The Moore County Board of Education received a proposal from 19 community supporters and the Moore County Literacy Center to consider the designation of the new Southern Pines Elementary School media center as “Bruce Cunningham Media Center”. Cunningham, who sat on the school board, died unexpectedly in July of this year while on vacation in Ireland. 

Cunningham moved to Moore County in 1973 and had a long history of service to the community and Moore County Schools. He spent 45 years as both a respected attorney and community leader.

He was a key figure in the creation of the Tour de Moore bicycle race and the restoration of the Sunrise Theater in Southern Pines. When his daughters were students at Southern Pines Primary School, he and his wife, Ann, raised money and were involved in the construction of a new state-of-the-art playground at the school.

He later became heavily involved in volunteering his time to coach and judge the Pinecrest High School Speech and Debate team. In 2004, Cunningham was elected to the Moore County Board of Education where he served tirelessly to represent the interests of students, staff, and families of Moore County until his passing. He served as Board Chair from 2014-2016.

Some of his personal accolades include being a co-founder of the Tour de Moore, serving as the event director for thirty-four years as well as chairing the initial Sunrise Theater Preservation Group in 1998.

In 2011, N.C. State Bar Association presented Cunningham with the John B. McMillan Distinguished Service Award for his work and many volunteer roles. The Kiwanis Club of the Sandhills honored him with its Builder’s Cup Award in 2017, and the Moore County Community Foundation recognized him as its Man of the Year in 2018.

After his death, he was honored in N.C. House of Representatives with a resolution from state Representative Jamie Boles. Boles described Cunningham as “a great servant and supporter of the community and education.”

The community is invited to offer their input on the naming of the media center. A meeting will be held on November 18 in the Southern Pines Elementary School Media Center, as well as an online portal, which will be released in the near future. The findings will be reported at the December 2 Board of Education work session. 

Sandhills_Sentinel~Written by Sandhills Sentinel Local News/Government Reporter Chris Prentice.
Contact him at [email protected] or (910) 639-9303.

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