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University of North Carolina-Pembroke

The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, also known as UNC Pembroke, is a public, co-educational, historically American Indian liberal arts university in the town of Pembroke in Robeson County, North Carolina, United States.



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Red-Tailed Hawk
Black Gold
Peach Belt

College History


Croatan Normal School was created by the General Assembly on March 7, 1887 in response to a local petition, sponsored by NC Representative Hamilton McMillian of Robeson County. Fifteen students and one teacher composed the initial complement. With the goal of educating American Indian teachers for children, enrollment was limited to the American Indians of Robeson County. In 1909, the school moved to its present location, about a mile east of the original site. The name was changed in 1911 to the Indian Normal School of Robeson County, and again in 1913 to the Cherokee Indian Normal School of Robeson County, tracking the legislature's designation for the Indians of the county, who at one time claimed Cherokee descent. In 1926 the school became a two-year post-secondary normal school; until then it had provided only primary and secondary instruction. In 1939 it became a four-year institution, and in 1941 was renamed Pembroke State College for Indians. The next year, the school began to offer bachelor's degrees in disciplines other than teaching. In 1945 the college was opened to members of all federally recognized tribes. A change of name to Pembroke State College in 1949 presaged the admission of white students, which was approved in 1953 for up to forty percent of total enrollment. The Brown v. Board of Education ruling the following year by the United States Supreme Court ended race restrictions at the college. Between 1939 and 1953, Pembroke State was the only state supported four-year college for Indians in the United States. In 1969 the college became Pembroke State University, a regional university that was incorporated into the University of North Carolina system in 1972. The first master's degree program was implemented in 1978. On July 1, 1996, Pembroke State University became the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. In recent years, the university's profile has been heightened as the result of a statewide advertising campaign, in which billboards, radio and television advertisements have touted UNCP as a place "where learning gets personal," due to small class sizes, among other factors. On March 14, 2012, UNC Pembroke began a 14-month celebration of its 125th anniversary, to conclude with the spring 2013 Commencement ceremonies in May 2013.

College Specialty


Founded in 1887 as a school for the education of American Indians, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke now serves a distinctly diverse student body and encourages inclusion and appreciation for the values of all people. UNC Pembroke exists to promote excellence in teaching and learning, at the graduate and undergraduate levels, in an environment of free inquiry, interdisciplinary collaboration, and rigorous intellectual standards. Our diversity and our commitment to personalized teaching uniquely prepare our students for rewarding careers, postgraduate education, leadership roles, and fulfilling lives. We cultivate an international perspective, rooted in our service to and appreciation of our multi-ethnic regional society, which prepares citizens for engagement in global society. Students are encouraged to participate in activities that develop their intellectual curiosity and mold them into responsible stewards of the world. UNCP faculty and staff are dedicated to active student learning, engaged scholarship, high academic standards, creative activity, and public service. We celebrate our heritage as we enhance the intellectual, cultural, economic, and social life of the region.



Kelvin Sampson, NBA assistant coach for the Milwaukee Bucks, former Washington State, University of Oklahoma and Indiana University head coach. Derek Brunson, Brunson was a 3-time Division II All-American wrestler at Pembroke who is now an American professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter who formerly fought in strikeforce now currently fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship(UFC). Elmer W. Hunt, an educator and professional photographer who captured many images in the area. His collection was donated to UNCP.



Rural 153 Acres (0.6 Km2)