PEMBROKE — Waltz and Louise Maynor are highly regarded for their work in higher education, dedicating 35 years each to educating minds at North Carolina Central University.
However, their hearts have always remained with their alma mater – The University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Specifically, the American Indian Studies Department.
“My husband and I have been interested in the American Indian Studies program since it was developed and formalized,” said Louise Cummings Maynor.
“We want to support the development of that program. We know how important it is to have assets to promote this initiative.”
The Maynors have agreed to support the American Indian Studies Department to the tune of $50,000.
“As longtime supporters of UNC Pembroke, Waltz and Louise recognize our commitment to honoring the university’s legacy and promoting American Indian Studies,” said Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings. “Their generous gift will enable us to strengthen our program and advance our shared vision of becoming the premier institution for the study of Southeast American Indians.”
Rather than supporting a student scholarship, the Drs. Waltz and Louise Maynor Family Endowed Fund will be used to enhance initiatives within the department. The Maynors specifically asked that the money support student learning, faculty development, guest speakers, recognition for graduating seniors and the Southeast American Indian Studies Conference.
“As former department school administrators in higher education, we know that sometimes the program itself needs a support fund, and this endowment would directly support that program,” Louise Maynor said.
Wendy Lowery, vice chancellor of Advancement, expressed gratitude to the Maynors for their commitment to their hometown university.
“The passion that both Waltz & Louise Maynor possess for the community that provided so much to them and for the university that prepared them for successful futures is evident within minutes of spending time with them,” Lowery said.
“They remain committed to UNC Pembroke and their gift of support truly exemplifies the devotion they have to providing a path for future generations to succeed,” Lowery continued.
Dr. Mary Ann Jacobs, chair of the American Indian Studies Department, said the department faculty and staff are grateful for the generous gift.
“The Maynors wanted to not just give money to a student, but they wanted to see the department advance and students attending conferences,” Jacobs said.
“It’s a wonderful and very thoughtful gift.”
UNCP is the only campus in the state with a free-standing department of American Indian Studies.
The Maynors, both UNCP graduates and Pembroke natives, are retired professors at North Carolina Central University. Waltz taught math and served as chair of the Education Department. Louise was an English professor and chair of the English Department. Both earned their master’s degree from Appalachian State University and both hold doctoral degrees from Duke University.
Prior to joining the faculty at N.C. Central University, Louise taught at Carson-Newman University, the University of Georgia and Appalachian State. Waltz taught at Sandhills Community College, UNCP and Appalachian State before settling at N.C. Central.
The couple settled in Durham many years ago, but their philanthropic footprints can be traced to UNCP. For two decades, the Maynors have supported the library, nursing, music and athletics. Louise guided the establishment of one of the university’s largest scholarship endowments from the International Order of Kings Daughters and Sons.
Waltz led a community effort to build a public library for the town of Pembroke.
Dr. Waltz and Louise Maynor are enrolled members of the Lumbee Tribe. Waltz was heavily involved in the Lumbee Tribal sovereignty movement. He volunteered at the Red Cross, North Carolina Museum of History and Museum of Art, and the National Museum of the American Indian. He is also a former member of the Board of Directors of the UNCP Alumni Association.
“Waltz has been devoted to the university all his adult life,” Louise said. “He has been active in the alumni association, tribal community activities, and the original Lumbee Self-Determination Commission.
“He has always been deeply interested in the Pembroke community,” Louise said.
“He never completely separated himself from the Lumbee Indian community. He wanted to give back to the university because it meant so much to him.”
“Pembroke gave us a start, and I’ve always felt well prepared for every challenge,” she said.
Louise Maynor’s civic involvement is also wide-ranging, from her service on church, education and community boards. She is a former chair of the North Carolina Advisory Council on Indian Education, and previously served on the N.C. Commission on Volunteerism, UNCP’s Alumni Association Board, and University of NC Press Board of Governors.
In 2004, the university honored Waltz, ’59, with the Distinguished Service Award and Louise, ’65, with the Outstanding Alumni Award.
“We have strong ties to the community,” Louise said. “If we can help to build self-esteem of local students by supporting the academic strength of the program, that would certainly accomplish a lot of what we want to do with this fund.”
Waltz is the son of the late Wayne and Lucy Maynor of the Red Banks community. Louise is the daughter of the late Foy and Hildeth “Bloss” Cummings from the St. Anna community.
The Maynors are the parents of seven children: Cherry Beasley, Lucy Lowry, Kevin Maynor, Johannah Maynor, Dane Quinn, Malinda Lowery, and Ben Maynor. Their dedication to education is reflected in their children since four of them hold the Ph.D. and the others hold Masters degrees and CPA credentials. The Maynors believe strongly in “Changing Lives Through Education.”