The renovated and expanded Herbert G. Oxendine Science Building at UNC Pembroke was dedicated Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2004.
Oxendine Science Building ribbon cut - From left: Mildred Jacobs, Herbert G. (Grant) Oxendine, Linda Oxendine, Chancellor Meadors, Miriam Oxendine, Richard Oxendine.
On a beautiful, fall-like day, nearly 200 looked on as family members of the late Dr. Oxendine helped Chancellor Allen C. Meadors cut the ribbon.
"Dr. Herbert G. Oxendine was a great man who was loved by many," Chancellor Meadors said. "His legacy lives on here at the University."
Constructed in 1967, the Science Building was named for Dr. Oxendine in 1973. The former dean of faculty and head of the Education Department worked at many jobs at the University from 1953 to 1966, when he died at age 53.
Dr. Linda Oxendine, daughter of Herbert Oxendine and chair of American Indian Studies, said UNCP is part of her family.
"My father really loved this place, every part of it," said Dr. Oxendine, who enrolled at UNCP in 1963. "This school became part of our lives and our family."
Herbert G. Oxendine
"He really saw the potential of this institution, and if he were here today, he would not be surprised," she said.
Dr. Herbert Oxendine was the first Lumbee Indian to get a doctorate, and he encouraged others to continue their education. One of the people he encouraged was a young Joseph B. Oxendine, who would become chancellor of UNCP.
"He talked me into getting my doctorate," Dr. Oxendine said. "Herbert Oxendine established the academic character of this institution."
With a price tag topping $17 million, the Herbert G. Oxendine Science Building is the largest construction project in the history of UNCP. The project, which was completed in about 15 months, was finished in time for the start of the 2004 fall semester.
"This was more than building a building; it was a production," said Neil Hawk, vice chancellor for Business Affairs. "We combined two projects into one, which saved a year in construction time."
Dr. Linda Oxendine, daughter of Herbert G. Oxendine and chair of UNCP American Indian Studies, make remarks on behalf of the family.
The project had two architects, Hayes Howell of Southern Pines, N.C. and BJAC Architects of Raleigh, N.C. SUITT Construction of Raleigh was employed as the project manager. University Architect Steve Martin coordinated the project for UNCP.
Classrooms, labs and offices for three academic departments - Mathematics and Computer Science, Biology and Chemistry and Physics - were housed for a year in modular units on the north side of campus and returned just before the start of classes on August 23.
The building got good reviews from returning faculty.
"Nice!" said Dr. Tim Ritter of the Chemistry and Physics. "This is great for the students."
"I am happy to come to my office this semester," said Dr. Tom Dooling, Chemistry and Physics Department. "The offices are nice and the air conditioning works."
As Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Dr. Roger Brown said, "it is not the bricks and mortar, it is the blood, sweat and tears that make a university."
Funds for the renovations and additions to the Oxendine Science Building were provided by North Carolina Higher Education Revenue Bonds that were approved by the voters in 2000. UNCP will receive almost $57 million in funds for construction from bonds.