Homecoming a family affair


First Posted: 1/15/2009

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke Class of 1956 returned on Feb. 4 for Homecoming 2006 bearing gifts.
Numbering 25 graduates 50 years ago, the golden reunion class contributed mightily to create the scholarship totaling $4,125 at the university.
At a reception before the alumni awards banquet, Dewey and Christine Corn, from High Point, discussed old times with Ed and Mary Alice, Class of ‘58, Teets. While Dewey taught agriculture at UNCP, Christine, Class of ‘56, raised a family and received a degree in education.
&#8220Mary Alice was our babysitter,” said Christine Corn, who is retired after 30 years as a public school teacher.
&#8220We all lived on Faculty Row back then,” Mary Alice Teets said. “It was like a family.”
The theme of Homecoming was &#8220Gold and Black, Take Me Back,” and many memories were revived. Twenty-four class members contributed to the scholarship, which totaled $4,125 and continues to grow.
Chancellor Allen C. Meadors thanked the class and, in particular, Naomi and Lillian Faye Locklear, who are class representatives.
&#8220This scholarship is a wonderful and lasting tribute to this class,” Chancellor Meadors said. &#8220I hope you still have a warm place in your heart for UNCP. Always know that this is your home.”

Alumni awards
Three outstanding graduates were honored during the awards banquet.
For Henry Lewis, Class of ‘73 and winner of the Distinguished Service Award, UNCP is a family affair that includes his wife Gayle, Class of ‘75 and master’s degree recipient in 1988; brother Durham, Class of ’87; son Hank, Class of ‘01; and his wife, Trish, Clas of ‘98; son Alex, ’02 and his wife, Hilca, ’00 and ’04.
Introducing Henry Lewis, his son Hank said, &#8220When my father believes strongly about something, it’s hard to get him to stop talking about it. He believes very strongly in UNCP.”
From Lumberton, Henry Lewis is a former trustee, a member of both the Chancellor’s and Braves clubs, and he currently serves as chair of the UNCP Foundation board of directors.
&#8220Tonight is an unforgettable moment in my life,” Lewis said. &#8220It’s been a pleasure to be involved with UNCP. This university is growing and improving every day.”
For Outstanding Alumni Award winner Col. William Meier, ’75, the U.S. Marine Corps is a family affair. Col. Meier, who retires this year after 30 years in the Corps, has a son serving in Iraq, and his father was a career Marine.
Col. Meier recalled his commissioning in 1975 at UNCP.
&#8220I didn’t get any honors when I graduated, but my father commissioned me,” he said. &#8220I could not have done all this without my wife, Donna.
“We moved 14 times in 31 years.”
Athletic Director Dan Kenney was a new assistant basketball coach in 1977 when he spotted Melvin Reid, ’81, as an outstanding talent. Reid, who ranks sixth on UNCP’s all-time scoring list, was also remembered for his leadership.
Reid, who was accompanied by a large family contingent, said he came to UNCP scared, and he was still a little scared.
&#8220I’m elated,” Reid said. &#8220I have never lost my passion for Pembroke.”

Alumni Association
The Alumni Association added new members to the Board of Directors, according to President Jeffery Alejandro, ’95, of Greenville. Cynthia Herndon, ’01, of Parkton; Trey Allen, ’96, of Raleigh; and Sylvia Pate, ’99, of Rowland; joined the board.

Homecoming contests
At halftime of the men’s basketball game, Marvin Tubbs, a junior from Raeford, was crowned 2006 Homecoming King, and Angela Harding, a sophomore from Clinton was named Homecoming Queen.
Also at halftime, the alumni brothers of Phi Beta Sigma presented a donation of $1,000 to the memorial scholarship fund of the late Willie Mayes Jr., a UNCP wrestler who died in a tragic automobile accident in 1988.
For additional questions about homecoming or giving to UNCP, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at (910) 521-6533 or via e-mail [email protected].
Contributors to the scholarship included Sarah Bell in memory of James Walter Sampson ’56; Loleta Blanks, ’56; Eric Locklear in honor of Lillian Faye Thomas Locklear, ’56; Lillian Faye Locklear; Lillian Faye Locklear in memory of George W. Emanuel, ’56; Quessie Dial, ’56; Othniel Thompson, ’56; Christine Corn, ’56; Naomi Chavis, ’56; Helen Chavis, ’56; Herbert Lloyd, ’56; Bertha Locklear, ’56; Sallie, ’56, and William Oxendine; Victor Lowry in memory of Amrinda Lowry, ’56; Isa Valandra, ’56; Linda Oxendine, ’56; Loleta Blanks, ’56; Lachelle Ransom in honor of Loleta Blanks; Sally and Donald Jacobs in honor of Loleta Blanks; Orval Tommy Blanks in honor of Loleta Blanks; Abner and Stephanie Lowry in honor of Loleta Blanks; Darryl and Tomalita Howington in honor of Loleta Blanks; Shannon Lowery in honor of Naomi Chavis; and Linda and Kristy Sampson in memory of James Walter Samson, ’56.

– Scott Bigelow is the associate director of public relations for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

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