo Reinikainen is a former UNC Pembroke all-American men’s soccer player. He captained the 1993 team after an outstanding season the previous year under the direction of then head coach Mike Schaeffer. Starting in the midfield for the Braves, Reinikainen scored nine goals, tallied 11 assists and completed his two years of action with a 20-13-0 record on the field. Despite a knee injury in his senior year, Timo continued his dedication to the men’s soccer team though continuous support as an assistant coach along with his permanent effort in practice and on the field. Following the 1992 season, Reinikainen was the first men’s soccer player to capture NCAA All-American status in the program’s history.
He played two seasons with the Braves and collected back-to-back NSCAA All-Region laurels in 1992 and 1993 as well as All-Peach Belt honors during the same seasons. He also earned PBC Player of the Week honors in the 1992 season and was also named to the PBC All-Tournament team during the same year. Currently, he and his wife reside in Vantaa, Finland where he is an operations manager at Helsinki-Service Oy. In his day-to-day activities, he is responsible for international and domestic postal shipments along with developing customer relationships using his knowledge of English and Finnish.
Athletic Hall of Fame Inductee
Jay Stainback is a four-time all-American wrestler. He received NCAA All-American status in the 1983-84, 1984-85, and 1985-86 seasons for the Braves in the 190-pound class. In the 1986-87 season, he moved to the heavyweight class and earned his fourth NCAA All-American status.
Jay received Academic All-American accolades during his junior and senior years for his outstanding performance in the classroom and on the mat. Throughout his collegiate career competing for the Braves, he accumulated NAIA All-District awards each year and was a regional champion in 1985. Under Coach P.J. Smith, he was a member of the 1985-87 teams that earned consecutive NAIA District Championships.
Jay is a member of the Braves 100 Wins Club after accumulating 117 wins in his four years including 34 victories during the 1984 season. Currently, he and his wife, Juliet, along with their two children Michael Angelo (age 6) and Kyle (age 3) reside in Raleigh, N.C. where Jay is a teacher concentrating his efforts with special needs children at Millbrook High School.