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UNCP Home News & Events LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED! UNCP kicks off 125th anniversary celebration on March 14
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LET’S GET THIS PARTY STARTED! UNCP kicks off 125th anniversary celebration on March 14

February 13, 2012

UNC Pembroke turns 125 this year, and the university will throw a kick-off celebration on Wednesday, March 14, at 4 p.m. in the Main Gym of the English E. Jones Health and Physical Education Center. The celebration will go on for the next 14 months.


Cecil Chandler


Victoria Huggins

Everyone is invited – community, alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends! There will be music, celebrities, giveaways, birthday cake, refreshments, cheerleaders, university leaders and more.

A 125th logo, commemorative t-shirt line and new traditions will be unveiled as the university launches into the next 125 years. And, there will be surprises, including the largest cake in UNCP history!

Emcee for the event is Cecil Chandler, television personality and co-host of Carolina & Company on WPDE, Channel 15. The honorary chairs of the 125th celebration are Dr. Linda Oxendine, long-time chair of UNCP’s Department of American Indian Studies, Alphonzo McRae, a 1974 graduate and vice president of Robeson County Community College, and Mickey Gregory, a 1988 graduate and executive director of the Lumberton Visitors Bureau.

Entertainment will be provided by Miss UNCP 2012 Jocelyn Hunt, as well as the band Dark Water Rising, vocalist Victoria Huggins, UNCP’s Pep Band, cheerleaders and more.

Dark Water Rising is led by Charly Lowry who is a Pembroke native, NAMMY Award winner and former American Idol contestant. Huggins, a St. Pauls native and UNCP student, has already had a distinguished career in entertainment with appearances on “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” (at age 6), “Star Search” and “American Idol.”


Dark Water Rising

This is a milestone year for UNCP, which was founded on March 7, 1887. The university is one of the truly unique and successful stories of American higher education.

Through its 125 years, UNCP has grown and changed, but it has retained the connection to its unique history. This connection is reflected in the 125th theme: “Honoring Our Heritage, Soaring Toward Our Future.” 

Motorcycles, birthday cake and some great prizes are in store. There will be an announcement of a new line of “Heritage Ts,” featuring the seven names the university has carried over the years. The t-shirts and other collectibles will be available at the Bookstore.

The 14-month long celebration will be filled with events and activities that will honor and showcase the accomplishments of the university and its students, faculty, staff and alumni. Information and public comment on the celebration and sharing of UNCP memories may be made at the 125th website:

The 125th Anniversary Celebration Planning Committee is under the leadership of co-chairs, Patricia Fields, executive director of Givens Performing Arts Center and 1997 and 2010 UNCP graduate, and Lawrence T. Locklear, a 2005 graduate and web publisher with UNCP’s Office of University Communications and Marketing.

Other planning committee members include Kim Hunt, past-president of the Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce; Dr. Richard Vela, a professor in the Department of English and Theatre; Wendy Lowery ’99, ‘07 vice chancellor for Advancement; Amira Hunt, clerk with the Town of Pembroke; Annette Straub, executive assistant for the Office of Enrollment Management; Dr. Sara Simmons, acting dean of the School of Graduate Studies; SGA President Brian McCormick ’10; Dorothy Blue ’55, a retired educator; Dr. Mary Ann Jacobs, chair of the Department of American Indian Studies; Mark Vessely, superintendent for Facilities Operations; Kellie Blue ‘93, finance manager for Robeson County and member of UNCP’s Board of Trustees; Beatrice Maynor, representing the Lumbee tribe; and Sarah Carter, wife of Chancellor Kyle R. Carter.

Mark your calendars for March 14. For more information, please call 910.521.6325 or 910.521.6820 or email You may also visit the 125th website at


Honorary Co-Chairs (from left): Mickey Gregory, Executive Director, Lumberton Visitors Bureau; Alphonzo McRae, Vice President for Institutional Services, Robeson Community College; and, Dr. Linda Oxendine, Professor Emeritus, American Indian Studies.


125th Anniversary Celebration Logo