north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     The institution long known as Pembroke State University had its beginnings as Croatan Normal School, established by the General Assembly on March 7, 1887. Hamilton McMillan (1837-1916) who represented Robeson County in the North Carolina House introduced the legislation “for the purpose of establishing and maintaining a school of high grade for teachers of the Croatan race in North Carolina.” The school moved to its present location in 1909. Once primarily an all-Indian school, associated with the Lumbee tribe, the university today serve a multi-racial student body.

     Pembroke State University officially became part of the University of North Carolina on July 1, 1972, as a result of consolidation leading to the creation of a sixteen-campus system. The name change to University of North Carolina at Pembroke became official on July 1, 1996.

     In 1972 a campaign to save “Old Main,” the white-pillared centerpiece of the campus. The building, a symbol of Indian education and social progress, was restored in 1979. An arrowhead monument erected by J. Hampton Rich of Mocksville stands in front of the building, which remains a campus icon.

David K. Eliades, Pembroke State University: A Centennial History (1986)
Public and Private Laws of North Carolina, 1887
New York Times, May 10, 1972
University of North Carolina at Pembroke website:
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north carolina highway historical marker program

© 2008 North Carolina Office of Archives & History — Department of Cultural Resources