We are proud to announce the 2007 Alumni Award Recipients. The Alumni Awards Banquet was held Saturday, February 3, 2007 at 6:30 p.m. in the James B. Chavis University Center.
Distinguished Service Award
Milton Gene Hall
Milton “Gene” Hall enrolled at UNCP in January 1968 after four years of service in the U.S. Army Security Agency. Two years of service were spent in Asmara, Ethiopia, and Northeast Africa, performing duties as a Morse Code Interceptor. He left the Army in October 1967 after attaining the rank of Specialist E-5. Following his UNCP graduation, he began working with Jefferson Standard Life Insurance Co., now known as Lincoln Financial Group. He remained Lumberton, serving citizens with needs for life insurance programs, retirement, and financial planning for thirty-six years. He was also the first in Robeson County to earn the status of Chartered Life Underwriter and the first to earn the status of Chartered Financial Consultant, earning these designations in 1976 and 1977 respectively.
Gene is an advocate for children, supporting such organizations as the Robeson County Shriners, known especially for the Shriner’s Crippled Children’s Hospitals. Among other organizations that he supports are McLeod Children’s Hospital in Florence, S.C., St. Jude’s Hospital, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and Southeastern Regional Medical Center. Gene has generously supported UNCP for more than twenty-six years. He is a charter and lifetime member of the Chancellor’s Club, serving as the Advisory Board Chair for two terms. He is a member of the UNCP planned giving society and a charter member of the Lumbee Hall Fund - a fund to support the preservation of UNCP’s founding fathers’ vision of educating teachers for the region. He has also supported GPAC, the Music Department, the Sampson-Livermore Library, the Honors College, the Distinguished Speaker Series, the Teaching Fellows Program and the Braves Club.
Originally from Beulaville, N.C., and the son of a tenant farmer, Gene is a first generation college graduate who supports education through his philanthropy and involvement with the University, and who faithfully serves his community and alma mater in many capacities.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Bobbie & Abdul Ghaffar
Bobbie Jacobs-Ghaffar and her husband, Abdul, share a long history with UNCP, starting with the first day they met as students. Bobbie played on the softball team and Abdul was a standout player on the basketball team, having played on the 1990 Carolina’s Conference Tournament Champion team. Abdul, a Public Relations major at UNCP, he also earned a graduate degree from The University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and in 1993, became the Assistant Director of Student Activities at UNCP. In 1998, he became Sports Information Director, and in 1999 was named Director of Student Activities. During his tenure in Student Activities, he developed several programs, including the Leadership and Service Opportunities Program, Parents Weekend and the Distinguished Speaker Series. In May 2006, he left UNCP to become coordinator of Angel Elite Sports, a nonprofit organization committed to creating opportunities for young student-athletes to compete in athletics at the state and national levels. Angel Elite Sports promotes character development, cultural awareness, and academic success, while providing opportunities for community service and personal growth through participation in team and individual sports.
Bobbie Jacobs-Ghaffar, a UNCP Biology graduate, is CEO of Native Angels Home Care & Hospice Agency, Inc., and she has been involved in community health and human services her entire career. Bobbie and her sister Lisa founded Native Angels in 2000 starting with 3 employees. The company now employs nearly 350 people, and is buildin a $7.5 million office complex at ComTech Park. Bobbie’s other projects include Angel Elite Sports, Angel Exchange, LLC, and the Fulfillment Center. She is a past board member of the Legal Services Board of North Carolina, N.C. Client and Community Development Initiative Board, Fund for Southern Communities, Robeson Health Care Corporation, and N.C. Child Fatality Task Force. She has worked as a community advocate for the environment, youth, health, minority and women’s issues. She has been a guest speaker at Duke University, Wake Forest University and Boston University to name a few. She is also a licensed minister, and is active in economic development focused on a regional approach that empowers individuals. She has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the University and surrounding community. Bobbie and Abdul have three children: Safiya, 16; Aminah, 12; and Walter, 4.
Athletic Hall of Fame
Michael "Skip" Fedak
Michael “Skip” Fedak is the 63rd member to be inducted into the UNCP Athletic Hall of Fame. A four-year letter winner from 1966-69, Skip helped lead the Braves soccer team to a cumulative 25-14 record under coaches Ken Johnson and Charlie Bishop. As a senior, he set a school record for assists and was named to the all-NAIA District 29 team, as well as the all-South team which included his name among Division I student-athletes from Duke, UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State. He was a three-year captain and an all-south and all-NAIA district 29 honoree.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in history, Skip undertook a three-year stint with the USA Pan-American and Olympic team, while also serving on the coaching staff of the 1970 UNCP squad that finished with a 7-5 clip. In 1973, he was drafted and signed to a one-year contract by the Philadelphia Atoms, of the North American Soccer League. Following his playing career, he returned to coaching. Skip would go on to serve three years as assistant coach at St. Andrews Presbyterian College and four years as the head coach at Scotland High School. He was the head coach at St. Andrews from 1982-84.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree from UNCP, skip holds a master’s degree in education from East Carolina University (1979) and an educational specialist degree from Michigan State University (1984). He retired from the Scotland County Public Schools system in 2002, having served as a history teacher from 1972-86 and as director and administrator of student services from 1993-2002.
His son, Mick, was a member of the 1996-2000 UNCP soccer team, and his wife, Jeanne, served as vice president of the UNCP Alumni Association.