BURGAW, N.C. (WECT) - School and community leaders took part in a name restoration ceremony Thursday for C.F. Pope Elementary School.
In September, the Pender County Schools Board of Education unanimously approved to change the name of Burgaw Elementary back to C.F. Pope Elementary School.
A group of C.F. Pope alumni had signed a petition to get the name changed back.
“It truly is a blessing to be here this morning in this honor of our past name: C.F. Pope,” Arnold Moore said Thursday. “Well, it used to be high school, but C.F. Pope Elementary now. It’s really a great joy in my heart to have this name changed back to C.F. Pope.”
Founded in 1891, the school operated under several different names, including the Burgaw Institute and Burgaw Colored High School, before becoming C.F. Pope High School in 1952. The school became Burgaw Elementary when it became integrated in 1970.
Cicero Franklin Pope was an African-American Baptist minister and principal for 38 years in the education system.
“This school has great value to us as a community because it was our home, it was where we were raised,” Bishop James Malloy said. “Our parents and teachers were interconnected and we were a great family. It prepared us to go off into the world, be better citizens, better people. And I’m grateful to be able to come back home, work with this, and now today I give God the praise.”