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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

UNCP honors scholarship donors and recipients

Scholarships are established for many reasons.

Greg Cummings shared his reasons with an audience of more than 300 at the 5th Annual Scholarship Recognition Dinner on November 20 at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

Dinner Speakers -- From left: Greg Cummings, Lakisha Williams, Chancellor Meadors, Doshie Smith and Tim Brayboy

Dinner Speakers -- From left: Greg Cummings, Lakisha Williams, Chancellor Meadors, Doshie Smith and Tim Brayboy

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“It just came to me in an instant one day that a scholarship to help young people was the right way to honor the memory of my son,” said Cummings, who is a Pembroke Town Councilman and director of Economic Development for Robeson County.

Cummings’ son, who was known as “CG,” died in an automobile collision in 1992 at the age of 16.

“In the weeks afterward, kids told me how CG had helped them, whether it was loaning them money for lunch or tutoring them in classes they were having trouble with,” Cummings said. “He had a good heart, and he would always help people who needed it.

“That is why I established this scholarship,” a tearful father said. “Here it is 16 years later, and I never thought I would be able to talk about him like this.”

The Scholarship Recognition Dinner honors donors like Cummings and lets them meet the recipients of the scholarship they established.

Tim Brayboy, a 1964 graduate and member of the UNCP athletic Hall of Fame, said his scholarship honors his father and mother, Tecumseh and Eva Brayboy, a farm family who “wanted something better for their children.”

The scholarship also honors Brayboy’s ancestors, two of whom were founders of the University.

“It was a small group of people who believed that education was the cornerstone of progress,” Brayboy said. “It they could see the University today, I believe they would be pleased with the progress.”

Britt Scholar – Recipient Theresa Williams, left, with donors Sarah and Frank Britt

Britt Scholar – Recipient Theresa Williams, left, with donors Sarah and Frank Britt

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Frank Britt and his mother, Sarah M. Britt, established an endowed scholarship to honor Franklin Britt Sr., who taught biology at UNCP for many years.

“My father loved to collect plants, and he loved this school,” said Britt, who is a facilities architect at UNCP. “My mother and I have been able to contribute every year to the scholarship.

“It’s a great value, I think,” he said.

Dr. Elinor Foster, dean of Library Services at UNCP, manages another growing scholarship. Her recipient in 2008, Lisa Walters, was recently accepted to the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University.

“Students must apply for our scholarship; it’s competitive,” Dr. Foster said. “This is the second year in a row that our scholar was accepted to medical school.

“We’ve added funds to increase the grant each year,” she said. “The Friends of the Library believe it’s the best way to put our money to good use.”

Library Scholar – Dr. Elinor Foster, left, with scholar Lisa Walters

Library Scholar – Dr. Elinor Foster, left, with scholar Lisa Walters

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Lakisha Williams, a senior from Taylortown, N.C., and a recipient of the Kisha Williams Scholarship, said she will be happy to see her December 13 graduation date.

“It’s been difficult with two part-time jobs and a two-and-a-half hour commute each day,” Williams said. “I am proud to say I am the 9th child in my family and the first in my immediate family to graduate from college.”

Doshie Smith, a junior from Laurinburg, N.C., said the James Ebert Endowed Scholarship helped make her dream of college graduation come true.

“This scholarship allowed me to see that there are individuals out there who care about students like us,” Smith said. “This scholarship has encouraged me to continue my studies, and I hope that in some way I will make an impact on the world.”

To learn more about scholarships and giving to UNCP, please contact the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu.

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