Wednesday, 03 November 2021 14:53

Julian Pierce’s legacy lives on through UNCP scholarship

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Members of the Julian T. Pierce Memorial Scholarship Committee make a $24,000 contribution to UNCP. Members of the Julian T. Pierce Memorial Scholarship Committee make a $24,000 contribution to UNCP. UNCP

PEMBROKE — More than three decades after his death, Julian Pierce’s legacy as a strong advocate for education, equality and justice for all people is kept alive through scholarship at UNC Pembroke. 


Last week, members of the Julian T. Pierce Memorial Scholarship Committee made a $24,000 contribution to UNCP. The proceeds were raised at the annual Julian Pierce Art Dinner and Auction held this summer and will benefit the scholarship named in his honor. 

“The Julian Pierce Scholarship Committee has led magnificent work to build a scholarship fund of over $200,000 at UNC Pembroke,” said Steve Varley, vice chancellor of Advancement. 

“This fund has not only become one of our most important scholarships, it has become an essential pipeline for developing our next generations of Robeson County leaders,” Varley added. 

The scholarship supports UNCP students from Robeson County with financial need who demonstrate scholastic and leadership abilities. Proceeds were also dispersed to Robeson Community College and North Carolina Central School of Law, where Pierce earned his law degree. 

Pierce was an attorney and civil rights activist in Robeson County. He was a 1966 graduate of what was then known as Pembroke State University. In 1978, he became the first director of Lumbee River Legal Services, known today as N.C. Legal Aid.  

In 1988, Pierce was murdered while running for election to the Superior Court. He was 42. He would have been the first American Indian to hold the position of Superior Court judge in North Carolina. 

To learn more about the Pierce Scholarship at UNCP, contact the Office of Advancement at 910-521-6252 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.