The Esther G. Maynor Honors College was dedicated September 13 at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Esther and Therod Maynor
A Pembroke, N.C., native and resident of Mt. Airy, N.C., when she died in 2005, Maynor bequeathed $1.25 million to UNCP, the largest gift in University history. The endowment will perpetually provide for scholarships and international study for students in the college.
Freshman Honors College member Kelly Cooper of Moore County summed up her feelings.
“It’s phenomenal,” she said. “My family is not wealthy, and my father was recently injured, so financial aid is important to me.”
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors said Maynor “wanted to give other people opportunities. I think she would feel very good about this, and we will be forever grateful.”
Maynor’s cousin Mary Alice Teets spoke for a contingent of family and friends in attendance. She recalled a “gentle spirit,” who loved family, friends and her garden. Teets, a long-time educator and UNCP graduate, said the endowment is a seed in Maynor’s garden.
“Esther never forgot her roots in Pembroke or the University,” Teets said. “She graduated from Indian Normal School (now UNCP) in 1938.”
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors with Mary Alice Teets
“It was her wish and prayer that our students will grow strong, blossom and bear good fruit,” Teets said.
Honors College Dean Jesse Peters said the gift will have a lasting impact on the University, its students and surrounding communities.
“This scholarship will allow us to better serve our students, the community and the region,” Dr. Peters said. “A gift like this is more than a gift for the moment; it is a gift to humanity.”
Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, thanked UNCP’s Board of Trustees for their support in renaming the Honors College.
“This wonderful bequest represents a legacy of hope, and it is opportunity that brings hope,” Dr. Harrington said. “It is an opportunity for the very best and brightest of the UNCP community.”
The daughter of Duncan and Dovie Graham, Esther married Therod Maynor, who with Floyd Pike, operated Pike Electric, the largest electrical contractor in the Southeast. Therod died in 1968 and Esther remained in Mt. Airy.
The Esther G. Maynor Honors College was established in 2001 to recruit and offer academic and cultural enrichment to outstanding students. To learn more about the college, please visit www.uncp.edu/honors_college/.
From left with Mary Alice Teets are: Hannah Woriax, Hannah Simpson, Ashley Justice, Susan Walley, Brian Norton, Samantha Kinder, Erica Eslinger, Kimbery Brassard, Kristina Layden, Solita Jones, Kelly Chavis and Aaron Locklear