Kneeling from left: Cameron Cummings, Sierra Lewallen and Chris Brown. Seated from left: Wilbert Tyler, Alice Tyler, Mary Locklear and Earl Locklear. Standing from left: Debbie Chavis, Lisa Hunt, Brittaney Tyler, Brent Tyler, Carol Tyler, Chancellor Meadors, Mike and Michael Lewallen, Betty Brown, Darlene Cummings, Teresa Lewallen, Ashley and Laura Bradley.
Mitch Tyler will be remembered for working tirelessly on behalf of children as a career educator and Superintendent of Hoke County Schools.
Tyler's legacy was honored in June when his family established the Mitchell Tyler Endowed Memorial Education Scholarship at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
A Red Springs native and UNCP graduate, he was 46 when he died on March 2, 2002. Mr. Tyler also served as program director in the UNCP School of Education and was an employee of the State Department of Public Instruction.
"He was a fine man," said Chancellor Allen C. Meadors at a recent ceremony announcing the creation of the Memorial Scholarship.
"I am honored that the Tyler family has chosen to establish this endowment," Dr. Meadors said. "We will do everything in our power to make sure this scholarship serves Mitch's memory the way he would have wanted and to make sure his name is always remembered in higher education."
By establishing a scholarship, Tyler's wife, Carol, said she hopes others will be given the opportunity to participate in her husband's vision.
"He did not want anyone to sit back and complain about the things that should have been," she said. "He was a firm believer in 'excellence and equity for all.'"
Dr. Zoe Locklear, dean of the School of Education, said Tyler's job, along with many statewide education committees he served on, never seemed to distract him from his mission.
"No matter what, he was going to advocate and come down on the side of what was right for children," she said. "I cannot tell you how his death has shaken up the world of education. I didn't know anyone who didn't think the world of Mitch Tyler."
In a recent ceremony at UNCP honoring Mr. Tyler, State Superintendent Mike Ward said he was a valuable asset to public education in North Carolina.
"Mitch Tyler was my friend and colleague," said Dr. Ward. "The people who mattered most to Mitch Tyler were the most vulnerable of children."
He leaves a son, Brent Mitchell Tyler a daughter, Brittaney Carol Tyler, his wife, Carol Locklear Tyler, his parents, Wilbert and Alice Tyler and four sisters Betty Brown, Laura Bradley, Darlene Cummings and Teresa Lewallen. Darlene is employed at UNCP in the Office of Student Activities.
He was a 1978 graduate of UNCP and also earned a Master of Education from the university. He was working on his dissertation for his doctorate in education at UNC Chapel Hill.
Recipients of the scholarship will be residents of Robeson or Hoke counties who have been admitted to the UNCP School of Education and must maintain a minimum of university standard Q.P.A.
To contribute to the Mitch Tyler Endowed Memorial Education Scholarship, please contact the Office of Advancement at 910.521.6252. An endowed scholarship is a permanent investment, which generates an annual scholarship from its income.