PEMBROKE — A retired Air Force brigadier general and an expert in military satellite communications have been appointed to the board of trustees at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Allen Jamerson, a two-time UNCP graduate, and Mary Ann Elliott, a Lumberton native, are the newest members of the board. Trustees Wiley Barrett, Don Metzger and James “Jim” Jones were all reappointed for an additional term. Dajer Fernandez, the 2017-2018 student body president, also will hold a seat on the 13-member board.
Jones has been elected to serve as board chairman for the 2017-2018 academic year. A Pembroke native, Jones was recently honored as the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient at Wake Forest University. He founded the family medicine program at East Carolina University and was the first American Indian to graduate from Wake Forest and the Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
Metzger, a former Lumberton city councilman, will serve as vice chairman.
Alphonzo McRae was elected secretary. A longtime educator from Orrum, McRae recently retired as vice president at Robeson Community College. Barrett, also a retired educator, lives in Moore County. He spent more than 30 years in the Moore County public schools as a teacher, coach, and principal.
Former board cChair Kellie Blue vacated her seat after she was appointed to the UNC Board of Governors.
“The incoming trustees bring a wealth of professional experience and relationships that can help advance our goals of further enhancing service to military-affiliated students and preparing graduates for the vital field of cyber security,” Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings said. “Most importantly, they are passionate about UNCP and have a demonstrated commitment to the success of our students.”
Jamerson graduated from then Pembroke State University in 1983, earning degrees in Criminal Justice and Social Work. He was commissioned in 1986 after completing the Air Force ROTC program at UNCP as a distinguished graduate.
Following security police assignments at Whiteman AFB, Mo., Kadena Air Base, Japan, and Vandenberg AFB, Calif., he served as chief of security police for Clear Air Station, Alaska.
Jamerson also held a staff position at Headquarters Air Force Space Command, Peterson AFB, Colo., and commanded security forces squadrons at Luke AFB, Ariz., and Robins AFB, Ga.
He was promoted to brigadier general in 2012. Upon his retirement in 2016, Jamerson served as director of Security Forces, deputy chief of staff for Logistics, Engineering and Force Protection, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.
He was responsible for ensuring the physical security of Air Force nuclear assets, and planning and programming for more than 37,500 active-duty and reserve component security forces worldwide.
Jamerson served as commencement speaker at UNCP in 2014. He later established the General Allen J. Jamerson Scholarship for Aerospace Excellence to assist outstanding UNCP Air Force ROTC cadets seeking to achieve their educational goals.
Elliott has established herself as one of the experts in satellite communications supporting the military and intelligence community. Over the years, she has been instrumental in the founding and funding of six firms, including Arrowhead Global Solutions Inc.
She began Arrowhead Global Solutions from the basement of her home in Maryland in 1991. It grew into a global aerospace company that saw $11 million in revenues in its first decade.
The company provides telecommunication solutions, information technology, and professional support services throughout the federal government, contracting with the U.S. military, Department of Homeland Security, and the intelligence community. The firm reached $100 million in annual revenues before being sold to Caprock Communications in Houston in 2007.
Before founding Arrowhead, Elliott held management positions with COMSAT International, Contel’s American Satellite Division, Talon Technology and Navidyne. Her last firm, Eagle Group LLC, was created to assist multinational firms with Department of Defense security compliance requirements and the acquisition of U.S. government contracting firms focused on information technology and telecommunications sectors.
She has been recognized by several publications, including Fortune Magazine, People Magazine, and Defense Daily, as one of the 40 Most Influential People in Global Defense, Aerospace and National Security.
Elliott received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at UNCP during the 2009 commencement. She continues to support several initiatives at UNCP, including establishing two endowed scholarships: the Mary Ann Elliott Endowed Scholarship to support students majoring in engineering or a telecommunications related field; and, in memory of Elliott’s mother, the Mary McKenzie Edwards Endowed Scholarship to assist students in UNCP’s School of Nursing.
Elliott will fill Blue’s unexpired term through June 30, 2019. All other terms will expire June 30, 2021.
Mark Locklear is a Public Communications specialist with UNCP. He may be reached at Mark.Locklear@uncp.edu.