PEMBROKE — Dr. Waltz Maynor came from humble beginnings.
Raised in the Red Banks community in the 1930s, he pursued a career in the classroom, like his father, Wayne.
Maynor taught briefly at what was then known as Pembroke State University in the late 1960s. He went on to enjoy a 35-year career at North Carolina Central University. Although Maynor and his wife, Louise, lived in Durham, Pembroke remained home.
Loyal supporters of UNCP, the couple recently pledged $50,000 to the American Indian Studies Department. Waltz Maynor passed away on Father’s Day, June 19.
He was 83.
“Through his distinguished career and personal advocacy, Dr. Waltz Maynor exemplified the power of education — and the power of UNC Pembroke — to change lives,” said Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings.
“Although his impact was felt across North Carolina and beyond, UNCP is grateful Waltz remained loyal to the institution where his journey of higher education began.”
Dr. Mary Ann Jacobs, chair of the American Indian Studies Department, said her department is grateful for the Drs. Waltz and Louise Maynor Family Endowed Fund.
“We were really lucky in that Waltz was so generous to American Indian Studies,” Jacobs said. “That was a reflection of who he was. He gave to American Indian Studies because he felt the need of our people to learn more about native history and culture in the southeast.”
“Education really shaped their lives so they wanted to give back to their community,” Jacobs said.
Education was the tool that helped shape and mold Waltz. His father was among the earliest graduates at Pembroke State College, earning degrees in 1925, 1929, and 1942. Waltz obtained a degree in mathematics from Pembroke State College in 1959.
His first teaching job was at Oxon Hill High School in Maryland. He would go on to teach math at Fairgrove High, Sandhills Community College, Pembroke State and Appalachian State University. Along the way, Maynor earned a master’s degree from Appalachian State and his doctorate from Duke University in education administration and research.
Maynor joined the faculty at N.C. Central University during the 1970s. For 35 years, he taught and served in a number of administrative positions, including chairman of the Department of Education.
In 2004, UNCP honored Waltz with the Distinguished Service Award. He also served on the UNCP Alumni Board. Waltz led a community effort to build a public library for the town of Pembroke.
The Maynors have seven children: Cherry Beasley, a nursing professor at UNCP; Lucy Lowry, Kevin Maynor, Johannah Maynor, Dane Quinn, Malinda Lowery, and Ben Maynor. Their dedication to education is reflected in their children considering four of them hold a Ph.D., and the others hold master’s degrees and CPA credentials.
“Waltz was thankful and proud of, not only his accomplishments, but his heritage and the family he came from,” said the Rev. Mike Cummings, Waltz’s brother-in-law. “He was so proud of his Lumbee heritage.”
Waltz was heavily involved in the Lumbee Tribal sovereignty movement. In 1999, he was appointed to the Lumbee Self-Determination Commission.
“So much of his heart was right here and he never lost that,” Cummings said. “He was very generous to the university and to local ministries.”
Cummings said Maynor was a huge supporter of the campus ministry at UNCP.
“Waltz was deeply affected by his faith, his upbringing in church and love for his faith,” Cummings said. “He had such an appetite for knowledge, not only in his pursuit of education, but the scriptures as well.”
Mark Locklear is the public communication specialist for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.