Gold and black balloons dotted the clear sky above the Chavis University Center on Wednesday, March 16.
Faculty and staff adorned in the black and gold attire bopped to the upbeat tunes courtesy of UNC Pembroke’s Spirit of the Carolinas Marching Band.
The festivities were part of the university’s 2nd annual #WeAreUNCP Day of Giving. More than 100 faculty members, staff, students, alumni and community supporters gathered on the lawn to kick off the event.
The goal of the #WeAreUNCP campaign - 300 new donors within a 24-hour period.
“We did it!” said Morgan Jones, event organizer. “The final count was 365 donations."
“We reached out to alumni, students, friends, faculty and staff via social media, emails and on-campus activities,” said Jones, director of Alumni Relations.
“The entire UNCP community joined together to make our second-ever participation in this national movement a huge success. We are deeply grateful to an anonymous alumnus for the generous $30,000 gift, and we are thankful for every single donor who participated in the #WeAreUNCP 24 Hours of Giving.”
Wendy Lowery, vice chancellor of Advancement, said the event was held in March to coincide with the university’s birthday. UNC Pembroke was founded on March 7, 1887.
“The university launched its second annual day of giving effort with the idea of invoking pride amongst the UNCP family while encouraging gifts of any amount to support the institution,” Lowery said.
“We are extremely pleased with the results of our efforts and it would not be possible without the hundreds of people who showcased their support through wearing black and gold, making a contribution, and sharing their passion via social media.”
Jones said this year’s total far exceeded the 2015 kickoff event, in which the university collected 294 donations in 48 hours.
A loud bell rattled as Cynthia Oxendine, ’83, ’94, dropped her donation into the revolving gold-plated canister. UNCP has played a significant role in the lives of the Oxendine family.
“UNC Pembroke changed my life, the lives of my two sisters and my family,” said Oxendine, who has worked at UNCP for 33 years.
She has advanced her way up to assistant vice chancellor for Student Affairs.
“I am forever indebted to this institution.”
Oxendine’s husband, Terry, works in the Facilities Operations Office on campus and their daughter is a freshman this year.
“We are UNCP,” Oxendine said, echoing the theme of the event.
Aubrey Swett, ‘01, ‘06, said he took part in the Day of Giving to help a prospective student achieve their dream.
“There a lot of students who have the potential, but lack the resources to pursue higher education,” said Swett, senior director of University Center and Programs.
“This is a great way to help those individuals. Education has been a vital part of my life, so it means a lot to be able to help those who may have limited resources.”
UNCP senior Olivia Hinson from Yadkinville, N.C., was among the donors on Wednesday.
“I think it is very important to give back,” she said. “College is expensive. So this is a great way to support a scholarship for students who will be in my shoes next year.”
Hinson plans to graduate in May with a degree in chemistry.
Dr. Jeff Frederick, chair of the History Department, estimates that he has taught 3,200 students during his 13 years as a UNCP faculty member.
“I’m making a contribution today because of the effect those students have had on me over the years,” Frederick said.
UNC Pembroke is a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina system. For more information, contact Joanna Warner, interim executive director of University Communications and Marketing, via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (910.775.4587). Connect with UNC Pembroke on social media or online at uncp.edu to learn how the university is changing lives through education.