Robin Crump’s pursuit of a postgraduate degree at UNC Pembroke was met with hardship and adversity.
Her business courses were a breeze.
It was a string of personal tragedies that proved to be Crump’s toughest test. She earned her Master of Business Administration degree in December 2016.
During that time she lost her mother to leukemia, her family business closed, and her husband, Matt, was diagnosed with stage 4 melanoma.
“Three months after my husband’s diagnosis we were having surgery at Duke to remove a tumor from his brain,” Crump said. “With two young kids, a full time job and going through the MBA program, meeting all the requirements and trying to keep it all together at home … that year was the biggest trial for me.”
Crump’s perseverance landed her the Outstanding MBA Student of the Year at the university’s 20th annual Business Visions Awards Banquet.
Matt joined his wife at the ceremony at the University Center Annex.
“It is an honor to be recognized for the successes and the effort that was put into obtaining my degree, considering the struggle and the amount of time you invest personally and the investment your family makes,” Crump said.
Crump, who also earned her undergraduate degree from UNCP, is the assistant vice president of Operational Excellence with Scotland Health Care System.
For 20 years, Business Visions has recognized outstanding business students, business leaders, organizations and entrepreneurs who have excelled in their field. To mark its 20th year, a video presentation highlighted previous award winners.
This year the Outstanding MPA Student of the Year award went to Charles Bell. A senior, Bell is set to graduate in December.
“My experience so far at UNCP has been amazing,” Bell said. “I have made a lot of connections here. I even met my future wife here in a statistics class. What’s the probability of that? Bell said, drawing laughter from the audience.
“The MBA professors really share and engage with their students,” he said. “Dr. (Joe) West is an amazing professor to have. Everything they share and the guidance they give the students helps us to grow and be successful.”
- Melinda Brewer, a student at Robeson Community College was named the AAS Business Administration Student of the Year.
- Lilies of Hope Home Care took home the award for Entrepreneur of the Year. The business is one of several start-ups located at the Entrepreneurship Incubator in downtown Pembroke. The owners are Martha Hunt and Audrey McGirt.
- Business Person of the Year – Michael Vinson, director of Scotland County Economic Development Corporation
- Business of the Year – MG3 Farms. Roderick McMillan accepted the award on behalf of his family which operates a 300-foot hydroponic greenhouse in Maxton. The company produces between 7,000 to 10,000 heads of Butter lettuce a week and supplies wholesalers, catering companies, restaurants and local consumers.
- Nonprofit of the Year – Robeson County Partnership for Children, Inc. Accepting the award was Jessica Lowery, the organization’s executive director.
- Agricultural Excellence Award – Lowry Farms. The award was presented to Lycurous Lowry, a 1957 graduate of what was then known as Pembroke State College.
- Excellence Award for Large Business – Robeson Health Care Corporation
- Dr. Collie Coleman Spirit of Unity Award - Faline Locklear Dial, owner of Speech in Progress, and outgoing member of the UNCP Foundation Board. Dial is active in the community, holding key leadership positions including past president of the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce.
“I do try to always promote unity because that is what it is all about,” Dial said. “We’ve got to all work together. The university, the tribe, the county … we all have to work together to make our community better.”
The Spirit of Unity Award honors Coleman who served as associate vice chancellor with the Office of Outreach at UNCP. He passed away in 2008.
Business Visions is sponsored by the Division of Engaged Outreach and the Office for Regional Initiatives.