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Carrie Davis Ponder '58 Endowed Scholarship in Education

The following biography was written at the time of this scholarship establishment; some information may not be up to date:

Carrie Davis Ponder graduated from Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (now UNC Greensboro) in 1958 with a bachelor of arts degree in elementary education. She later earned her master’s degree in education from Western Carolina University. Carrie has served her community as a public school teacher; her family as a wife, mother, and homemaker; and her church as the spouse of a Methodist minister and denomination leader. Carrie’s family has been a living illustration of the famous quote from Charles Duncan McIver, UNCG’s founder and first President: “…when you educate a woman, you educate a family.” Her mother, Carrie Naomi Perkins Davis, attended the University in 1910, when it was known as State Normal and Industrial College. Becoming Woman’s College (WC) in 1934, Carrie’s sister Elizabeth Davis Hall Crumpler, graduated from WC in 1938; then another sister, Katherine Davis Smith, graduated from WC in 1944; then another sister, Hilda Davis Jennings, graduated from WC in 1956, just two years before Carrie’s graduation. Continuing the tradition, a niece in the family, Jennifer Smith Hooks, graduated from UNCG in 1976; and another family niece, Wendy Lorraine Davis, graduated from UNCG in 1995, and then earned her master’s degree at UNCG in 1997. With this merit scholarship, Carrie will continue the tradition of attracting the best and the brightest future educators to the UNCG School of Education.

Dr. Reginald W. Ponder graduated from NC State University in 1958 with a bachelor of science in rural sociology. Ordained to the ministry in the United Methodist Church (UMC), first as a deacon in 1959 and later as an elder in 1961, Reggie earned his master of divinity degree from Duke University in 1961 and then his doctor of ministry from Emory University in 1977. Serving with distinction as pastor of numerous churches in NC — in Rocky Mount, Sanford, and several other cities — from 1958 until the present, Reggie also served as district superintendent for the UMC New Bern, NC District from 1978-1980 and then as District Superintendent for the UMC Raleigh, NC District from 1980-1983. He has also held numerous other UMC offices in NC during his career as a Methodist minister. In addition, Reggie served as chief executive officer of United Methodist Retirement Homes. He then later served as president of Louisburg College from 2002-2007, and on its Board of Trustees, as well as serving on the Board of the NC Independent Colleges & Universities. During his tenure at Louisburg College, its endowment and enrollment doubled. Most recently, Reggie served as consultant and advisor to Oak Ridge Military Academy. Reggie was the recipient of the 1972 Sanford Jaycee Distinguished Service Award and the 1978 Rotarian of the Year of the Sanford Rotary Club, especially for his work as founder and chair of the Lee County (NC) Council on Aging and as chair of the Lee County Council on Alcoholism.

Carrie and Reggie have been married since July 20, 1958. They had two daughters and a son, and now have four grandchildren. They have dedicated their lives to their family, their church, and community – and this merit scholarship is simply more evidence to their dedication to the value of higher education, and their endorsement of the quality academic program offered by the UNCG School of Education.