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Thursday, March 18, 2010

UNCP scholarship award memorializes Dr. Collie Coleman

The legacy of an educator who helped others succeed will continue with a scholarship award established on February 26 at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

From left: Kyle and Anne Coleman, Robert Canida II and Chancellor Jenkins

From left: Kyle and Anne Coleman, Robert Canida II and Chancellor Jenkins

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Dr. Collie Coleman, who led outreach efforts at UNCP as associate vice chancellor for Outreach, died in 2008. But his work will continue thanks to an initiative of Robert L. Canida II, a colleague and friend.

“Dr. Coleman was a special man, a mentor, father figure, and most important, a special person to me, and many, many others,” said Canida, who is director of UNCP’s Office of Multicultural and Minority Affairs. “I am personally indebted to him for his gifts of wisdom and leadership.”

The Dr. Collie Coleman Award will provide financial assistance to a member of UNCP’s National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) who demonstrates high academic achievement.

Anne Coleman, Dr. Coleman’s wife and assistant dean for research services at UNCP’s Mary Livermore Library, attended the signing ceremony.

“I would like to thank Robert for establishing this scholarship award to honor my husband,” Anne Coleman said. “Collie led a life of service and helped many people during his time with us. This scholarship will continue his legacy and help many more in the future.

“It’s also appropriate that the award will go to a member of the National Pan-Hellenic Council,” she said. “Collie was a member of Phi Beta Sigma, but he was a man who knew no boundaries and mentored everyone, regardless of their Greek affiliation.”

Canida said that it is also appropriate that the award was established by him because he is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., (also a member of the NPHC), and because Dr. Coleman’s son, Kyle, and Kyle’s godfather and namesake, K. Z. Chavis, were lifelong Kappa Alpha Psi members.

Kyle Chavis Coleman was also at the ceremony.

“I was fortunate to see how committed my father was to education and to the ideal of leadership,” Kyle Coleman said. “We co-advised Phi Beta Sigma, Inc. at UNCP, where I saw first-hand how he helped others.”

Canida said Dr. Coleman’s work was appreciated and respected by others.

“He was revered by all who knew him,” Canida said. “Everything he touched, he made better, including this University through his work in the Office of Outreach.”

Dr. Coleman was associate vice chancellor in charge of outreach, distance education and the Regional Center for Economic, Community and Professional Development. A computer learning laboratory in the center is named for him.

Under Dr. Coleman’s guidance, the University achieved remarkable results. UNCP became the third leading provider of online learning in the UNC system and gained access to classroom space on Ft. Bragg.

Chancellor Charles Jenkins said it was a privilege to work with Dr. Coleman.

“I collaborated with Dr. Coleman on several projects,” Chancellor Jenkins said. “I had the highest regard for him as a professional, and I enjoyed his company.

“We were fortunate to have known him,” he said.

The recipient of the award will be a sophomore, junior or senior who maintains at least a 3.0 grade point average, demonstrates financial need and is a member in good standing of the National Pan-Hellenic Council. The award, which will be made annually in the spring, is renewable.

Dr. Coleman was a distinguished lifelong educator. He was president of Allen University in Columbia, S.C. (1984-1994), vice president for academic affairs at his alma mater, Shaw University, in Raleigh, N.C. (1994-1999), and executive vice president/chief academic officer at Voorhees College in Denmark, S.C. (1999-2002).

For information about this award or giving at UNCP, please call the Office for Advancement at 910.521.6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu.

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