History of the Center

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Dr. Leroy Upperman

Born in Jersey City, NJ, Leroy Upperman received his B.S. degree from Lincoln University in 1934 and his M.D. from Howard University in 1938. He then served as house physician of Community Hospital in Wilmington from 1939 to 1941.

For the next fifty years, Dr. Upperman operated a private practice in general medicine and surgery in Wilmington and was also a member of the surgical staff at what is now known as New Hanover Regional Medical Center. Dr. Upperman, or “Uppie” as friends affectionately called him, was very active in the Wilmington community.

He was a founding member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and served on the boards of the Community Boys and Girls Club, Greater Wilmington Chamber of Commerce, New Hanover County Human Relations Commission, United Way, and Wilmington Redevelopment Commission. Dr. Upperman was also a lifetime member of the NAACP.

Dr. Upperman’s love of education and desire to provide opportunities for the advancement of African American students played a major part in his bequest for funds for scholarships and activities that promote academic achievement and African American heritage.

Named in his honor, the Upperman African American Cultural Center opened in the University Union in 1995.


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