Statue of Hamilton McMillan
In 1885, Representative Hamilton McMillan (August 29, 1837 - February 27, 1916), of Robeson County, introduced legislation in the North Carolina General Assembly giving the Indians of Robeson County a legal identity and schools of their own. On March 7, 1887, the General Assembly enacted legislation, sponsored by McMillan, creating the Croatan Normal School (now The University of North Carolina at Pembroke).
Located in front of Old Main, the statue of McMillan was unveiled March 5, 1987, during UNCP's 100th anniversary celebration. Art professor Paul Van Zandt sculpted the life-sized statue of McMillan.
Old Main is the most recognizable symbol of UNCP. Constructed in 1923, gutted by fire in 1973 and restored in 1979, Old Main is the oldest brick building on campus. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Old Main originally housed administrative offices, classrooms and an auditorium.
Today, the first floor houses the Multicultural Center, the television station WNCP, and the Native American Resource Center. On the second floor are the departments of American Indian Studies, Geology and Geography and Mass Communication, the Teaching and Learning Center, Esther G. Maynor Honors College, The Pine Needle (student newspaper), and the College of Arts and Sciences
As one first enters Old Main, a sign on the wall tells the story of the origins of the name "Old Main." It reads:
"The term "Old Main" was first applied to the oldest brick building on this campus when the new administration team - President Dr. R.D. Wellons, Registrar James A. Jacobs, the secretarial staff and I moved to the new offices in Sampson Hall in 1949. I then suggested that we call the building from which we had moved "Old Main." The term stuck! The term was not original with me. I got the name from an old administration building on the McKendree College campus where I received my college degree. In May of 1978, I went to the 150th anniversary of McKendree College and the 50th anniversary of my class of 1928. In visiting the college campus I paused a few moments at the threshold of the old administration building. There carved in stone was the name "Old Main" built in 1850. In 1928, I brought the memory back and in 1949 at my suggestion, it was applied to our first brick building on campus....
Excerpt from a speech given at the dedication ceremony
February 16, 1980 by
Clifton Oxendine, Professor Emeritus
Pembroke State University"
The Indian head on the front of this great stone arrowhead, has become a symbol of the spirit of the University. - 1959 Indianhead
The Arrowhead was built by J. (Joseph) Hampton Rich (1874-1949), a newspaper owner from Mocksville, N.C., who erected 358 stone monuments across America from 1913 to 1938, according to Everett Gary Marshall, his biographer.
“Mr. Rich,” Marshall writes, “was a Good Roads advocate. The initial objective was to bring public sentiment to bear on state legislators to improve highways. He'd convince town leaders that what the town needed was a Daniel Boone marker. Money would be raised, he'd build the marker and off he'd go to the next town.”
Rich also raised monuments to other American heroes, including Davey Crockett, Abraham Lincoln and Cherokee Chief Sequoia. According to Marshall, UNCP’s marker has a "Sequoia tablet" on one side and a buffalo trail marker on the other. “The Buffalo Trail marker is supposedly there to identify original Buffalo traces that were then used by Native Americans and early colonists, that eventually became routes for modern highways,” Marshall said. “The UNCP marker has been registered in our database as monument no. 136. That is, I have documented 136 original sites, of which 47 still survive with a monument and/or marker.”
Although its exact construction date has never been determined (probably in 1933), UNCP’s Arrowhead has been moved twice since it was erected. It was originally located on the Quad between Old Main and Sampson Hall. The Arrowhead was rebuilt after the first move. In November 1985, it was moved directly in front of Old Main where it rests today.
The quad is the area between Old Main and Livermore Library. The Quad is the oldest part of campus. Students can be seen studying or playing a game of frisbee.
FONT (LUMBEE RIVER)
Located in the lobby of Lumbee Hall, the black terrazzo sculpture was commissioned by the North Carolina Artworks for State Buildings Program.
The sculpture, a six-and-a-half foot, vessel-shaped piece, symbolizes the Lumbee River and its indigenous plant life, says its artist Kenneth Matsumoto of San Jose, California, who refers to the river as the “Lumbee River.”
Bronze leaves embedded in the sculpture represent the lush vegetation seen throughout the Intercoastal Plains of North Carolina. Inside the opening at the top of the sculpture is water from the Lumber River.
“When I discovered the Lumbee River and its beautiful blackness, I thought about this water and the symbolism we (as people) attach to water,” he said. He reflected on the parallel symbolism he felt applied in seeing his artwork as a container, and how in a metaphysical sense, many of us view our bodies as “vessel for our spiritual souls.” Matsumoto added that, to him, the water also symbolizes a sense of spiritualism and rebirth.
Excerpt from Spring 1996 issue of UNCP Today