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.
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.”
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