UNCP embarks on weeklong Homecoming celebration

By: By Mark Locklear

PEMBROKE — The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is gearing up for a spirited week of activities to usher in BraveNation Homecoming 2017.

Activities are scheduled for Monday through Saturday. A parade, a Michael Jackson tribute performance, step show, alumni awards and a hall of fame induction ceremony are among the events planned for visitors, students, staff and alumni.

“UNCP alumni, come home to Pembroke,” said Morgan Jones, Alumni Relations director.

Jones leads the Homecoming Committee with Abdul Ghaffar.

BraveNation Homecoming begins Monday evening with the annual Homecoming Spirit Fest in the courtyard near Pine Hall and Oak Hall. There will be music, food, games and giveaways.

Activities continue throughout the week, including the homecoming gridiron matchup against the Lenoir-Rhyne Bears on Saturday. Before the game, alumni and friends can enjoy the King of Pop’s greatest hits when the “Who’s Bad — The Ultimate Michael Jackson Experience” comes to Givens Performing Arts Center on Friday.

Billed as the longest-running Michael Jackson tribute band, and the only one to predate his passing, “Who’s Bad” has sold out nearly 50 venues in the United Kingdom. Call 910-521-6361 or visit uncp.edu/gpactickets to obtain tickets.

Also on Friday, the university will pay tribute to the achievements of three distinguished graduates during the 49th annual Alumni Awards and Hall of Fame Ceremony. This year’s honorees are Brad Allen, an NFL referee; Brian Edkins, Scotland County High School principal; and Mike Robinson, co-owner of Carolina’s Vineyard and Hops in Winston-Salem.

The 1978 national championship cross-country team along with four standout student-athletes will be inducted into the UNCP Athletic Hall of Fame during the ceremony. Rounding out the 39th class are basketball standouts Margaret Bell and Michael Emanuel, baseball’s Tammy Ham and cross-country’s Amy Locklear.

The event will be held at the University Center Annex. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and cocktails will be served at 6 p.m. The ceremony begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are $40. For information, call 910-775-4549.

BraveNation Homecoming will feature the 50th class reunion of the Class of 1966 and 1967. Members of the class will reminisce about their college days during a luncheon at the Chancellor’s Residence.

The BraveNation Homecoming Parade will be held Thursday beginning at 4 p.m., followed by a bonfire in the Jones Athletic Center parking lot.

Capping off the week will be the annual Homecoming Step Show, sponsored by the National Pan-Hellenic Council. The show will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday. A long-standing tradition at UNCP, the NPHC fraternities and sororities will battle it out during a series of intricate dance steps and show themes on the GPAC stage.

After the show, students and alumni are invited to come to the Homecoming Kick Back at the University Center lounge, where there will be food, fun, and music provided by DJ Mike.

Visit uncp.edu/homecoming for a complete list of homecoming activities.

By Mark Locklear

Mark Locklear is a Public Communications specialist with the UNCP Communications & Marketing office.

Mark Locklear is a Public Communications specialist with the UNCP Communications & Marketing office.