Every college has its traditions and UNCP is no exception. Some are serious and some are a little corny, but these are the things that help connect us to the past, and in turn, help the future connect to us.

Black and Gold

Since at least 1944, UNCP’s official colors have been black and gold, though the color gold has been associated with the school since the 1920’s.

Why the Braves and the Red-Tailed Hawk?

UNC Pembroke’s athletic nickname is the Braves while its mascot is the red-tailed hawk. Athletic teams have had the nickname Braves - a term that echoes our American Indian heritage - since 1946. The red-tailed hawk was added as a companion to the Brave in 1992. It is indigenous to North America and can be seen soaring high above or perching in the pine trees surrounding campus. American Indian traditions teach that animals were sent by the Great Creator to serve as guardians and teachers for humans; they are endowed with certain sacred qualities and powers that can be imparted to humans. The powers of specific animals are invoked by adding symbols and images on clothing and personal belongings. The Braves’ athletic uniforms and other campus symbols are adorned with the mascot to invoke the qualities of the red-tailed hawk – speed, keen sight, focus, power, hunting ability and good luck.

UNC Pembroke's mascot BraveHawk

Meet BraveHawk

Meet BraveHawk - UNCP’s costumed mascot. Combining the names of the Braves nickname and the school mascot, the red-tailed hawk, BraveHawk was the overwhelming choice of the university community. So, fire up the Braves Nation BraveHawk!

Biography for BraveHawk

  • Name: BraveHawk
  • Place of Birth/Residence: In a nest on top of the James B. Chavis University Center
  • Date of Birth: September 1992
  • Parents: Rufous and KittyHawk
  • Height: 6’4”
  • Weight: 225 Pounds
  • Position: Center of Attention
  • Favorite Team: UNC Pembroke Braves
  • Favorite Colors: Black and Gold
  • Hobbies: Skydiving, Hang Gliding, Fishing, Hunting, Studying, and Bird Watching
  • Favorite Video Game: Angry Birds
  • Favorite Movies: “Red Tails” and “Black Hawk Down”
  • Favorite Foods: Fish Tacos, Squirrel Pie, Worm-ghetti, Roadkill Pizza, and Ratatouille
  • Favorite Actor: Russell Crowe
  • Favorite Athletes: Larry Bird, Cheryl Swoopes, Tony Hawk, and Sue Bird
  • Inspirations: Steven Hawking and James Audubon
  • Favorite Book: “The Maltese Falcon”
  • Favorite Poem: “The Raven”
  • Favorite Short Story: "The Birds"
  • Favorite Music Groups: The Byrds and The Eagles
  • Favorite Songs: “Freebird”, “Fly Like A Eagle”, and “Wind Beneath My Wings”
  • Favorite Vacation Spot: Kitty Hawk, N.C. (reminds me of mom)
  • Favorite Perches: In front of the James B. Chavis University Center or on a Braves’ shoulder

Fight Song

With its rousing beat and chants of Go Braves Go!, the music for UNC Pembroke's fight song was written by Michael Raiber, professor of music education at the University of Oklahoma, in 2004.

Alma Mater: "Hail to UNCP"

“Hail to UNCP,” the alma mater, was written in 1954 by professors Ira Pate Lowry ’29 and Reba M. Lowry. Ira Pate spearheaded a contest in December 1953 to write the lyrics for a school song. He had written a tune in 1941 and sought lyrics to go with it. Reba, his wife, responded with the lyrics. Her words and his music will “float on forever” as the alma mater is now an integral part of campus ceremonial events. Originally titled “Hail to PSC,” the tune was renamed “Hail to PSU” and, later, “Hail to UNCP” to reflect the institution’s name changes. The Lowry Bell Tower, named in their honor, plays the alma mater daily.

Where Carolina's lofty pine trees

Pierce the southern blue,

Proudly stands our Alma Mater

Courageous, strong and true;

Black and gold float on forever

Symbol of loyalty,

Pembroke, our Alma Mater,

Hail to UNCP!

Hail to thee, our Alma Mater;

Guardian of our youth

Ever lead thy children onward

Into light and truth;

Unborn youth will take our places

To praise thee endlessly

Pembroke, our Alma Mater,

Hail to UNCP!

'Neath thy ever verdant pine trees

We rally to thy call,

Ever loyal sons and daughters -

Ambassadors we all -

Bound by ties of love and service

Friendship and loyalty,

Pembroke, our Alma Mater,

Hail to UNCP!

Raise the chorus, blend the voices,

Let the echoes ring

To our loving foster parent

Loudly praises sing;

Swell the chorus 'till it reaches

On through eternity

Pembroke, our Alma Mater,

Hail to UNCP!

Lyrics and music by Reba and Ira Pate Lowry, 1954

Legend of the Rock

The Tommy StatueRub the Tommy Statue, located between the James B. Chavis University Center and the English E. Jones Athletic Center, for good luck!

According to the "Legend of the Rock," the Tommy Statue was in place for just four days when its legend took hold at UNCP. Senior Braves basketball player Chavis Rachel was photographed by a passing Fayetteville Observer photographer climbing the rock to touch the hawk for good luck before the Homecoming game on February 13, 1999. With the Braves down by two points, Rachel made a desperation three-point attempt that – perhaps guided by an unseen hand -- found nothing but net to win the game. Rachel's visit with the hawk was not revealed until the following Thursday when the photograph was published by the newspaper.