The University of North Carolina at Pembroke dedicated its first new classroom building in 27 years to O.R. Sampson, one of its original students and a 32-year member of the Board of Trustees.
Ribbon cut -- From left: Chancellor Meadors, Dr. Gilbert Sampson, grandson of O.R. Sampson, Sue Gerloff, granddaughter of O.R. Sampson, Martha Locklear, daughter of O.R. Sampson, Ruth L. Dial, granddaughter of O.R. Sampson, Cheryl Renquet, granddaughter of O.R. Sampson, and Reggie Renquet, husband of Cheryl Renquet.
The ribbon was cut July 16, 2007, for the O.R. Sampson Academic Building with the help of a large contingent of family members. Sampson’s daughter, Martha Locklear, spoke for the family.
“I’m proud to be here today,” Locklear said. “My father realized the greatest gift is a quality education.
“It gladdens my heart today to participate in the re-affirmation of my father’s legacy,” she said.
Martha Sampson Locklear, daughter of O.R. Sampson speaks at ribbon cutting ceremony
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors saluted O.R. Sampson’s legacy at the 120-year-old University.
“His spirit still lives with us,” Chancellor Meadors said. “If it had not been for Mr. Sampson and men like him, we might not be here today.”
As a member of the first class and as chair of the Board of Trustees for 30 years, Sampson participated in the early milestones of a young University.
“He was here at the birth of the University in 1887, and he was here to watch it grow over three decades,” Chancellor Meadors said. “I feel extremely good about this naming.”
The new classroom building will house the departments of Psychology and Counseling and Criminal Justice and Sociology. It was built at a cost of $4.8 million and is located north of the Adolph L. Dial Humanities Building.
Sampson’s portrait and a bronze plaque hang in the lobby of the main entrance. An inscription from the University’s semi-centennial celebration reads:
“Of all the friends and helpers of this school, Mr. Sampson touched it at more points, knew it more intimately, and served it longer than any other man has done.”
Sampson, born in 1866, attended the first session of the Croatan Normal School and was one of its first graduates. He preached and taught in the public schools for 40 years and served on the Board of Trustees from 1898 until his death in1928.
Among other accomplishments, Sampson helped move the school to its present location and witnessed the construction of Old Main in 1923.
Sampson was honored in 1949 with the dedication of the administration and library building, which was demolished in 1997. His name migrated to the Sampson-Livermore Library and then to the new location upon a unanimous vote of the Board of Trustees.