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Friday, April 28, 2006

Braves Club Room at UNCP gets a new name

UNC Pembroke’s Braves Club Room was dedicated April 26 in honor of University alumni, Bobbie and Abdul Ghaffar.

Donors Bobbie and Abdul Ghaffar with Chancellor Allen C. Meadors at the dedication of the Native Angels Braves Club Room.

Donors Bobbie and Abdul Ghaffar with Chancellor Allen C. Meadors at the dedication of the Native Angels Braves Club Room.

Located in the English E. Jones Athletic Center, the Native Angels Home Care & Hospice Braves Club Room will host generations of UNCP athletic boosters. The naming rights resulted from a gift given by a couple with a long relationship to the University and its athletic programs.

Bobbie Jacobs-Ghaffar, a member of the softball team and the class of 1993, is the president and CEO of Native Angels Home Care & Hospice Agency, Inc. Abdul is director of Student Activities at UNCP and was a member of the 1986-90 basketball teams.

Abdul Ghaffar said he owes more than the usual amount to his alma mater.

“When you come to school and meet your future wife on the first day, I really can’t say thank you enough,” he said. “This has been a giving institution to me personally, but also to many young people.

“This gift recognizes everything from 1986 to this day,” Ghaffar said. “The things that I have accomplished were the result of a shared vision.”

Bobbie Jacobs-Ghaffar said UNCP played a major role in her life.

“There are many people here who influenced me,” she said. “This was a community institution when I was here, but it is a global institution today.”

“God entrusts us with the stewardship of His gifts,” Jacobs-Ghaffar said. “Thank you for all your hard work.”

Athletic Director Dan Kenney was head basketball coach during Abdul’s playing days.

“It’s hard for me to believe it’s been 20 years,” Kenney said. “Here is an example of what leadership is about.”

“Abdul helped me become a better coach,” he said. “He taught me the value of patience, sticking with people, and he demonstrates the importance of giving back to your community.”

“Nobody has made the Braves moniker any more proud,” Kenney said.

In closing, Chancellor Allen C. Meadors thanked Bobbie and Abdul Ghaffar for their dedication to the University.

“Today, we celebrate two people with a passion for their University and a passion for their community,” Chancellor Meadors said. “We truly appreciate this gift to the First and Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence.”

“I really appreciate what these two alums have done for us and I thank them very sincerely,” he said.

Headquartered in Robeson County, Native Angels was co-founded by Bobbie Jacobs-Ghaffar and her sister, Lesa, a Registered Nurse. Jacobs-Ghaffar also founded Angel Elite Sports Foundation, Angel Exchange, LLC and the Fulfillment Center. She is a lifetime resident of Robeson County and a member of the Lumbee Tribe.

Jacobs-Ghaffar has been involved in community health and human services for her entire career. She is a past board member of the Legal Services Board of North Carolina, N.C. Client and Community Development Initiative Board, Fund for Southern Communities, Robeson Health Care Corporation, and N.C. Child Fatality Task Force. She has worked as a community advocate for the environment, youth, health, minority and women’s issues.

At UNCP, Jacobs-Ghaffar majored in biology and met her husband Abdul. They have three children, Safiya, Aminah, and Walter, and reside in the Deep Branch community. Jacobs-Ghaffar is also a licensed minister, and is active in economic development focused on a regional approach that empowers individuals.

Abdul Ghaffar began his career at UNCP in 1993 as assistant director of Student Activities. In 1998, he became sports information director and in1999, he was named director of Student Activities. Ghaffar graduated from UNCP in 1990 with a B.A. in public relations. He received his master’s from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville in 1993.

As an undergraduate, Ghaffar was a four-year letterman in basketball and a two-year letter winner in track. He was a starter on the 1990 Carolinas Conference tournament champion basketball team. Ghaffar coordinates the Angel Elite Sports program, which provides area youth with opportunities to compete in basketball and track at the state and national levels.

At Student Activities, Ghaffar developed several programs, including the Leadership and Service Opportunities Program, Parents Weekend and the Distinguished Speaker Series. Ghaffar met his future wife on his first day at UNCP in August 1986. He was born in Charlotte, N.C., and was raised in Pittsboro, N.C.

For more information about the First and Ten Campaign for Football and Athletic Excellence, please contact the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu.

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