Author Archives: Kristin Zachary

Pirates prepare for 22nd annual Polar Bear Plunge

The 22nd annual Polar Bear Plunge is set for 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the East Carolina University Student Recreation Center.

All ECU students, faculty and staff are invited to jump into the icy waters of the center’s outdoor pool. Polar Bear Plunge Jan. 18The first 1,000 jumpers will receive a free event T-shirt and a certificate. Jumpers can also sign the large Polar Bear Plunge banner and be entered into drawings for prizes, including a 3-foot-tall stuffed polar bear donated by Coca-Cola.

As part of the grand opening of the Student Recreation Center in 1997, 35 participants took the inaugural plunge. The event has grown each year, with more than 700 plungers in 2010, 958 in 2011 and a record-breaking 1,094 in 2013. The goal is to set a new record of more than 1,100 in 2018.

Registration begins at 5 p.m. and all jumpers must present their ECU One Card, bring a swimsuit and fill out a waiver before jumping in the pool. The waiver is accessible and can be downloaded at the Campus Recreation and Wellness event website Participants should also bring their own towels.

After the event, participants can enjoy refreshments and entertainment and attend the ECU Student Involvement Fair, which showcases ECU’s 400-plus student organizations. Polar Bear Plunge sponsors include Campus Recreation and Wellness, Student Involvement and Leadership, Campus Living, Dining Services, Residence Hall Association, 33 East Apartments, the Bellamy, the Landing, University Commons and Dickinson Lofts.

What: Polar Bear Plunge

When: 5:30 p.m., Jan. 18; registration at 5 p.m.

Where: ECU Student Recreation Center

Who: ECU students, faculty and staff are invited to participate


–For more information, contact Jon Wall, Polar Bear Plunge event coordinator, at 252-328-1565 or

Five exhibits spotlight ECU Material Topics Symposium

From Jan. 5 through Jan. 25, the Wellington B. Gray Gallery at East Carolina University will present the Materials Topics Exhibitions, five shows to be held in collaboration with the ninth annual ECU Material Topics Symposium.

exhibition artwork

The exhibitions will feature artwork by Charity Hall, Sharon Massey, and Joanne Lang and Hailee Manipole. Lang is an ECU graduate student and the others are ECU alumni. (contributed photos)

The symposium will be held Jan. 12-14. ECU hosts the symposium each January for people interested in metal, material or adornment with experience ranging from beginners or hobbyists to professional jewelers and metal artists. This year’s theme is “Deconstruct/Reconstruct.”

A reception honoring the exhibitors will be held 5-8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5. A special symposium reception will be held 5-7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 12. The exhibitions and receptions are free and open to the public.

“Vitreous Voices” will be one of three exhibits inside the main gallery. Organized by ECU alumna Barbara McFadyen and retired ECU professor emeritus Bob Ebendorf, it is a juried exhibition of enameled works honoring the tradition that professor Linda Darty started at ECU.

“Spoon” is organized by ECU metal design professor Tim Lazure and is an invitational show of spoons of all shapes and sizes.exhibition artwork

“Ripple Effect 168” is organized by ECU graduate student Adam Atkinson and Everett Hoffman, a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University. This collaborative show between the metalsmithing programs at ECU and VCU is meant to foster connections and explore new work directions.

“Smitten Forum” will be located in the African Art Room/Special Collections Gallery at the rear of the main gallery. The work is by a group of invited artists organized by ECU alumna Marissa Saneholtz and Winthrop University faculty member Sara Brown.

On display Jan. 12-14 in the gallery foyer, the “Snail Mail Project Snail Mail Project” is a pop-up enameled decal show based on postcards from Ebendorf. It is organized by ECU alumna Kat Cole and Andrew Kuebeck, assistant professor and area head of the jewelry, metals and enameling program at Kent State University.

The Material Topics Symposium is a student-run event founded in 2009 by ECU alumna Laura Wood. Students and faculty from seven universities participated in the first show, which has grown to attendees from more than 45 institutions from California to Florida.

ECU’s Wellington B. Gray Gallery is located off Fifth and Jarvis streets in the Jenkins Fine Arts Center. Hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. The gallery
is closed for all university holidays.

The center is handicapped accessible. Individuals requesting accommodations under the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) should call 252-737-1016 (voice/TTY) at least 48 hours before the event. For more information, call 252-328-1312, visit or go to


Contact: Tom Braswell, interim Wellington B. Gray Gallery director, 252-328-1312 or 

Laupus Library pampers dedicated scholars

It was a busy time for Laupus Library over the last week as every study room and quiet space was filled with studying students preparing for final exams. From Dec. 5-11 Laupus offered special treats and pampering to the dedicated scholars to help them push through their studies.

Students enjoy breakfast snacks delivered to them by Laupus staff. (contributed photos)

Students enjoy breakfast snacks delivered to them by Laupus staff. (contributed photos)

“Laupus loves our students,” said Beth Ketterman, Laupus Library director. “We know that they are especially dedicated and hard working since they’ve chosen to pursue future health careers, so we do whatever we can to brighten their really intense preparation for exams.”

Forty pizzas, delivered and served to students the evening of the Dec. 5, kicked off the week and kept them fed and fueled for all-night cramming. Because most students hunker down in our study spaces, rarely leaving their chosen spot, Laupus decided to bring the spoils to them.

No hot cocoa is complete without whipped cream.

No hot cocoa is complete without whipped cream.

On several mornings a Laupus Library continental breakfast cart was taken to all study areas of the library, and students were served pastries and other morning snacks.

“I might cry,” said Kaitlin Oward, a first-semester nursing student. “This is the best thing ever.”

Free hot coffee and tea was offered on the library’s reference floor at all hours throughout the week. During the afternoons, a cram cart from ECU Dining Services served students energy bars and healthy refreshments.

A Laupus Library Mug Night was held on Thursday evening and allowed students to choose a keepsake mug to color and take home — but not before filling it up with all the offerings of a hot cocoa bar.

The library’s ongoing pet therapy program, sponsored by the Friends of Laupus Library and offered to students on several days, was a big success as many students were eager to spend a little time with man’s best friend.

“This is why we are proud to become ECU Pirate nurses,” said Jessie Cooke, a first-semester nursing student. “You guys are awesome for doing this for us.”


-by Kelly Rogers Dilda, University Communications


Leo W. Jenkins Society inducts new members at annual planned giving event

Every year, generous donors make planned gifts to East Carolina University that support countless scholarships, professorships and research funds. This year was no different, with donors championing areas from geology to nursing to art and design.

Charlotte resident and ’74 social work graduate Wanda Montano made a gift to support health and human performance students who demonstrate leadership.

Psychology professor Dr. Susan McCammon made a bequest provision in her will to establish an endowment scholarship for future psychology students.

And retired dentist Dr. Thomas Long made a planned gift that will support an endowed scholarship in the School of Dental Medicine.

Dr. Thomas Long was honored by Chancellor Cecil Staton and the university during the Leo W. Jenkins Society event for his planned gift to support an endowed scholarship at the ECU School of Dental Medicine. (Photos by Will Preslar)

Dr. Thomas Long was honored by Chancellor Cecil Staton and the university during the Leo W. Jenkins Society event for his planned gift to support an endowed scholarship at the ECU School of Dental Medicine. (Photos by Will Preslar)

Montano, McCammon and Long are part of an esteemed group of donors known as the Leo W. Jenkins Society. Named after the former ECU chancellor, the society honors philanthropic benefactors of the university who make planned gifts such as will bequests, retirement plan beneficiary designations, charitable remainder trusts, charitable gift annuities and life insurance policy designations.

On Dec. 8, the society inducted 20 new members, three of whom received medallions of recognition at a luncheon at the ECU Heart Institute in Greenville.

“ECU students deserve the same opportunities as those at elite universities. They deserve to learn the skills that will enable them to be citizens in a global economy,” Chancellor Cecil Staton told the crowd. “The things that hold our students back are resources.”

Planned gifts go a long way toward increasing those resources, he added as he thanked the donors for their planned gifts. “No university advancement activities would be possible without planned giving. What you are doing is vital,” he said.

There are more than 260 Leo Jenkins Society members. The university expects to receive more than $170 million from current known commitments of planned gifts over the next 25-30 years, according to Greg Abeyounis, associate vice chancellor for development.

McCammon, the psychology professor, said she was only able to attend college because of financial aid from scholarships. Now, she’s in a position to pass it on.

“I’d like to see that future students receive assistance like I was fortunate enough to receive,” she said.

Montano, a 1974 ECU graduate, attended the luncheon wearing purple from head to toe. She said the university changed her life. A first-generation college student, she learned at ECU how to think critically and take charge. Her gift will go to a scholarship to support leadership because leadership and engagement are important qualities for students to develop, she said.

“You don’t live on this earth to sit on the couch and watch TV. You go out and have an impact on it.”

Wanda Montano receives her Leo W. Jenkins medallion from Chancellor Cecil Staton during the Jenkins Society event on Dec. 8. Montano’s planned gift will support a scholarship for leadership excellence.

Wanda Montano receives her Leo W. Jenkins medallion from Chancellor Cecil Staton during the Jenkins Society event on Dec. 8. Montano’s planned gift will support a scholarship for leadership excellence.

Complete list of 2017 Leo W. Jenkins Society inductees and what their gifts will support:

Jeffrey Brame, Stan and Ann Riggs Endowment Fund

Dr. Susan McCammon, Dr. Susan McCammon Scholarship Endowment

Gordon Basnight, Kimberly Basnight Memorial Nursing Scholarship in the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation Inc.

Dr. Scott Colclough, Robert F. Hodges Scholarship Endowment, Kevin Alfonso Banks Scholarship Endowment

David Gaskins, David Gaskins Recreation Sports Scholarship Endowment

Michael McCammon, Michael McCammon Scholarship Endowment

Nancy Monroe, The Monroe Veterans Support Endowment Fund, The Dr. & Mrs. Edwin and Nancy Monroe Endowed Fund, Monroe Art Endowment

Patricia Beaver, Geology Alumni Century Fund

Dr. Thomas Long, June Rose Endowed Scholarship Fund

Dr. Geneva White Britt, Harold & Lois White Scholarship Endowment

Dorothy Satterfield, John and Dorothy Satterfield Scholarship Endowment

Angela Sutton Furniss, College of Business

Wanda Montano, Wanda Montano Scholarship for Leadership Excellence

Six individuals made provisions in their estates to support ECU but wished to remain anonymous. Their gifts will support student scholarships and athletics.

Eight existing Leo Jenkins Society members also made additional gifts through their estates. These donors are Michael Aho, David Bond, Neil Bullock, Margaret Hendricks, Dr. R. McConnell, Mike Renn, Jenny Tolson and Dr. Robert West.


-by Erin Shaw, University Communications