James A. Thomas Honored at Ribbon Cutting


    Chancellor Cummings cut the ribbon for the new business building on campus that bear James A. Thomas’ name. Several state officials were in attendance including Gov. Roy Cooper, N.C. Rep. Tim Moore and N.C. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger. PN Photo/Anayah L. Peterson

    Gov Cooper presents “Order of the Longleaf Pine” to Thomas. A certificate inducted in the state’s highest honorary society. PN Photo/Anayah L. Peterson
    Reggie Brewer smudging sage in seven different directions to bless the new School of Business. PN Photo/Andrew Thrift
    Lumbee Tribe Woodland Society performs their traditional blessing. They explained their smudging and honor song. PN Photo/Anayah L. Peterson

    By Anayah L. Peterson, Managing Editor

    A ribbon cutting ceremony was held to acknowledge donations for Thomas School of Business. It is a $38 million facility and home to the new Thomas School of Business in James A. Thomas Hall. There were six speakers at the ceremony and among them was Gov. Roy Cooper.

    The building is named after James A. Thomas. He and his wife Sally made the largest donation in the history of the university, a $7 million gift.

    “We are here to celebrate this amazing building. It is an example of a public private partnerships and people working,” Cooper said.

    Thomas received two proclamations from N.C. Rep. Tim Moore and N.C. Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger.

    Gov. Cooper presented the “Order of the Longleaf Pine.” It is the highest award for state service by the Office of the Governor.

    During the ceremony, the crowd praised Gov. Cooper when he said the Lumbee Tribe deserved federal recognition. Gov. Cooper acknowledged the area and state’s diverse demographics.

    “We value our diversity. Our diversity makes us better and stronger,” Cooper said.

    Each speaker addressed Thomas humility for the donation. Chancellor Cummings said “Home is a feeling, not a place.”

    They talked about how generous he was and the commitment that he has to help develop Pembroke. Thomas began his work in downtown Pembroke before working on the School of Business.

    Don Metzger, who conducted the inovaction, said the ceremony was outstanding. He said it was great to see the community come together.

    “It was really encouraging to see all the students who came here. You can see how the facilities are so open for them,” Metzger said.

    James A. Thomas Hall features 13 classrooms, offices, a business career center, breakout session, an eatery and more.

    The pattern imitates the design of renowned business schools such as those at Harvard and Wake Forest.

    Groundbreaking was held in April 2019 and the opening of the building in Jan. 2022. It is a grand 64,000 square-foot building with a cupola that lets natural light in through its windows.

    The building features a hallway that reaches to the other side of the building to give the building a spacious feel. The breakout session rooms features advanced technology so students can use it for projects and studying.

    “This has been a day that has been long awaited. With the crowd here it was well worth the wait,” Thomas said

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