Here are the top stories at UNC Pembroke for 2000, as ranked by the Office University Relations.
1. $3.1 billion bond referendum passes.
UNCP's share of $56.6 million will be spent on a new science building, new residence hall and renovating and upgrading numerous other buildings as well as infrastructure. Voters approved the bonds overwhelmingly across the region and state.
2. Enrollment booms; leads UNC system.
With a record 579 freshmen arriving on campus in the fall, UNCP enrollment hit an all-time high of 3,445. The implications are enormous as on-campus residency set a new record and parking became scarce. University officials were quick to point out that the new freshmen are as smart or smarter than previous incoming classes. UNCP led UNC for enrollment gains.
3. Lorna McNeill wins Miss North Carolina title.
Ms. McNeill, 24, is the second UNCP student in history to win this honor (remember Francie Adler in 1984?) She is the first Native American and native Robesonian to win. Although she was required to take a year off from school, Ms. McNeill will return next fall.
4. New Residence hall opens for fall semester.
Housing 300 students, Pine Hall is UNCP's first co-ed residence hall and first new dorm since 1972. It came just in time for the enrollment boom.
5. Distinguished Speaker Series launches.
With TV journalist Deborah Norville and political consultant James Carville, UNCP's new Distinguished Speaker Series opened with a bang. The aim is to bring high quality speakers for the campus community and wider audiences. Next up are Julian Bond and Oliver North.
6. Women's soccer to premier in 2001.
Women's soccer was added as UNCP's 12th and newest sport. Swede Lars Andersson, a winner in Division III at Cumberland College, has been hired to build the new program. The decision was motivated by the explosion in women's soccer and an expansion-minded administration.
7. U.S. News ranks UNCP most affordable.
UNCP broke into the national spotlight in the college ranking game when U.S. News and World Report ranked us third most affordable Southern regional university for graduates with the lowest debt. It was the second time recently that U.S. News, the leader in college rankings, listed UNCP high on a desirable list. UNCP ranks second among Southern universities for diversity. It was welcome visibility for a small regional university that may soon have to shed its self-proclaimed label as "the best kept secret in higher education."
8. Dr. Roger Brown named provost.
UNCP got a new second in command in July with the addition of Dr. Brown, a veteran political science professor and administrator from UNC Charlotte. The campus quickly discovered his charm and solid approach to academic affairs.
9. School of Education gets an 'A+' on its report card.
The State Board of Education rated UNCP's School of Education "exemplary" in its latest report card of the state's 47 colleges and universities that train public school teachers. Only four universities got exemplary ratings, and UNCP finished second only to UNC Greensboro. Focus, teamwork and quality instruction were key in achieving the lofty ranking, university officials said.
10. Four graduate education programs begin.
This year, four new graduate programs cranked up in art, physical education, social studies and science. The new offerings proved popular registering a 28 percent gain in graduate school enrollment this fall. UNCP now offers 14 graduate programs.