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UNCP celebrates University Center’s 20th year

October 17, 2007

UNC Pembroke celebrated the 20th year of the James B. Chavis University Center on October 3.


James B. Chavis returned to celebrate the 20th year of the building that is named for him.

The hub of student activity and services at UNCP, the University Center is about to get its first major addition with the opening of a $5 million Annex. The Annex will house a large assembly room, four conference rooms and offices for Student Housing, Residence Life and Student Activities.

Dr. James B. Chavis, who guided planning of the University Center before retiring in 1999 as vice chancellor for Student Affairs, was on hand for the festivities. Dr. Diane Jones, current vice chancellor for Student Affairs, praised Dr. Chavis.

“In his 21 years as vice chancellor, Dr. Chavis was loved and admired at this University,” Dr. Jones said. “This building was his vision.”

University Center Director Cynthia Oxendine said students, faculty and staff are excited about the Annex.

“The Annex is online, and we’re very excited about it,” Oxendine said. “The Annex project was developed while Dr. Chavis was here and is just now coming to fruition.”

Ground was broken for the original University Center in 1985, and it was dedicated two years later. With its signature pyramid skylights, tall ceilings, spacious dining facilities, offices, bowling alleys and game room, it was an extraordinary addition to campus, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said.

“This student center has truly lived up to its definition as the hub of the University,” Chancellor Meadors said. “It continues to serve the campus and its students well.”

The University Center, or U.C. as it is known, is home to two dining facilities, the Cafeteria and Bert’s, which was recently renovated with a World of Wings restaurant.

About 100 people were on hand for the event that honored the building and its namesake. James B. Chavis is a 1963 UNCP graduate who worked 34years at the University starting as director of the old student center.