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Scholarship Established to Honor Dexter Brooks

April 17, 2002

 Dexter Brooks scholarship

Pictured (from left): Larry Brooks, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors and Lela Brooks Woodell

Dexter Brooks, senior resident Superior Court judge for Robeson County, died on March 6 after a long illness.

Friends and relatives remember him as a man who championed justice. Newspapers eulogized him as an "agent of change," and, "one of the most influential Robesonians of the second half of the last century."

In April, his brother Larry Brooks contributed $5,000 to establish a Judge Dexter Brooks Endowed Memorial Scholarship at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. He pledged an additional $1,000 per year for each of the next five years.

"People like Dexter don't come along often," Mr. Brooks said. "He worked for equity and fairness for all people, and, as a judge, Dexter worked to promote racial harmony."

The Brooks family invites friends of Judge Brooks to honor his memory by making contributions to the scholarship. For information, please call the Office of Advancement at 910-521-6252.

"We want to create a lasting memory for him," Mr. Brooks said. "In his later years, Dexter took a real interest in mentoring and counseling young people."

"To help other young people, I believe this is an appropriate tribute to him," he said. "It is our hope that others will share in this memorial."

The first friend of Judge Brooks to contribute to the scholarship was UNCP Chancellor Allen C. Meadors. Judge Brooks presided over the swearing in ceremony of Chancellor Meadors on Dec. 15, 1999.

"Dexter Brooks was one of the first people in this community to welcome me," Chancellor Meadors. "I really appreciated that, and I valued his guidance and friendship."

Judge Brooks was the first Native American to serve as a Superior Court judge in Robeson County when he was appointed in 1988.

Larry Brooks and his daughter Lela Brooks Woodell contributed the funds through their Pembroke business, Lela Anne's Learning Center, a daycare center serving children from birth to age 12.

A 1971 UNCP graduate and principal of Pembroke Elementary School, Larry Brooks said his family has a long and mutually beneficial relationship with the university.

"My wife Elizabeth and I and three of our children are graduates," he said. "We are all beholden to this university."

As an endowed scholarship, the principal of the gift remains as a perpetual memorial, and interest is used for scholarships.

With the gift, Larry and his daughter Lela become members of the Chancellor's Club of donors to the university.