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Turbeville-Perritt Scholarship will Open Students to the World

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Scholarships help students, Rudolph (Rudy) Turbeville believes, but a scholarship to foster international experience changes lives. Turbeville, who is a 1964 UNC Pembroke graduate, has established the Turbeville-Perritt Endowed Scholarship to help students study internationally. From Chadbourn, N.C., Turbeville is a man for all seasons and a self-described citizen of the world. He would share both his forested estate near Mt. Gilead, N.C., and his view of the world with UNCP students. 

“I like to take a larger view, and being a citizen of the world carries a certain responsibility,” Turbeville said. “That view is prevalent among the French in particular.” As the Turbeville name indicates, he is of French ancestry, but his first taste of the world came far from France. He joined the Army out of high school at age 17. “Being stationed in Korea is what did it for me,” Turbeville said. “It was not long after the war and much of their country was in ruins. My unit built a school. I had empathy for the Koreans. “Wherever a student goes, studying internationally will broaden their outlook of the world,” he said. “This affects the quality of our nation’s citizenship and our government. 

“I hope they also learn compassion and understanding,” Turbeville said. “We need more of this. We are basically an ethnocentric nation that believes everyone should be like us.” 

Coming out of the Army in 1961, Turbeville discovered Pembroke State College with the help of an Army buddy named Paul Brooks, who is currently chairman of the Lumbee Tribe. PSC had opened its doors to non-Indian students not long before Turbeville arrived on campus. His worldly outlook resonated with this unique rural community. “I had a pleasant experience during my student days,” he said. “I made a point to meet people. I tried to integrate into the community, and there was a level of trust extended to me that was not common.” 

With his family relocated in Florida, Turbeville lived on campus and made the most of weekends when other students went home. He worked and attended the Berea Baptist Church across the street. Turbeville’s passion for hunting and fishing won him friends like Clifton Oxendine, a history professor and dean of students. “There isn’t much of the Lumber River that I don’t know,” Turbeville said. “Clifton Oxendine introduced me to it. He would entertain me with stories. I took every course he taught.” 

Going to summer school, Turbeville graduated a year ahead of schedule and got a job teaching at Pembroke High School. After earning a master’s degree at Appalachian State University, he began a long career as a family court counselor. In his retirement, Turbeville bought 113 wooded acres west of Mt. Gilead and added another 111 acres later. The land fed his love of the outdoors. “I got into forestry, and I did a little logging myself,” he said. “I enjoyed it.” 

The Turbeville-Parritt Endowment, which honors his grandmother Josephine Perritt, who spent her last years in the Turbeville household. “I want to honor that side of the family,” he said. “They are of French ancestry also. You know, the French were America’s first allies. They pulled General Washington’s irons out of the fire at Yorktown. I like that connection.” 

Turbeville is pleased with the mission of his endowment, and he believes that studying abroad is a starting point to students’ international experiences. “I am hopeful and idealistic about the endowment at Pembroke,” Turbeville said. “I feel at home whenever I’m in Pembroke. I am the richer for it.” 

To learn more about the Turbeville-Perritt Endowed Scholarship or to learn more about giving at UNCP, please contact the Office of Advancement at (910) 521-6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu.