PEMBROKE – What makes the University of North Carolina at Pembroke a great university? Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings points to both its past and its future.
In the accompanying video, Cummings notes how the school was first established in 1887 by seven Native American men who saw the promise of educating their children.
“This was a race of kids who were denied the potential of education for the future,” Cummings says.
Their efforts eventually evolved into UNC Pembroke, with 6,252 students today.1
“That history makes us completely unique. We’re designated as North Carolina’s Historically American Indian University,” Cummings says. The school is rated by U.S. News & World Report as one of the most diverse universities in the South.
“Our future really is geared toward becoming and being that economic driver for Southeast North Carolina. We’re excited about that. We see that as our mission, we see that as our vision. But we’re also committed to being more than just that,” he says.
The university is planning a new $36 million School of Business to be built with $23 million from the Connect NC bonds that voters approved in 2016. It has launched a downtown business incubator that encourages local entrepreneurs to grow their own businesses.
“So we’re going to fill Southeast North Carolina with business-minded, business-oriented students with an entrepreneurial spirit who are going to go out and they’re going to transform this region,” he says.
Cummings says the university is also intent on expanding its nursing and social work programs.
Robeson County consistently scores lowest in the state in ratings of resident health.2 But the university just completed a study that proposes UNC Pembroke can provide the health care workforce Southeast North Carolina needs for the next decade, Cummings says.
… And what will make UNC Pembroke greater?
Making UNC Pembroke a greater university will take sustained commitment, Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings says in the next video.
“I think what it will take to make UNC Pembroke greater in the future is a sense of vision, a sense of mission and commitment,” Cummings says.
“I look at the role our legislators can play as they catch onto our vision of being that economic driver in Southeast North Carolina. It’s going to take an economic commitment to this university.
“I look at the role that NC Promise will play for us as we grow the university and more students come here. I look at the role that we will play as we offer additional programs here at the university that will benefit Southeast North Carolina.
“But as we grow into our mission, as we fulfill our vision, UNC Pembroke will become an even greater university in the future.”