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UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees

Don Metzger

Don Metzger, Chair
Lumberton, N.C.
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Occupation: Retired Business Owner
Board of Governors appointee through 2021
Committees: Executive, BOT of the Endowment Fund


Don Metzger was reappointed to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Board of Trustees by the UNC Board of Governors in 2017, and served on the 2015 Chancellor Search Committee.

Mr. Metzger was born and raised in Kansas City, Mo. He attended the University of Missouri where he received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a master's in Construction Management. After graduation, Mr. Metzger worked as an engineer for several Ohio companies before starting his own consulting engineering company, Site Consultants, Inc. In 1974 he started an industrial construction company, Progressive Building Methods, Inc. He served as president of both companies until selling them in 1980, at which time he moved to Lumberton, N.C. and, with a partner, bought F.R. Bray Construction Company (Construction Systems, Inc.). Mr. Metzger sold the business in 1999.

Mr. Metzger is a member of several professional organizations and has remained actively involved with the local community for over 30 years. He has served on various committees and boards to include the Committee of 100 (which he helped found), the Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Trustees and Foundation Board of Robeson Community College, and the steering committee of the National League of Cities Community and Economic Development Committee. Most recently, Mr. Metzger served on the Lumberton City Council representing precinct one.

Mr. Metzger is married to his wife, Linda, and they have six children and 13 grandchildren. In service to the university and community, he and his wife established the Linda and Don Metzger Endowed Scholarship in Business to help students dedicated to furthering their education achieve their goals.

Patrick Corso

Patrick Corso, Vice Chair
Pinehurst, N.C.
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Occupation: Business Owner
Board of Governors appointee through 2019
Committees: Executive, *Public Affairs & Advancement, Student Life & Athletics, BOT of the Endowment Fund, Joint Investment Committee


Pat Corso was appointed by the UNC Board of Governors in 2015 to serve on the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees.

Mr. Corso came to Pinehurst, N.C. in 1986 and was named President and CEO of Pinehurst Resort in January 1987, a position he held for 17 years. He oversaw the restoration fo the resort and helped recruit major championship golf events, including the 1999 and 2005 US Open Championships.

His community involvement has included chair of the NC Travel & Tourism Board, as well as serving on the NC Economic Development Board, the Moore County Chamber of Commerce, and the board of the Boys & Girls Club of the Sandhills. In 2003, Mr. Corso was named one of 40 North Carolina Tourism Leaders of the 20th Century by Appalachian State University.

Mr. Corso is a graduate of Ball State University and a member of The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, Scotland. He is Executive Director of Moore County Partners in Progress and a franchisee/partner of Pinehurst Donuts, LLC.

Alphonzo McRae Jr.

Alphonzo McRae Jr. '74, '85, Secretary
Proctorville, N.C.
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Occupation: Retired Higher Ed. Administrator
Board of Governors appointee through 2019
Committees: Executive, Educational Planning & Personnel, Finance & Administration


Alphonzo McRae Jr., a resident of Proctorville, N.C., is a graduate of UNCP with a Bachelor of Science in physical education and a minor in biology. He earned his Master of Counselor Education from East Carolina University while working as a summer coordinator for the Upward Bound Program at UNCP. He then went on to work for over 30 years in various roles within the Public Schools of Robeson County. In 2009, Mr. McRae left PSRC to become vice president for Institutional Services at Robeson Community College - a position he held for more than seven years.

Mr. McRae maintains strong ties to the community through various athletic and civic ventures. He serves on the Southeastern Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees and is an official with the Southeastern Athletic Officials Association. Mr. McRae was inducted into the Pembroke State Athletic Hall of Fame in 1981 as a member of the men’s basketball team. In 2012, he was named an honorary co-chair of UNC Pembroke’s 125th Anniversary Committee. In May 2016, he was awarded the Golden Whistle Merit Award in recognition of leadership, service, character and time dedicated to officiating in North Carolina.

Wiley G. Barrett

Wiley G. Barrett '69 
Southern Pines, N.C.
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Occupation: Retired Educator
Board of Governors appointee through 2021
Committee: Audit & Ethics, Finance & Administration, *Student Life & Athletics


Dr. Wiley G. Barrett, a resident of Southern Pines, N.C., was appointed to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Board of Trustees by the UNC Board of Governors in 2012, to fulfill an unexpired term. In 2015, he chaired the Chancellor Search Committee.

Dr. Barrett graduated from UNCP with a bachelor's degree and earned a Master of Arts in education administration from Fayetteville State University. He holds an Education Specialist degree from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a doctorate in education from Campbell University. Dr. Barrett spent over 30 years in the Moore County public schools as a teacher, coach, or principal. Throughout his career, he has received numerous awards, including Teacher of the Year, Wachovia Principal of the Year, and the Young Educators Award.

He has devoted his time to many civic organizations, serving on the boards of the Moore County Parks and Recreation, National Alliance on Mental Health, First Tee of Moore County and Moore County Educational Foundation. Dr. Barrett has also served as chairman of the Moore County School Board and president of the Moore County Principals Association. He has spent many years refereeing numerous basketball and football games throughout North Carolina, including nine state championships. In May 2015, he was awarded the Golden Whistle Merit Award in recognition of leadership, service, character and time dedicated to officiating in North Carolina.

Dr. Barrett and his wife, Dianne, enjoy attending shows at Givens Performing Arts Center and cheering on the Braves at various sporting events. In appreciation of the time spent as a student-athlete at UNCP, Dr. Barrett and Dianne established the Wiley and Dianne Barrett Endowed Basketball Scholarship to recognize a member of the men’s or women’s basketball team with a demonstrated commitment to getting an education and improving their future.

Robert E. Caton

Robert E. Caton
Lumberton, N.C.
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Occupation: Retired Business Executive
Board of Governors appointee through 2019
Committee: Public Affairs & Advancement, Student Life & Athletics


Mr. Robert Caton was appointed to the UNCP Board of Trustees in 2011 and reappointed in 2015 by the UNC Board of Governors. Mr. Caton is a 1959 graduate of Florida State University and served as president and CEO of Eagle Distributing Company in Lumberton, N.C. for 30 years. 

He and his wife, Faye, are avid supporters of the university and have given to numerous scholarships and programs including the Art Department, Braves Club, Men's Basketball and the Caton Family Endowed Scholarship. 

Mary Ann Elliott

Mary Ann Elliott
Arlington, Va.
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Occupation: Business Executive
Board of Governors appointee through 2019
Committees: Executive, *Educational Planning & Personnel, Finance & Administration, BOT of the Endowment Fund


Mary Ann Elliott, a native of Lumberton, N.C., has established herself as one of the experts in satellite communications supporting the military and intelligence community.

Ms. Elliott began her corporate career as the first female in terrestrial wireless communications with Motorola. In 1991, she founded Arrowhead Global Solutions, Inc. as a small business that grew to see revenues of $11 million in its first decade. The company provides various telecommunication and information technology services throughout the federal government, contracting with the U.S. military, Department of Homeland Security, and the intelligence community.

Prior to founding Arrowhead, Ms. Elliott held management positions with COMSAT International, Contel's American Satellite Division, Talon Technology and Navidyne.

She has been recognized in various publications and received numerous distinctions, including Fortune Magazine (Successful Entrepreneur – June 2001) and People Magazine (Fascinating People – June 2001). In 2009, she received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from UNCP during the spring commencement. 

Ms. Elliott has established two endowed scholarships at UNC Pembroke: the Mary Ann Elliott Endowed Scholarship to support students majoring in engineering or a telecommunications related field; and, in memory of Elliott’s mother, the Mary McKenzie Edwards Endowed Scholarship to assist students in UNCP’s School of Nursing.

In addition, Ms. Elliott, along with her family, founded The Morningstar Foundation which provides financial support through grants to various children’s, animal welfare, and environmental causes. Ms. Elliott was appointed to the Board to fill an unexpired term.

Allison Harrington

Allison Harrington '95
Lumberton, N.C.
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Occupation: Business Owner
N.C. General Assembly Appointee through 2021
Committees: Audit & Ethics, Educational Planning & Personnel, Public Affairs & Advancement; Foundation Board Representative


Allison Harrington, a graduate of UNC Pembroke, is owner and president of Speech Solutions, Inc., a speech pathology service provider with four offices in southeastern North Carolina. Allison earned her B.S. in elementary education in 1995 and a master’s in education in Communication Disorders from N.C. Central University.

Before opening her business in 2003, Allison taught in the Public Schools of Robeson County for 4 1/2 years. The company has since grown to four locations in southeastern North Carolina – Lumberton, Laurinburg, Shallotte, and Whiteville.

Allison is very active in the community and has served on multiple boards, including the Robeson County Chamber of Commerce, LRDA Policy Committee, Robeson County Committee of 100, and the Lumberton Local Advisory Board of First Bank. In addition, she chaired the NC Speech and Language Pathologists and Audiologists Board of Examiners in 2017.

Allison remains dedicated to her alma mater, serving on the UNCP Alumni Association’s board of directors, establishing the Allison P. Harrington Endowed Scholarship, being a member of the UNCP Lifetime Giving Society and the Chancellor’s Club, and serving on the vice chancellor for Advancement search committee in 2018. She continues to attend as many charitable and social events for the Black and Gold as her busy schedule allows.

She has been honored with several awards such as the 2015 Small Business Award from the Lumberton Chamber of Commerce, and the UNCP Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2014.

Allison, who is originally from Rowland, N.C., currently resides in Lumberton with her son, Seth, and dog, Pauline. Allison was appointed to the Board in 2018 to fill an unexpired term. 

Brigadier General Allen J. Jamerson

Brig. Gen. Allen Jamerson '83, '86
Woodbridge, Va.
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Occupation: Consultant
Board of Governors appointee through 2021
Committees: Executive, *Audit & Ethics, Educational Planning & Personnel, Finance & Administration, BOT of the Endowment Fund, Joint Investment Committee


Brigadier General Allen J. Jamerson is a graduate of UNC Pembroke with degrees in criminal justice (1983) and social work (1986). He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1986, and was commissioned as an AFROTC distinguished graduate. Following several domestic and international security police assignments, he served as Chief, Security Police for Clear Air Station, Alaska.

Gen. Jamerson graduated from the U.S. Army War College, Carlisle Barracks, Pa., in 2003. He was then assigned as deputy director of security for the National Reconnaissance Office, Chantilly, Va. He served as commander for numerous posts including the 90th Security Forces Group at Francis E. Warren AFB, Wyo., 72nd Air Base Wing at Tinker, AFB, Okla., and vice commander of the 42nd Air Base Wing, Maxwell AFB, Ala.

Upon his retirement in 2016, Gen. Jamerson was director of Security Forces, Deputy Chief of Staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C. He was responsible for ensuring the physical security of Air Force nuclear assets, and planning and programming for over 37,500 Active-Duty and Reserve security forces worldwide.

Throughout his career, Gen. Jamerson has received numerous awards and decorations, to include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster. He was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in 2012.

Gen. Jamerson served as commencement speaker for both graduate and undergraduate ceremonies in spring 2014. He later established the General Allen J. Jamerson Scholarship for Aerospace Excellence to recognize an outstanding UNC Pembroke Air Force ROTC cadet.

George Little

George Little
Southern Pines, N.C.
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Occupation: Business Owner
Governor's appointee through 2019
Committees: Educational Planning & Personnel, Public Affairs & Advancement


George Little was appointed to the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees by Governor Pat McCrory in 2016, to fill an unexpired term. 

Mr. Little is a former secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Economic Resources, and was a gubernatorial candidate in 2004. He has worked with various civic, business and nonprofit organizations in Moore County and throughout the state. Mr. Little previously served as president of the N.C. Association of Community College Trustees and currently serves on its executive board. He has served on the board of trustees for Sandhills Community College since 1981, and the last ten years on the board of trustees for Western Carolina University.

His community engagement includes serving on the boards of the Sprint Mid-Atlantic Telecom, N.C. Citizens for Business and Industry, N.C. Free, and Sanford Association of Financial and Insurance Advisors. Mr. Little is also a member of the Sandhills Area Chamber of Commerce, Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills and Southern Pines Elks Lodge. In addition, he is a member of the board of directors for Partners in Progress, the economic development organization for Moore County, and chairman of the Pinehurst Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Mr. Little has received numerous accolades over the years, including the Cornerstone Award from the United Way of Moore County, Outstanding Trustee for the U.S. Southern Region by the Association of Community College Trustees, the I.E. Ready Award from the N.C. State Board of Community Colleges, and an honorary doctor of law degree from Sandhills Community College.

He is president of George W. Little & Associates and a graduate of UNC Chapel Hill. Mr. Little resides in Southern Pines with his wife, Wanda. They have two daughters, one son, and seven grandchildren.

Karen L. Sampson

Karen L. Sampson '76 
Houston, Texas
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Occupation: Philanthropist
Board of Governors appointee through 2021
Committees: Audit & Ethics, Public Affairs & Advancement, Student Life & Athletics


Karen Sampson was born and raised in Pembroke and graduated from Pembroke Senior High School. She graduated cum laude from UNCP (Pembroke State University) with a bachelor of science in early childhood education. While at Pembroke State, Karen was active in various student activities, such as the Indianhead Yearbook and marching band.

Karen taught kindergarten at Southside-Ashpole Elementary School in Rowland, N.C., and then first grade at Tanglewood Elementary School in Lumberton, N.C., before moving to East Lansing, Mich. with her husband, Kelvin Sampson (current head men’s basketball coach for the University of Houston). Throughout the years, Karen has devoted her time to numerous community and civic endeavors while supporting her husband’s career. She has worked with academically at risk Native American students in the public schools of Butte, Mont., and chaired the committee for the Washington State Games opening ceremonies, which featured Dan O’Brien (1996 Olympic gold-medalist in men’s decathlon) as the keynote speaker.

In addition, Karen has been involved with several organizations, including P.E.O. (Philanthropic Educational Organization) for over 25 years, and the Assistance League in Norman, Okla.

At UNC Pembroke, the Sampson family established the John W. (Ned) and Eva B. Sampson Endowed Men's Basketball Scholarship for deserving young basketball players.

Karen resides in Houston, Texas with her husband. They have two adult children, Kellen and Lauren, a daughter-in-law, Tonya, and a granddaughter, Maisy. Karen was appointed in 2018 to fill an unexpired term.

Larry Stone

Larry Stone '77
Lumberton, N.C.
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Occupation: Business Owner
Governor's appointee through 2019
Committees: Educational Planning & Personnel, *Finance & Administration, BOT of the Endowment Fund, Joint Investment Committee


Governor Pat McCrory appointed Larry Stone, a resident of Lumberton, N.C., to the UNC Pembroke Board of Trustees in 2015. 

Mr. Stone is owner and president of several business ventures including Pawn Plus, Inc., Tom Stone Farms, Inc. and RMC Holdings, Inc. He is also a licensed real estate broker and insurance agent in North Carolina. Mr. Stone earned a bachelor's degree from UNC Pembroke and a Master of Education from Campbell University. 

James A. Thomas

James A. Thomas 
Los Angeles, Calif.
Occupation: Business Executive
N.C. General Assembly appointee through 2021
Committees: Executive, Finance & Administration, Student Life & Athletics


A Pembroke native, Mr. Thomas attended Baldwin-Wallace College, where he studied economics and played basketball. He received his law degree magna cum laude from the Cleveland State Law School, editing the school’s law review during his tenure.

As co-managing partner of Maguire Thomas Partners and founder of Thomas Properties Group, Inc., he has helped transform the skyline of downtown Los Angeles with properties such as Library Tower, Wells Fargo Center and the Gas Company Tower. Mr. Thomas has served in the Chief Counsel’s Office of the Internal Revenue Service in Seattle and Los Angeles, and was principal owner of the NBA Sacramento Kings from 1992 to 1999.

Mr. Thomas has held numerous board positions to include Board of Governors of the Music Center of Los Angeles, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles Sports Council, Town Hall, and FAST (Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic), an organization he founded. Mr. Thomas received the Alumni Merit Award in 1998 and an honorary doctorate in 1999 from Baldwin-Wallace. He was inducted into the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Hall of Excellence in 2014.

To honor his parents who were both educators and graduates of UNCP, Mr. Thomas established the Earl A. and Ophelia Thomas Endowed Scholarship. The Thomas Assembly Room located in UNCP’s Museum of the Southeast American Indian is also named in their regard. In 1990, Mr. Thomas received an honorary degree from UNCP.

Mr. Thomas and his wife, Sally, founded the Thomas Family Foundation, which helped to establish the UNCP Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship and Thomas Family Endowed Professorship in Entrepreneurship in July 2005. 

Omar Torres

Omar Torres
Student Body President
2018-19
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Committees: Audit & Ethics, Public Affairs & Advancement, Student Life & Athletics


Born and raised in Richlands, North Carolina, Omar currently serves as the Student Body President at UNC Pembroke. Prior to this appointment, he served as vice president and senate president of the student body.

Mr. Torres is enrolled in the 3+2 engineering program, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in applied physics and engineering, and a minor in music. He has held two separate engineering internships in Lumberton with Titan Flow Control, Inc. and Graphic Packaging International.

Mr. Torres has previously worked for several departments on campus, including the Office for Diversity and Inclusion as a BEAD Educator and the Safe Zone Coordinator, and the Center for Student Success as a Peer Academic Leader. In addition, Mr. Torres is a member of Phi Mu Alpha Fraternity, and UNCP's Model United Nations club.