Wayne Staton’s late mother Ellen B. Staton was a graduate of East Carolina Teachers College in the late 1930s, going on to teach home economics and elementary school until he and his brother Allyn were born. His father William Staton, a graduate of Wake Forest College and Law School, was a practicing attorney, who later became a World War II veteran and Purple Heart recipient, and eventually served in the North Carolina State Senate for 24 years. After their parents passed away, Wayne and his late brother, Allyn Staton, wanted to do something to honor their mother, who had been such a great support to their father and his career. They decided it would only be fitting to endow a scholarship in her name in the College of Education for undergraduate students majoring in elementary education.
Like his father, Wayne has had a successful career. A graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he has held careers in manufacturing, banking, and information technology. Currently, he is the owner of Staton Group LLC, a forestry, agricultural, and commercial investment property business. He has also followed in his mother’s footsteps, teaching business and government classes at Central Carolina Community College for over 10 years. Not only that, Wayne has kept himself busy hosting a weekly television program in Sanford for more than 20 years.
Throughout the years, Wayne has been able to witness firsthand how the university has grown. “My father served in the North Carolina Senate during the time that Dr. Leo Jenkins was working so hard to expand East Carolina University. I was extremely impressed with the medical school that was established, and also the good reputations of the College of Business, the College of Education, and the Theater Arts Department.”
He was especially surprised by the administration, staff, and faculty’s dedication to making East Carolina a major regional university and serving the surrounding communities. “I believe that ECU is ably serving Eastern North Carolina with its medical school and related medical practices and services,” he said.
Whenever he isn’t working or volunteering, Wayne is traveling, working out, or pursuing his passion: history. Those who know Wayne will know he is an avid history buff. “I am particularly interested in U.S. history from pre-World War II through the 1960s. I am also interested in North Carolina history from the late 40s through the 1990s.” Another passion of his is art. Wayne enjoys visiting art exhibits, galleries, and shows.
Since beginning his work with the university, Wayne has made many great memories. Wayne has enjoyed several escorted tours of the ECU Medical Complex and The Heart Center. Of one particular tour, Wayne recalls, “My tour guide was Dr. Wily Nifong, a respected heart surgeon. He was wonderful! It was a very exciting experience to me to be able to go behind the scenes to see how doctors are trained and patients are treated and hopefully cured.”
Wayne describes his decision to give to the university as a gratifying one. “My association has been a great and extremely rewarding experience. I have become so very impressed with the administrators, faculty, and staff at the university. The gift officers are the ultimate professionals, and the students I have met have all been highly motivated to succeed in school and in their careers. I urge anyone and everyone to make gifts in some shape or form to the university, and then get involved personally. It has certainly been rewarding to me.”
This story courtesy of EC Alumni magazine, which is available in full to members of the East Carolina Alumni Association at PirateAlumni.com/ECAlumni.