UNCP suffers loss of valued faculty
By Margaret Damghani
The Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, like the rest of UNCP, operates like a close-knit family.
Dr. Mary Guy Beaver, who was entering her eighth year here when she died, will be remembered not only as a talented faculty member but as a friend to her co-workers and students.
“She was loved, respected, dedicated. Teaching was her life. She couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning,” Dr. Tommy Thompson, chair of the department, said.
Dr. Beaver advised all of the students in the recreation program as its coordinator and taught both undergraduate and graduate level courses.
“She was always willing to take time to talk with students,” said Dr. Sonia Tinsley, an assistant professor in the department.
Before coming to UNCP, Dr. Beaver first taught and coached students at high school and community college levels.
She held two Master’s degrees, one in physical education and another in education.
She also held a Doctorate of Arts in physical education.
“The kids really loved her,” said Dr. Thompson.
“I never heard any unkind word about her. She was the sweetest thing on God’s earth,” he continued.
Dr. Beaver had been diagnosed with lymphoma in the beginning of August and began treatments around mid-August.
“The treatments were going well. We just had no idea that the disease was progressing the way that it was,” Dr. Thompson said. “It just came as a blow. We just never saw it coming.”
When Dr. Beaver wasn’t teaching or advising students, she enjoyed bike riding and being outdoors.
She had worked as a park ranger for the National Park Service in Kentucky and at the Grand Canyon National Park. She was also a Desert Storm and Desert Shield veteran.
“She was a very active, outdoorsy, unpretentious person. What you see it what you get. A very honest person,” Associate Professor Dr. Danny R. Davis said.
Dr. Beaver, originally from northern Georgia, often talked to her friend Dr. Davis about the Southwest and visiting or retiring there.
“She’d come by my office and just sit and talk. We’d talk about everything. I’m going to miss that a lot,” Dr. Davis said.
Dr. Davis isn’t the only one missing Dr. Beaver’s presence.
“She was really upbeat,” Dr. Tinsley said. “It’s strange that she’s not here.”
The UNCP community, as well as the Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, has suffered a great loss with the passing of Dr. Beaver.