The Givens Performing Arts Center (1975), named for Paul R. Givens who served as UNCP chancellor from 1979-1989, houses the Theatre Arts Program and provides an amphitheater‑style auditorium with more than 1,600 seats.
GPAC is the finest stage in southeastern North Carolina and also hosts numerous campus and community events.
Givens Performing Arts Center Exterior
Givens Performing Arts Center Interior
Paul R. Givens
Dr. Paul R. Givens led UNCP for 10 years from 1979-89.
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 in 1987. 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 G. Oxendine Science Building received major renovations and an addition.
Born November 16, 1924, 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.
Dr. Givens passed away October 24, 2004.