James Sibbett and Sara Pack spoke on behalf of student scholarship recipients November 29 in thanking donors at the 4th Annual Scholarship Awards Dinner at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
From left: Front Row - Martha Baldwin, Mary Ann Elliott and Sarah Pack. Back Row - James Sibbett, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, Provost Charlie Harrington and Quinta Ellis.
The dinner, attended by 118 scholarship donors, is the annual event when donors and recipients meet. In many ways, Sibbitt’s and Pack’s stories are typical of UNCP students.
A non-traditional student, Sibbett served in the Army before returning to school to pursue his dream of becoming a doctor. With wife, Siri, also enrolled at UNCP, money was needed.
“When I read about the David Parke Scholarship, I felt we had something in common,” Sibbett said. “Mr. Parke was serving his country in Korea when he went missing in action.
“I read that he wanted to go to medical school, and so do I,” Sibbett concluded. “Because of this event, I was able to meet his sister, Marti Baldwin, who has become a friend and welcomed me into her family.
“I am thankful,” Sibbett said.
Sarah Johnson (student) with Dorothy Blue
More that three of every four students at UNCP receive financial assistance of some kind. A member of the Esther Maynor Honors College and the first recipient of the Maynor Scholarship, Pack said without it, she would not be in college.
“I consider it a great honor to be here,” Pack said. “More than anything, I am grateful to the donor.”
“Every new person I meet, every class I take would not have happened without this scholarship,” she said. “This has completely changed my life; it has changed my life in every way possible.”
Patrica Hunt (left) with student Erin Callahan
Mary Ann Elliot, a Lumberton, N.C., native who did not graduate from high school but became CEO of a global aerospace company, said her mother inspired her to create two endowed scholarships at UNCP.
“My mother struggled so hard to go to nursing school,” Elliot said. “She never gave up, and that inspired me.”
“Now it is my time to give back,” she said.
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors thanked the donors on behalf of the University.
“This event brings together our most precious resources – our students – with our most precious friends – our donors,” Chancellor Meadors said. “The opportunity to get a college education is priceless, and to make it possible for another person is to change history.”
“If there is one thing I could say to the students in this room, is to remember this day and the help you received, and give back when it is your time,” he concluded.