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UNCP breaks ground for new academic building

March 16, 2006

Ground was broken March 6, 2006, for a new classroom building that will bear the name of a man who played a major role in the early years of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

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Ground broken – From left: Earl J. Oxendine, William C. Sampson, Betty Jo Schuster, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Milton Hunt, Ruth L. Dial, Lois Locklear, Julius Lowry and Gilbert Sampson

The $4.7 million Oscar R. Sampson Academic Building will be home to three academic departments, psychology, social work and sociology and criminology. The two-story building will be ready for classes in the fall semester 2007.

Approximately 100 turned out on a blustery spring morning for the ceremony. A large contingent of Sampson family members were on hand, headed by Ruth L. Dial, a granddaughter of O.R. Sampson.

“The family thanks you for this honor,” Dial said. “Oscar R. Sampson was a leader at a most critical time in the history of the young school.”

Sampson was one of the University’s first students in 1887, Dial said. He joined the Board of Trustees in 1896, was named chair in 1898 and served in that capacity for 30 years until his death in 1928.

It was a time of building and generating new academic programs. Sampson raised $500 in the community to purchase land for the new campus near Pembroke, and he personally contributed $600 to construction for the first building.

Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said, “it is because of men like Oscar R. Sampson that we have this University today. His goal was for a better life for Robesonians, professionally and spiritually, as a minister in the community.”

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Artist Rendering of Sampson Building

Pembroke Mayor Milton Hunt, who also serves on the UNCP Board of Trustees, said the family is pleased with the dedication.

“We look forward to the dedication of this fine new addition to campus,” Hunt said. “This University is changing for the good, in part, because of tireless workers like Oscar R. Sampson.”

In 1949, Sampson Hall, the University’s administration building, was named in his honor. It was demolished in 1996 to make way for an addition to Livermore Library.