Sylvia Joann Baugham Banks
Daughter of George Carver (Connie) Baugham & Arneta Holloway Baugham
Granddaughter of Prince Albert Baugham & Mariah Frances Harvey Baugham
Great Granddaughter of William Henry Harvey I & Rebecca Scott Harvey
Sylvia Baugham Banks January 19, 2017
@University of North Carolina @ Pembroke (UNCP)
In 1969 Sylvia was the 1st African-American to graduate from the University of North Carolina @ Pembroke (then known as Pembroke State University)
On January 19, 2017, the UNC Pembroke’s Diversity Council held a Candlelight Vigil and program/reception in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and invited Sylvia, their first African-American graduate, back as guest speaker.
Sylvia, (known to most family and friends as Joann) was born in Lumberton, a city in Roberson County, North Carolina. She graduated from Bladen Central High School in 1964 and entered Fayetteville State College. In 1965 Joann transferred to South Eastern Community College in Whiteville, NC and graduated with an Associate of Arts degree in Sociology in 1967. She started Pembroke State College in the Fall of 1967 as a Junior and was the first African American to graduate in 1969 from Pembroke State University. She graduated with a BA Degree in Sociology with a Minor in History.
At the time of Joann’s graduation her idol was Eliot Ness. Ness had been a Prohibition agent and the leader of a team of enforcement agents nicknamed “The Untouchables”. Ness became famous for his efforts in bringing down Chicago gangster and crime boss Al Capone. Because Ness had had an elite crime team stationed in Cleveland, Ohio, Joann went there after college and started work at the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court system as a Probation Officer. She retired from the Cuyahoga Court in 1996 as an Intake Mediator in which she held unofficial Court hearings and returned to North Carolina to take care of her aging parents who have since passed away, Connie in 1997 and Arneta in 2009.
At present, Joann still keeps busy. She loves watching British mysteries, reading History and Religious books and her new passion is Adult Coloring books. She is a member of the Nationally Certified Activity Directors and is Nationally Certified as a Home Care Specialist. Joann volunteers at the Senior Center in Blanch and serves on the Caswell Family Medical Center Board, the United Fund Board and the Senior Tarheel Legislator for Caswell County which she is also the Sgt. At Arms for this session.
Joann’s words of wisdom to our young family members are:
“Whatever your dream, Stick to It”.
This does not necessarily mean a 4-year education. Whatever you want to do, pick a mantra and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t do it. Persevere. No matter what. Sometime you may have to change your course but still persevere and make sure you have a positive support group.
Pembroke State University
• In 1887 there were no schools for Native Americans in Roberson Co., North Carolina.
• Croatan Normal School was created by the General Assembly on March 7, 1887 in response to a local petition, sponsored by North Carolina Representative Hamilton McMillian of Robeson County.
• This school was a part of the efforts of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina to preserve their unique identity, culture and customs. Access and authority over their own educational system was understood to be of key importance to instilling a sense of pride, and to improving the groups economic and social conditions.
• Fifteen students and one teacher composed the initial complement. With the goal of training American Indian public school teachers. Initially enrollment was limited to the American Indians of Robeson County.
• In 1909, the school moved to its present location, about a mile east of the original site.
• in 1911 the name was changed to the Indian Normal School of Robeson County.
• In 1913 the name was changed to the Cherokee Indian Normal School of Robeson Co.
• In 1926 the school became a two-year post-secondary normal school; until then it had provided only primary and secondary instruction.
• In 1939 it became a four-year institution.
• In 1941 it was renamed Pembroke State College for Indians.
• In 1942 the school began to offer bachelor’s degrees in disciplines other than teaching.
• In 1945 the college was opened to members of all federally recognized tribes.
• In 1949 the name changed to Pembroke State College and presaged the admission of white students, which was approved in 1953 for up to forty percent of total enrollment.
• Between 1939 and 1953, Pembroke State was the only state supported four-year college for Indians in the United States.
• In 1954 after the Supreme Court issued its ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Pembroke State College ended race restrictions at the college and allowed students of all ethnicities to study.
• In 1969 due to its exponential growth, the General Assembly granted Pembroke State College university status and it became Pembroke State University.
• In 1972 Pembroke State University was incorporated into the University of North Carolina higher education system with 16 other universities.
• In 1978 the first master’s degree program was implemented.
• On July 1, 1996, Pembroke State University became the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
• The University of North Carolina at Pembroke (UNCP) is a master’s level degree-granting university and one of 17 schools that constitute the University of North Carolina system.
Source – Wikipedia