Statue of Hamilton McMillan, UNC (Pembroke)
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.
The statue was restored and rededicated on March 28, 2019. It now rests atop a new granite base, which sits slightly higher than the previous brick base. A new traditional green patina now coats McMillan, adorned in a rough, textured cape. Benches were also added around the space.
HONORABLE HAMILTON McMILLAN / 1837-1915 / STATE LEGISLATOR, EDUCATOR, AND HISTORIAN / SPONSORED LEGISLATION IN 1885 ESTABLISHING / PUBLIC SCHOOLS FOR INDIANS OF ROBESON / COUNTY. IN 1887 HE INTRODUCED LEGISLATION / TO ESTABLISH CROATAN NORMAL SCHOOL - / NOW PEMBROKE STATE UNIVERSITY. / Erected March 5, 1987
University of North Carolina at Pembroke
March 5, 1987. Rededication: March 28, 2019
34.684670 , -79.200580 View in Geobrowse
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University of North Carolina at Pembroke. "Hamilton McMillan Statue Rededication, March 28, 2019, UNC Pembroke", uploaded Sunday, March 24, 2019, (accessed April 10, 2019) Link
University of North Carolina at Pembroke. "Newly Restored Hamilton McMillan Statue Unveiled," March 29, 2019, (accessed April 10, 2019) Link
University of North Carolina at Pembroke. “Landmarks and Points of Interest” at http://www.uncp.edu, (accessed February 14, 2016) Link
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“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 on March 5, 1987.
The statue was restored and rededicated on March 28, 2019. More than 100 people gathered on the UNC Pembroke campus to witness the unveiling and rededication ceremony, including a Hamilton’s great-grandson and 1967 UNCP graduate.
Hamilton McMillan (August 29, 1837 - February 27, 1916), 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.