Dr. Paul R. Givens, chancellor emeritus of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, died Sunday, October 24, 2004. He was 80.
Retired and living in Temple Terrace, Fla., Dr. Givens led UNCP for 10 years from 1979-89. The Paul R. Givens Performing Arts Center at UNCP is named in his honor.
He is survived by his wife, Lee; three sons, Gregg, Stann and Rodney; one daughter, Deborah, a daughter-in-law, Bonnie; a son-in-law, Robert; nine grandchildren, three great grandchildren, a brother, Roy, and a sister, Sara Gillis.
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors hailed Dr. Givens as a remarkable leader with an equally remarkable record.
“I had the opportunity to meet Chancellor Emeritus Givens, and I learned to appreciate the leadership skills he brought to this University,” Chancellor Meadors said. “The Givens’ era witnessed a maturing regional University that was taking its rightful place as a regional university. Dr. Paul R. Givens was truly a great leader for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.”
The UNCP Board of Trustees named the Performing Arts Center in his honor in 1985. During Givens’ tenure, the Adolph L. Dial Humanities Building and the James B. Chavis University Center were constructed.
Dr. Givens helped UNCP (then Pembroke State University) celebrate its centennial. The centennial was the centerpiece of one of the University’s most successful fundraising campaigns.
His easy-going, genteel style helped the University broaden its reach into North Carolina. He was the first president of Robeson County’s Committee of 100, and he became friends with many area business leaders and established an Office of Economic Development.
In his first year at the helm, Dr. Givens reached out to alumni, establishing chapters in Charlotte, Greensboro and Fayetteville.
There was also progress in academic and scholarship programs during the Givens’ era. The Chancellor’s Scholars program came to campus, and the American Indian Studies program was established.
During Dr. Givens’ tenure, the broadcasting program was created, and the Herbert C. Oxendine Science Building received major renovations and an addition.
Dr. Givens came to UNCP from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., where he served as vice president for Academic Affairs. He was the first chair of the Psychology Department at the University of South Florida.
Among his scholarly accomplishments, he published a textbook and music. A Navy veteran of World War II, Dr. Givens also worked in the Peace Corps.
A funeral service is planned for Friday, October 29 at Temple Terrace Community Church in Florida. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Paul and Lee Givens Endowed Scholarship at UNCP, the Endowment Fund of Temple Terrace Presbyterian Church or the Kidney Foundation.