Local Businesses Lend A Hand To Freshmen Orientation




Students moving into residence halls

Students at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke were surprised to discover Outback Steakhouse serving free food in front of the Chavis University Center on Aug. 18. The restaurant was one of several businesses which pitched in to assist with Freshman Orientation.

"Outback is based on doing grassroots things like this," said Anthony Bonner, managing partner with Outback Steakhouse of Lumberton. "College students are our future, so we want to be there for them and we want to be a leader in the community. Maybe we can do it bigger and better next year."


Students moving into residence halls

More than 250 students lined up for burgers and fries on the last day of Freshmen Orientation at UNCP. The restaurant, which opened its doors in Lumberton last year, was just one of several businesses who contributed to Freshmen Orientation. Office Depot of Lumberton was also on hand Sunday. They raffled off two office chairs, a computer printer and a $50 gift card. They also gave out pens, highlighters, notepads, and other gifts. Outback Steakhouse gave away frisbees, water bottles and pins.

John Locklear, a 1988 graduate of UNCP and store manager of Office Depot in Lumberton, said his company's involvement is all about maintaining relationships.


Chancellor Meadors speaking to new students

"I graduated from UNCP, so I have some personal interest in the school. I want to give something back, and at the same time, Office Depot is very into community involvement. We give back as a company," Locklear said.

The Lumberton Visitors Bureau set up a display during check in on Friday. They gave freshmen local maps, discount coupons for local businesses and other gifts. Pizza Hut of Pembroke donated pizza to students moving into their dorms on Friday, and Coca Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated of Fayetteville provided beverages at several events throughout the weekend.

On Saturday, about 65 freshmen took part in a shuttle tour of local businesses in Pembroke and Lumberton.

"Providing the bus tour to several of Pembroke's and Lumberton's area businesses was very well received," said Robert Canida, who guided the tour.


Alumni serving pizza to new students

"I believe the high points of the trip were the stops at Walmart and Biggs Park Mall. The tour provided these freshmen the opportunity to become acclimated with area businsses and some of Pembroke's and Lumberton's history. It's important for these students, as well as all UNCP students to be knowledgable about the resources and services that are available to them. The main thing to remember is that our local businesses relies on UNCP and UNCP relies on the businesses."

The Lumberton Chamber of Commerce and Pembroke Area Chamber of Commerce were both instrumental in coordinating with local business for the Orientation events.

For more information, contact James M. Bass, assistant director of Student Activities and program director, at 910.521.6482 or james.bass@uncp.edu.