Pamela McCorkle Buncum
A Family Affair
“I’m a middle child and I’ve been the rebel as long as I can remember,” says Pamela McCorkle Buncum ’81. “I’ve always been of the mindset, if you think things aren’t going the way they should, instead of just complaining constantly, get in there and try to push solutions that will help everyone.”
“To Serve and to Solve”—that should be stenciled on McCorkle Buncum’s car door. At North Carolina A&T, she served as student body president, only the fourth female to hold the post in A&T history. But McCorkle Buncum is the first to acknowledge that she didn’t rise to that leadership position in a vacuum.
“I chose to attend A&T because I wanted to go somewhere where I could blossom, where I could become a better me,” says McCorkle Buncum, who credits professors and mentors from the administration for recognizing her potential and nurturing it. “A&T is able to zero in on those special qualities in all students, nurture them, and help you grow into someone who would want to give back and want to make a difference in the world. I got that and more.”
Graduating with a degree in accounting, McCorkle Buncum worked for 12 years as an internal auditor with several large banks and organizations from Boston to New Jersey and back to North Carolina. After her two boys were born—her husband is fellow Aggie Kelvin Buncum ’80—McCorkle Buncum decided to return to her service roots and dedicate herself full-time to public service and volunteering.
As a mother of young children, McCorkle Buncum dove into local education reform in the early 90s, serving in numerous leadership roles at her kids’ charter school outside Atlanta, and parlaying her accounting background to manage a $466 million capital improvement project for the entire DeKalb County School System.
For McCorkle Buncum, service has always been about family. First it was for her boys, and then it spread to her extended Aggie family. In 2007, McCorkle Buncum was appointed to the Board of Trustees for A&T and served as the Chair of the Board from 2009 until 2011.
“I felt like I had been training for this role all along,” says McCorkle Buncum, who relied on her team-building skills and leadership experience to steer A&T through an important transitional period. She has also put her accounting education to good use, serving on Board subcommittees like Business Affairs, Audit and Endowment that require a firm grasp of budgets and bottom lines.
Serving on the Board has given McCorkle Buncum an excuse to visit her alma mater often. That, and her youngest son is now an A&T freshman.
“It’s like a family reunion when you come back,” says Buncum, whose college mentors have now become close friends. “I’m proud to walk the campus and look at the changes for the better and all of the beautiful buildings and landscaping. It’s a great time to be an Aggie, and I can’t say enough for what this university did for me.”