LUMBERTON — The current chairman of The University of North Carolina at Pembroke board of trustees was selected today to serve on the UNC system’s Board of Governors, which makes policy for the 17-member institution.
Kellie Blue was one of six selections from the state House to serve on the board, garnering 95 votes from the 120-member chamber.
Blue, who works as the finance director for the Robeson County and is also the interim manager of General Services for the county, will have to surrender her seat on the UNCP board.
Blue’s nomination was made by Republicans, who put six names forward, with Democrats also putting forward six. Blue had the support of House Speaker Tim Moore.
“I am very excited about being chosen,” said Blue, who is 45. “I am grateful for the House of Representatives leadership for supporting me and the other members. I am so excited about being an advocate for one of the state’s greatest assets — students. I so appreciate Nelson Mandela’s quote: ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’ Looking forward to making great things happen with fellow BOG members.”
The other five selections from the House were Wendy Murphy, 103 votes, Doyle Parrish, 101, Leo Daughtry, 97, Rob Bryan, 83, and Carolyn Coward, 71.
Blue graduated from UNCP in 1993 with a bachelor of science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting. She also holds a finance officer certification from the University of North Carolina’s School of Government in Chapel Hill.
Blue is a lifelong resident of Pembroke. After graduating from UNCP, she went to work as an internal auditor for Southern National Bank, which is now BB&T. Before going to work for Robeson County as the assistant finance director, Blue worked for a short time at the Lumber River Council of Governments.
UNCP Chancellor Robin Cummings last month was excited about the possibility of Blue working on the university’s behalf as a member of the board — although his emotions were a bit mixed.
“I am excited but I also am a bit sad,” Cummings said. “We would be losing a great trustee and the chairman of our board, and she would be hard to replace. But that said, she would be a tremendous advocate for The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Robeson County and the broader region as a member of the Board of Governors.”
Blue’s nomination did cause a bit of a stir with the Robeson County Republican Party, which initially issued a statement that was vague. Phillip Stephens, the chairman of the local party, later explained in a op-ed to The Robesonian that local Republicans supported Blue, but felt like the local party had not been a part of the nomination process.
“We wish Ms. Blue well and are certain she will do a great job,” he said in the op-ed.
The last member on the Board of Governors from Robeson County was Dick Taylor. Taylor, from Lumberton, is the owner and operator of Taylor Insurance Agency.
Donnie Douglas can be reached at 910-416-5649.