Lumbee Hall Fund - From left: Arnold Locklear, Brian Brooks, Arlie Jacobs, UNCP trustee chair Gervais Oxendine, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors and Grady Hunt.
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke established a new fund to honor its founders, W. L. Moore, Preston Locklear, James Oxendine, James Dial, Sr., J. J. Oxendine, Isaac Brayboy and Olin Oxendine.
The fund will also support the founder's original mission of training teachers by supporting UNCP's Teaching Fellows program. It is a scholarship program to recruit outstanding high school students into the teaching profession.
The Lumbee Hall Fund was announced during the week of the 2004 Lumbee Homecoming at a July 1 garden reception at the Chancellor's Residence. The fund was established with an initial gift of $25,000 from the Pembroke law firm of Locklear, Jacobs, Hunt and Brooks.
The fund quickly grew to $38,000 with a personal gift of $5,000 from law partner Arlie Jacobs in honor of Malachi Locklear, Jacobs' great grandfather who was responsible for inspiring several generations of family members to the University.
Law partner Grady Hunt announced the second gift of $8,000 from the firm that will provide a permanent memorial to the founding fathers of the University. The additional pledge will create an exhibit honoring the University's founders to be located in the lobby of Lumbee Hall, UNCP's administration building.
The original trustees will be honored in the exhibit along with Hamilton McMillan, the Robeson County legislator who proposed legislation to start the Croatan Normal School. Charter members of the Lumbee Hall Fund who make gifts of $5,000 or more during 2004 will also be honored in the exhibit. Hunt invited others to join the law firm in contributing to the fund.
Speaking on behalf of the firm, law partner Arlie Jacobs said the founders had a vision to create an institution that would provide a formal education for the children of the community. Jacobs said his family's roots go back to the early days of what was then called Croatan Normal School.
"W.L. Moore, one of the founders of the University, resided in the Prospect Community and had a friend, Malachi Locklear," Jacobs said. "Malachi Locklear had a daughter, Anna Bell Locklear, who he desired to have a formal education. Anna Bell Locklear got that education in the early 1900s from what is now our University and began to teach school in the Prospect Community."
"In 1953, a grandson of Anna Bell Locklear began to attend school in Prospect, and he graduated in 1964," he said. "All of his teachers at the Prospect School were graduates of our University. In 1968, the grandson graduated from our University."
"Without a doubt, I am a product of the vision of the founders, because I am a great grandson of Malachi Locklear and that grandson of Anna Bell Locklear," Jacobs said.
Hunt introduced James Moore, grandson of W.L. Moore. Moore said the founders led their people from an age of darkness into the light.
"I have always thought of these men as heroes who led their people out of years of darkness," he said. "These people had been without any school since 1835, and the founders changed the destiny of the people."
Hunt said the law firm is following the example of the University's founders.
"I would like to thank the senior partners of the firm, Arnold Locklear and Arlie Jacobs, for having developed a philosophy, long before I arrived, of being civic minded and giving back to the community," Hunt said. "I would also like to thank my partners Brian Brooks and Mark Locklear for adopting the same policy."
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors thanked the firm for its generosity.
"The establishment of the Lumbee Hall Fund is a showcase for the positive partnership between the University and the community," Chancellor Meadors said.
Dr. Warren Baker, dean of UNCP's School of Education, said the gift would help take the Teaching Fellows program to the next level.
"The University was founded to educate American Indians to become teachers for this area," Dr. Baker said. "We remain committed to that mission."
Gervais Oxendine, chair of the UNCP Board of Trustees, also offered thanks to a modern generation of visionaries.
"This gift will preserve the founding fathers original vision," Oxendine said. "This gift sets the bar high and I invite all our neighbors to join with the firm of Locklear, Jacobs, Hunt and Brooks to contribute to this fund."
A public unveiling of the Lumbee Hall Fund was held on the steps of Old Main on July 3. Thirty-eight descendants of the founders attended the ceremony.
For more information about the Lumbee Hall Fund, please contact the Office for Advancement at (910) 521-6213 or go to www.uncp.edu/advancement/.