robesonian.com

Julian T. Pierce Memorial Scholarship Fund receives $7,500

Staff report

October 5, 2013


LUMBERTON — The Julian T. Pierce Memorial Scholarship Fund at Robeson Community College recently received a $7,500 contribution when the proceeds from an art auction fundraiser were distributed at a reception at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.


Pierce, a Lumbee, was the first executive director of the Lumbee River Legal Services in Pembroke and spent his professional life as an attorney for equal rights. In addition to his work at Lumbee River Legal Services, Pierce helped build Robeson HealthCare Corporation to serve the medical needs of the less fortunate in the county and he helped stabilize the outdoor drama “Strike at the Wind!”


Pierce played a key role in the struggle for federal recognition for the Lumbee tribe by petitioning the Bureau of Indian Affairs for such in 1987. In 1988, he resigned his position at Lumbee River Legal Services to run for a newly created judgeship in Robeson County, but before the election he was murdered.


Harvey Godwin Jr, RCC Foundation board member and organizer of the art auction, served as Pierce’s campaign manager before Pierce died. Godwin created scholarships in Pierce’s memory shortly after his death at Robeson Community College, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke and North Carolina Central University. A memorial fund was also established at the Pembroke Legal Aid office.


Godwin’s wife, Shelia Godwin, created the artwork that was auctioned at this summer’s fundraiser. Pierce’s daughter, Julia Pierce, also an attorney, delivered the keynote speech.


For information about this and other scholarships at Robeson Community College, call 910-272-3236 or email rbranch@robeson.edu.