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Tuesday, September 11, 2007

UNCP is funded for a distinguished professorship in education

A new endowed distinguished professorship at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will be named for Chancellor Emeritus Joseph B. Oxendine.

Joseph OxendineThe distinguished professorship will be in UNCP’s School of Education and funded by the C.D. Spangler Foundation, Inc. It will be the first of as many as five chairs at UNCP funded by the foundation which pledged $26.9 million to establish up to 96 professorships at the 16 UNC campuses.

Spangler, who was president of UNC from 1986-97, requested that the chair be named for Dr. Oxendine, who was chancellor of UNCP from 1989-99. In a letter dated August 9 with a check for $250,000, UNC President Emeritus Spangler requested the naming.

“This chair is to be named for Chancellor Emeritus Joseph B. Oxendine, who has provided time and energy in support of our University,” Spangler said. “I encourage you to see that a well-qualified professor is selected for this honor.”

Dr. Charles Harrington, provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, said the University is extremely grateful for the gift.

Thanks to a very generous gift from the C.D. Spangler Foundation, we are slotted to receive five endowed professorships, one each year for five years,” Dr. Harrington said.  “We were given the option of choosing the discipline, and, given the University’s unique history as a teacher training school for American Indians, it made perfect sense to us that our first chair from the Spangler grant should be in teacher education.”

The North Carolina General Assembly’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund will match the challenge grant from the Spangler Foundation. As an endowment, the gift will fund the professorship forever.

A successful Charlotte, N.C., businessman, Spangler is a friend to UNCP, Dr. Oxendine said.

“C.D. Spangler was a superb leader, and I always believed that he was very supportive of all the UNC institutions,” Dr. Oxendine said. “I am tremendously honored and humbled to have my name associated in perpetuity with a distinguished professorship.

“An endowed professorship enhances the quality and stature of an institution and its programs,” he said.

Dr. Zoe Locklear, dean of the School of Education, said her department is honored to be the recipient of UNCP’s first distinguished professorship.

In 2007, the Spangler Foundation committed to provide $6.9 million, the full private funding required to endow one distinguished professorship on every UNC campus. Beginning in 2008, the foundation will invest up to $20 million over five years to help each campus qualify for one additional endowed chair each year, potentially adding 80 additional professorships.

Both proposals are contingent on the N.C. General Assembly providing state matching funds totaling $4.6 million annually through the Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund. Created by the General Assembly in 1985, the fund has provided matching funds for 302 professorships across UNC, including the Thomas Family Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship at UNCP.

Previously, Spangler and his family foundation have made gifts to endow or complete 37 distinguished professorships across the University.

Commenting on the proposals, Spangler said: “Good professors are professors who like teaching students and like doing research. This effort on the part of my family is intended to retain, reward, and recruit good professors. We hope there will be positive results.”

Chancellor Meadors said the initiative would have a dramatic, lasting impact on academic quality at UNCP.

“This is a remarkable opportunity for our University, and I am especially pleased that President Emeritus Spangler honored Chancellor Emeritus Joseph Oxendine with this honor,” said Chancellor Meadors. “Education is UNCP’s great historic mission and there are many challenges for the future in training teachers for tomorrow, so we are especially grateful to C.D. Spangler Jr. and the foundation.”

Besides the Thomas Distinguished Professorship, UNCP has three other distinguished professorships, the Martha Beach Chair in Art, the William C. Friday Distinguished Professorship in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and the William H. Belk Chair of Management in the School of Business.

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