Last updated: October 28. 2013 11:49AM - 1159 Views

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Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation has reached out to The University of North Carolina at Pembroke to establish a Scholars Program.

In October, the corporation’s board of directors ratified an agreement to establish an endowed scholarship at UNCP that will total $25,000 by 2018. Named the Lumbee River EMC Scholars Program, it was initiated with a $5,000 gift.

Earnings from the endowment will fund a scholarship for an outstanding student majoring in Biology or Environmental Science with preference for a student interested in a career in Agriculture. The scholarship is renewable, and the student or his parents must be members of the Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation.

Serving Robeson, Hoke, Scotland and Cumberland counties, the corporation has a long and distinguished history of community outreach, including to UNCP. With five existing scholarship programs, education is a priority in a region where agriculture drives the economy.

“Lumbee River EMC and the University of North Carolina at Pembroke have had a partnership for many years, and we are always looking for opportunities to enhance this relationship,” said Steven Hunt, president and chief executive officer of Lumbee River EMC. “We at Lumbee River EMC understand the importance of agriculture and education to the economy of our area. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to expand our partnership with this outstanding university that shares in our values and commitment to our local community.”

The Lumbee River Scholars program at UNCP is the Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation second major educational endowment. Robeson Community College is the first. The scholarship program awards more than $40,000 annually, and its Bright Ideas Grant Program awards $20,000 annually to public school teachers who propose innovative ideas to enhance teaching and learning.

Wendy Lowery, vice chancellor of Advancement at UNCP, thanked Hunt and his board for its gift.

“We are grateful that LREMC understands the importance of higher education and the opportunities it provides to our region, state, and beyond,” Lowery said. “Their gift will have a direct impact on the lives of others for generations to come.”

The electric cooperative also supports the United Way, community events and health and wellness programs. The corporation is also a long-time supporter of UNCP’s Region IV Science and Engineering Fair.

Headquartered in Red Springs, Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation employs 117 and distributes electricity to 50,000 members through its 5,200-mile distribution network. It was founded in 1940 as an initiative of the federal Rural Electrification Administration to provide electricity to underserved rural areas of the nation.

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke enrolls nearly 3,000 students from Robeson, Cumberland, Scotland and Hoke counties. Its endowment provides more than $300,000 in student scholarships.

To learn about the Lumbee River Scholars Program or giving to UNCP, contact the Office of Advancement at 910-521-6252 or email advancement@uncp.edu.

To learn about services and/or programs of Lumbee River Electric Membership Corporation, contact 910-843-4131 or visit www.lumbeeriver.com/.

Scott Bigelow is a Public Relations director for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.

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