Statue of Hamilton McMillan, UNC (Pembroke)
Paul Van Zandt, Sculptor
The life-size bronze statue depicts Hamilton McMillan, North Carolina General Assembly representative who sponsored legislation creating the school that became what is today the University of North Carolina at Pembroke. Reminiscent of his image in an historic photograph and symbolic of his activism on behalf of Indians in eastern North Carolina, McMillan is depicted with an air of humility as an educator, wearing unpretentious clothing, a cape, and staring ahead as if into the future. The statue rests atop a low brick base, several inches high, with an angled front housing the plaque. The entire base sits within a small rectangular garden bed composed of brick.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
March 5, 1987
34.684670 , -79.200580 View in Geobrowse
"Hamilton McMillan Revisited," Native Heritage Project, (accessed January 18, 2014) Link
Locklear, Lawrence T. "UNCP's Founding Fathers," The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, (accessed January 18, 2014) Link
Stacy, Robin Purser, 1991. "Boone, Daniel," NCpedia.org, (accessed January 18, 2014) Link
Town of Pembroke, NC. "Historical Landmarks," (accessed July 19, 2013) Link
University of North Carolina at Pembroke. "Statue of Hamilton McMillan," Campus Map, (accessed September 17, 2013) Link
“PSU Centennial Celebration Set,” The Robeson Weekly (Lumberton, NC), March 4, 1987, 2
Bronze statue and plaque, brick base
Native American Design Services
The statue was unveiled in its location in front of the Old Main building as part of the 100th anniversary celebration at UNC-Pembroke in 1987.
Hamilton McMillan, originally from neighboring Cumberland county, was a Robeson County representative to the North Carolina General Assembly from 1885 to 1887. During that time, he sponsored legislation to create a school for the education of Indians, known then as the Croatan Normal School. McMillan was also a lawyer and educator and served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War as both an enlisted man and later as a colonel.
UNC-Pembroke had its beginnings in 1887 as the Croatan Normal School, created by the North Carolina General Assembly for the training of Native American public school teachers. The state legislature changed the name in 1911 to the Indian Normal School of Robeson County and in 1913 to the Cherokee Indian Normal School of Robeson County. In 1941, the name was again changed to Pembroke State College for Indians and then to Pembroke State College in 1949.
The sculptor, Paul Van Zandt, is a retired emeritus professor of sculpture at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
The statue is located directly in front of the Old Main building on Old Main Road (also known as West Railroad Street) in Pembroke.
The statue sits in the lawn area in front of the Old Main building surrounded by shade trees and is several steps from the Arrowhead Marker.