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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

2007: A year like no other

1. Football – After a 50-year absence, football returned to UNCP. The resurgent Braves won their first home game and Homecoming too. Playing on Lumbee Guaranty Field, the team is headquartered in the new Bob Caton Fieldhouse. Financial support for the team was another of the big stories of 2007.

2. Faculty scholarship - Faculty members published 11 books in 2007. Scholarship of UNCP’s faculty hit an all-time high. They are:

  • Dr. David Oxendine – “Perceived Fairness of an Ethnic Validation Procedure: Implications for Lumbee Federal Recognition;”
  • Dr. David Zeigler – “Understanding Biodiversity;”
  • Dr. Cliff Mensah – “Economics of Technology Adaptation;”
  • Dr. Jeff Frederick – “Stand up for Alabama: Gov. George Wallace;”
  • Dr. Scott Billingsley – “It’s a New Day: Race and Gender in the Modern Charismatic Movement;”
  • Dr. Robert Seesengood – “Competing Identities: The Athlete and the Gladiator in Early Christianity;”
  • Dr. Peter Imoro – “Cultura E Ideologia en Curatro Nouvellas de Manuel Puig;”
  • Dr. Roger Guy – “From Diversity to Unity: Southern and Appalachian Migrants in Uptown Chicago;”
  • Dr. Enrique Porrua – “El Discurso Postmodernista en la Trilogía Gallega de Camilo José Cela;”
  • Dr. Christopher Ziemnowicz, Dr. John Parnell and Dr. Rick Crandall – “Reconsidering Schumpeter;”
  • Dr. Jonathan Lewis - “Tomorrow Through the Past: Neal Stephenson and the Project of Global Modernization.”

3. New construction -- The dedication of the O.R. Sampson Academic Building in the summer highlighted a continuing building boom. Sampson Academic is the first new classroom building constructed on campus in 27 years. Also finished were another residence hall, an addition to the James B. Chavis University Center and the Caton Fieldhouse. There is more to come in 2008!

4. Fundraising – The largest single gift in University history - $1.3 million from the estate of Esther Maynor – was earmarked for the support of student scholarship. That gift lifted UNCP’s endowment to more than $10 million. It started the decade at $4.4 million. Three endowed professorships were established that will net the University $2.5 million. More than $8 million was raised over the last two years. In no time in the history of giving has UNCP raised half of that total. Yes, football raised a considerable sum also.

5. Residence Life – Two new student apartment complexes came online in fall 2007 as did Oak Residence Hall with more than 350 beds. About 2,500 students now live on or near campus compared with about 600 at the beginning of the decade. A “critical mass” of residential students has been a goal of Chancellor Meadors since his arrival.

6. Endowed professorships – Five distinguished professorship were either established or filled in 2007: The Healthkeeperz and the Robert and Anne Zucker Distinguished Professors of Nursing, the Joseph B. Oxendine Distinguished Professorship of Education, the Thomas Family Distinguished Professorship in Entrepreneurship and BB&T Distinguished Professorship in the Philosophical Foundations of Free Enterprise. The Oxendine chair is the first of five that will be funded by the C.D. Spangler Foundation.

7. Satellite campuses – UNCP reached out all the way to Wilmington, N.C., with its 10th satellite campus at Cape Fear Community College. Two years ago, the University gained access to Ft. Bragg. A new course of study for community college students, interdisciplinary studies, was created to be more flexible and compatible with students who begin their studies at community colleges.

8. Dean Leach retires – Dr. Thomas Leach became a department chair in just his fourth year on the faculty. He taught 25 different English courses, helped found the Honors College, led his department for 22 years and became dean for the College of Arts and Sciences.

9. Master of Social Work – UNCP’s 17th master’s degree program was approved in 2007. It will be a boon to the profession and to the region. The University already has the largest Bachelor of Social Work program in North Carolina.

10. Esther G. Maynor Scholar – The first Esther G. Maynor Scholar was named following a large bequest from a donor who grew up near the University. Sara Pack, a North Moore High School graduate, was the first to receive the full four-year grant.

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