First Posted: 1/3/2014
It was a game-changing year at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
In a year of significant developments for the university, what were the most noteworthy? These events will have the greatest impact on the future of the institution and the communities, region and state it serves.
Some events can only be described as sensational — like the football team’s nationally televised upset of fifth-ranked Winston-Salem State. After the win, UNCP football began to climb up the national rankings.
Enrollment remained robust with the largest freshman class in five years last fall. It was also the “smartest” class in school history in terms of the students’ SAT scores and high school GPAs. The Class of 2017 helped replace the largest graduating class in school history.
— Counseling accreditation: In January, UNCP’s Clinical Mental Health and Professional School Counseling programs earned accreditation from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs. CACREP is the nationally recognized training standard for counselor education programs. It opens doors for graduates to employment and further training.
— MSN program: The Master of Science in Nursing program was approved in February by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors. It will train nursing leaders and educators of the future. The program began in the fall semester with 22 candidates.
— AACSB accreditation.: The School of Business was notified in April it had achieved accreditation from the Association to Advance of Collegiate Schools of Business. It is the highest international standard for schools that award degrees in business and will give UNCP graduates a boost as they enter the job market or continue their education.
— Nunnery leads ASG: Then Student Government President Robert Nunnery was elected president of the University of North Carolina Association of Student Governments in March. With the title, he also has a seat on the 32-member UNC Board of Governors. Nunnery is the first ASG president from UNCP.
— Important visitors: In April, the UNC Board of Governors met in its regular session at the university for the first time ever. North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory also came to Pembroke to deliver his first major speech on education of the new administration. The governor and the 32-member board warmly congratulated the university on its 125 years of service.
— SAIS gets first leader: Alfred Bryant, an associate dean of the School of Education, was picked in August to be the first director of the new Southeast American Studies program. Visionary in scope, the program would transform the university into a national leader in research and resources for the study of American Indians in the Southeastern U.S. As founding director, Bryant will establish a national advisory board and an Elder in Residence program.
— Entrepreneurship sncubator: In September, Chancellor Carter’s most ambitious community outreach program was funded by two grants, totaling $1.2 million, from the federal Economic Development Administration and the Golden Leaf Foundation. In early December, the university officially launched the Entrepreneurship Incubator to be located in downtown Pembroke. When renovated, the storefront building will have space for 12 startup businesses. Small business consultants from the Thomas Family Center for Entrepreneurship and the University of North Carolina’s Small Business Technology Development Center.
— Scientist wins UNC award: It was a busy and exciting year for Ben Bahr, the William Friday Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology. He received notice that his Alzheimer’s disease drug was provisionally patented. In November, the UNC Board of Governors honored him with the James B. Holshouser Jr. Award for Excellence in Public Service. It was another first for the university.
— Braves football: Braves football had an historic year, earning its first-ever home game in the NCAA Division II playoffs. Season highlights included nationally televised wins against Valdosta and Winston-Salem, last year’s national champion and runner-up, respectively. The Braves were nationally ranked for most of the season, climbing as high as number eight, before ending the season with a loss to North Alabama.
Scott Bigelow is the public information officer at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.