First Bank gift supports School of Business


First Bank has made a $25,000 gift to name the recruiter war room in the new School of Business building at UNCP, providing a dedicated space for students to connect and build relationships with industry recruiters.

Southeastern North Carolina relies on the UNCP School of Business, said Marcus Bryant, business development officer and senior vice president with First Bank. Naming this space affirms the bank’s commitment to support the region.

“We are thrilled to support UNC Pembroke’s new building for the School of Business,” Bryant said. “It’s such a crucial development for our community, and will have such a positive impact on all of southeastern North Carolina.”

Dr. Barry O’Brien, dean of the School of Business, said First Bank’s support will offer students invaluable access to employment opportunities.

“The School of Business is critically interested in the placement of our undergraduate and MBA students,” O’Brien said. “Recruiters from industry, government agencies, and graduate schools will use this room to interview our students. We are grateful to First Bank for their generosity and the opportunities it will provide our students.”

First Bank and other employers in the region are impressed by the talent UNCP business graduates possess, said Mike Hardin, who recently retired as First Bank’s regional executive and senior vice president.

“They are able to think critically and also interact well with people,” Hardin said. “The academic programs are strong, and with the MBA program, UNCP provides a whole new level of talent for businesses in our region to draw upon.”

Dr. Bryan Robinson, vice chancellor for Advancement, said the support of corporate partners like First Bank strengthens UNCP’s role in the region.

“First Bank’s generous gift will not only provide opportunities for our students to make important professional connections, but demonstrates its belief in the quality of our academic programs,” Robinson said. “We thank First Bank for its leadership through this gift, which will allow UNCP and the School of Business to make important contributions to student success and economic growth in southeastern North Carolina.”

The university recently broke ground on a $36 million state-of-the-art facility to serve as the new home for the School of Business. Located on Prospect Road near the main entrance of campus, the building will include a career center, auditorium, a video conference room, computer lab, trading room, and a multi-media resource room.