PEMBROKE — A couple has pledged a commitment of $100,000 in support of an endowed scholarship they recently established at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Dr. Ray and Bea Brayboy established the Beatrice Locklear Brayboy Endowed Spanish Scholarship in the spring of 2014.
“We are very thankful to have the opportunity to support UNCP in this manner,” said Ray Brayboy, a Pembroke native. “The good Lord has been amazingly good to us and our family over the years and we just wanted to express our gratitude for all of our blessings by supporting the higher education institution that gave us our first opportunity to secure a top quality education.”
Chancellor Robin Cummings praised the Brayboys’ commitment and said the couple exemplifies the value of service emphasized at UNC Pembroke. “Throughout their distinguished careers, Ray and Bea positively impacted countless students,” Cummings said. “Through their outstanding generosity to UNC Pembroke, they continue to change lives through education.”
The Brayboys, who reside in Myrtle Beach, have strong ties to the university. Ray and Bea are UNC Pembroke graduates, and Ray is a former professor in the Education Department. Two of the Brayboys’ three children, Shannon and Mary Beth, are also alumnae.
Wendy Lowery, vice chancellor for Advancement, said the gift is unique in that a portion of the contribution will be given through a life insurance policy.
“Philanthropic support can be provided in a variety of ways, and we plan to heighten our efforts in the planned giving area. I am extremely delighted to announce this contribution, not only out of sincere appreciation for the generosity of the Brayboy’s but as an opportunity to promote this method of supporting UNC Pembroke.” Lowery said.
Ray Brayboy said his family vowed to support Chancellor Cummings and his vision for the university beyond their previously-endowed scholarship.
“We are hopeful that this effort will inspire others to consider utilizing a combination of bequest and cash giving to support our university,” Brayboy said. “The institution is an absolute blessing for southeastern North Carolina and, indeed, far beyond that geographical area. The knowledge and perspectives we acquired at UNC Pembroke have served us well for the entirety of our personal and professional lives beyond our time there. We are honored and thankful to have finally come to the realization that the UNC Pembroke cause is more than worthy of this financial commitment from us.”
Ray Brayboy, class of 1969, also holds a master’s degree in public health from UNC-Chapel Hill and a doctorate from Penn State University. While studying at UNC Pembroke, he was a standout on the baseball diamond. He was named two time All-American and inducted into UNC Pembroke’s Hall of Fame in 1984. He played professionally in the Minnesota Twins organization briefly following graduation. Upon returning home, Brayboy served as a public education teacher and administrator during a tenure that spanned nearly four decades. He served as superintendent of three school districts. He received local, state and national recognition for his commitment to providing leadership for the advancement of public education. Among his awards were, News and Observer’s “Tar Heel of the Week,” South Carolina Superintendent of the Year and was the subject of a national School Administrator Magazine profile titled “A Diamond Among the Rough.”
Bea Locklear Brayboy, class of 1972, was raised in the Saddletree community. She met Ray during her freshman year in college. Bea studied under Reba Lowry, who taught Spanish at UNC Pembroke. Bea would go on to teach Spanish in public schools in North Carolina and South Carolina for more than 34 years. She was named school level Teacher of the Year in three school districts and named district level Teacher of the Year in one district. Like Lowry, Bea Brayboy, who is also an accomplished artist, inspired many of her students to become teachers. She also gives a great deal of credit to Mrs. Delores C. Jones for providing her with valuable mentoring throughout her professional career.
The Brayboy’s acknowledge the influence of “deserving UNC Pembroke mentors” who made a difference in their lives, including: Dr. English Jones, Dr. Herbert G. Oxendine, Dr. Ray Pennington, Dr. Joe Oxendine and Reggie Strickland.
The Brayboy’s are the parents of three children who are successful in their own right, as well. Shannon Brayboy, class of 2011, is an assistant principal in Scotland County. Dr. Jake Brayboy is a physician and Mary Beth Brayboy Locklear is interim director of UNC Pembroke’s Office of Regional Initiatives.
We wanted to welcome Dr. Cummings aboard as chancellor by indicating ‘we’re glad you’re home,’ and that we will do all we can to support the larger university and its collective well-being.”