PEMBROKE — A spokesman for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke says any worries by Lumbee Tribal Council members that a logo being designed for university will not depict Old Main are unwarranted.
Scott Bigelow said Wednesday that although the final design for the school’s first logo has not been created, it has been decided by school officials, including the university’s board of trustees, that Old Main will be featured. The school’s seal already depicts Old Main, which was erected in 1923 and is the oldest building on the UNCP campus.
“The seal is also not going to be changed,” Bigelow said. “The seal already depicts the sun rising over Old Main, representing opportunity.”
Concerns were expressed last week at a Lumbee Tribal Council meeting that Old Main was going to be replaced on the logo by a hawk, the university’s mascot.
“We need to let the university know that we don’t want Old Main replaced by a hawk,” Bobby Oxendine, who chairs the council’s Education Committee, said. “Old Main is the last symbol of the university’s beginnings as a school for American Indians. It’s a part of our heritage and culture that we don’t want to lose.”
After a brief discussion, the Tribal Council decided to send a resolution to university officials expressing its members’ desire that Old Main be included on the logo.
Bigelow said that a hawk was “never a candidate” for inclusion on the logo, Although there were other symbols being considered, Old Main is the choice of university officials, said Bigelow.
“We’re still going to send a resolution expressing our concerns,” said Lesaundri Hunt, speaker for the Lumbee Tribal Council. “This means a lot to the (local) communities because of the history of the school. It is a significant part of our history and our culture.”
Bigelow said that the process of developing the logo, which has been under way for about a year, is part of the university’s efforts to “rebrand” itself. He said that proposed designs for the new logo should be introduced shortly and community input will be considered before a final design is chosen.
“Everyone in the community should have the chance to weigh in on this,” Bigelow said. “This is something that is important to the community and to the university’s past and future.”
UNCP first opened in 1887 as the Croatan Normal School, where American Indian teachers were trained, and has maintained a strong link to the local Lumbee population since.
Bob Shiles works for Civitas Media as a reporter for The Robesonian. Reach him at 910-272-6137.