When Greg Bacot, a 1985 UNC Pembroke alumnus, established an endowed scholarship at the university to honor his parents in 2018, he hoped to make a positive impact on students seeking their dream of a college degree.
That impact will grow exponentially after an on-campus celebration on Friday, Oct. 20, where Bacot announced a $1.2 million planned gift that will enhance the Lacy and Alice Bacot Higher Education Scholarship. This latest gift will provide additional scholarship support for full-time students with demonstrated financial need, with those from Robeson, Scotland, Columbus and Bladen counties receiving first consideration.
“As I thought about how I could help more students, I realized the way to do that was by adding to this scholarship in honor of my parents,” Bacot said in a press release. “They believed in the power of education to change lives forever.”
“I stand before you with a heart full of appreciation and gratitude,” said Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings during the celebration, according to a press release. “This gift means so much to this university, to untold future students and to me personally. Greg’s decision to honor the memory of his parents through his past scholarship and this amazingly generous, transformative gift today is a profound testament to his character and the values Lacy and Alice Bacot instilled in him.”
Bacot, who lives in Mocksville, N.C., said his parents set an example of hard work and doing what was right. His father, Lacy, was born in Cumberland County to a farming family. He served in the U.S. Army before a career with Burlington Industries that spanned more than 30 years. Alice Bacot grew up in Columbus County, also part of a farming family. She picked cotton as a young girl to help with family expenses and worked at Southeastern General Hospital in Lumberton during her adult life.
Bacot shared that his parents emphasized the importance of giving back to others.
“That had a profound impact on me and I tried to make sure I followed their example,” said Bacot, who has volunteered with various organizations through the years. “Giving back to UNC Pembroke is one more way I can do that.”
During Friday’s celebration, Jayla Locklear, a UNCP senior who is the current recipient of the Lacy and Alice Bacot Scholarship, discussed the impact the scholarship has had on her academic career.
“This scholarship has helped my dreams come true,” said Locklear, the current Miss Indian North Carolina, in a press release. “Mr. Bacot, your generous donation will help many students achieve their goals, which would not be possible without this scholarship. Your impact on this university is inspiring and I hope to one day be in your position to help others.”
Bacot said he feels fortunate to support UNC Pembroke students, 27 percent of whom are the first in their family to attend college.
“We have so many first-generation college students out there still,” said Bacot in a press release. “We have a diamond right here in this university where they can get an education. I hope this additional gift will help even more students find their passion and their calling in life.”
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