UNCP names inaugural Spirit of Old Main scholars

Sydney Brooks
Sydney Brooks

The American Indian Heritage Center has announced the recipients of the newly established Spirit of Old Main Scholarship at UNC Pembroke.

The 2022-2023 recipients are Sydney Brooks, Asa Locklear, Faith Jacobs and Rakyah Jacobs. Brooks and Locklear graduated earlier this month from Purnell Swett High, while Faith Jacobs and Rakyah Jacobs are members of the 2022 graduating class at East Columbus High School.

The Spirit of Old Main Scholarship was created to assist in helping to reduce financial barriers to postsecondary education for highly competitive American Indian students.

Brooks and Locklear are members of the Lumbee Tribe. Faith Jacobs and Rakyah Jacobs are members of the Waccamaw Siouan tribe.

"The creation of the Spirit of Old Main Scholarship is a game-changer for American Indian students at UNCP," said Dr. Ashley McMillan, the center's director and American Indian liaison to the chancellor.

"This scholarship will help us recruit the most competitive American Indian students and ensure that financial barriers will not hinder them from obtaining a college education. This scholarship affirms the university's commitment to a population of students that always has been and always will be essential to the history and mission of our institution," McMillan said.

"The inaugural recipients of this scholarship are an impressive group of students. I'm confident they will make their mark at UNCP and continue to give back to their tribal communities."

Recipients are selected for the scholarship based on their academic achievements, involvement with Indigenous communities and an interview with members of the scholarship committee. It covers the student's unmet financial needs after applying for other scholarships.

In addition, each recipient will receive a $2,000 stipend to assist with the purchase of books, a laptop or other educational supplies. The award is renewable for four years if the student maintains a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.