Category Archives: Advancement

ECU’s Harriot College recognizes high-achieving first-year students

East Carolina University’s Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences recognized its high-achieving first-year freshmen and transfer students at the college’s annual ECU Excels Awards Ceremony on Feb. 17 in the Mendenhall Student Center Great Rooms.

The event, which began in 2010 and is in its eighth year, honored 573 Harriot College students who achieved a GPA of 3.0 or higher in their first semester at ECU.

Dr. William M. Downs, dean of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences, welcomed the students and their guests to the celebration.

“ECU is an exceptional place. We really do put our students first,” said Downs. “ECU Excels is all about recognizing that you are already on the path to success and a timely graduation. It is a huge accomplishment.”

Following the dean’s comments, three officers from the THCAS Dean’s Student Leadership Council gave formal remarks about their lives at ECU. They provided words of wisdom to current Excels awardees on how to be successful throughout their academic career at ECU.

Chair of the council Lily Faulconer, an Honors College student who will graduate in May with degrees in political science and multidisciplinary studies, said, “Your time of transition is not over after your first semester. You’re going to experience many types of transition. You may find yourself in a time that feels like constant chaos, but you’ve already demonstrated your ability to adapt to a new environment and to new responsibilities.”

“I want to encourage you to continue on this path,” said Faulconer. “Think of today and our celebration of your success. Think of how hard you worked to be here at East Carolina, reflect on your successes and remember the incredible opportunities you have had and will have as a student and future graduate and alumni of East Carolina University.”

“ECU is a community, a family, a network of support and a hub of resources. You have everything you need to succeed nestled somewhere on our campus. Take advantage of what ECU has to offer you,” Faulconer concluded.

Katharine Chandler, co-chair of the leadership council who is majoring in history, philosophy, religious studies and great books, said “the key to success is to harness strength in all your academic endeavors.”

Within her first two years at ECU, Chandler studied abroad in Italy, South Africa and India. She said that getting to know her professors and being involved in campus organizations helped her focus and achieve her goals.

“It was because of the professors that I was able to accomplish so much,” said Chandler.

Virginia Vasquez-Rios, secretary of the leadership council and a sophomore biology major, was the final student to speak at the event.

“You should be very proud of yourselves,” said Vasquez-Rios.

Vasquez-Rios re-iterated Chandler’s comment about getting to know the professors at ECU, and also told students to use their time wisely and apply themselves in everything they do.

“Apply, apply, apply,” said Vasquez-Rios. “Persist in what you think will help you reach your goals.”

Honorees of the event received a certificate to commemorate their accomplishments and had the opportunity to have photos taken by a professional photographer. Additionally, the scholars and their guests celebrated with cake and mingled with faculty and associate deans from Harriot College.

 

 

-by Lacey Gray, Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences

Taiwan trip to explore study abroad connections

Whitney Morris, East Carolina University’s coordinator of faculty-led study abroad, has been awarded a Fulbright International Education Administrator’s Seminar grant to travel to Taiwan in March.

The purpose of the program is to build relationships in countries that may be underrepresented by American study abroad students, said Dr. Regis Gilman, executive director of the Office of Continuing Studies.

Whitney Morris will travel to Taiwan in March to build relationships for a possible future study abroad program. (Photo by Cliff Hollis) Whitney Morris will travel to Taiwan in March to build relationships for a possible future study abroad program. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

“By participating in the seminar, Ms. Morris will learn more about higher education in Taiwan and how ECU will be able to build relationships there to encourage faculty and student interest in non-traditional study abroad countries,” he said.

The grant provides a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about Taiwan’s higher education system while also gaining experience with its people and culture, Morris said.

Morris, who said she has never been to Asia, plans to look for areas of common interest and create a framework to begin faculty-led study abroad programs in Taiwan over the coming years. ECU currently offers faculty-led study abroad programs in a variety of countries in Europe, Asia, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, Africa, Australia and the Pacific Islands.

“Taiwan is a country that has many of the same developmental priorities as eastern North Carolina, such as being emerging market economies in coastal communities, with many students in higher education coming from rural locations,” Gilman said. “I am extremely excited about both Whitney’s initiative in applying for the grant and the outcomes from her experience in Taiwan.”

The J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board is overseen by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Funding for grants is made possible through appropriations by the U.S. Congress and contributions from partner countries and the private sector.

 

 

-by Jules Norwood

Importance of scholarships highlights 2017’s first roadshow

With his installation nearing, Chancellor Cecil Staton continued his effort Feb. 7 to meet with East Carolina University alumni and supporters across the state.

About 60 people came to the Grandover Resort and Conference Center in Greensboro to meet Dr. Staton and hear his vision for ECU’s future. But unlike previous roadshows, this one had a double focus.

ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton speaks to the crowd at his Roadshow in the Triad. (Photos by Perfecta Visuals)

ECU Chancellor Cecil Staton speaks to the crowd at his Roadshow in the Triad. (Photos by Perfecta Visuals)

“We had a theme around the Honors College,” said Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Chris Dyba. “We invited students, prospective students and families, as well as alumni and supporters to sort of integrate both of those events into one.”

Honors College Dean Dr. David White said there is a lot of excitement surrounding the scholarship program since the college will double student enrollment over the next four years.

Chancellor Staton greets the Love family.

Chancellor Staton greets the Love family.

“I think the Honors College is going to be central to the chancellor’s commitments and mission to making ECU America’s next great national university,” White said. “We’re poised to lead that charge and with the diversity of majors, and the students that we have, we touch every part of campus. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Among the guests was Northwest Guilford High School junior Britt Carruthers, who said she fell in love with ECU when her brother started there. Her goal is to get into the Honors College and she is excited that the number of students is expanding.

Chancellor Staton talks with Honors College hopeful Britt Carruthers.

Chancellor Staton talks with Honors College hopeful Britt Carruthers.

“I’m glad cause that will give me more of a chance to get in, but it’s also very nerve-wracking. Hopefully with all of the stuff that I’ve been doing, it will push me forward in the competition to get into the Honors College,” Carruthers said.

After talking with alumni and supporters one-on-one or in small groups, Staton spoke about his plans for increasing the university’s national profile, increasing research, expanding international studies and preparing for a $500 million fundraising campaign.

“The reality is we have to find out how we take that wonderful range of assets that we have and how we use them to literally, through our students, change the world,” Staton said. “We have that potential and we have that ability to do that because of what East Carolina University has become.”

“The passion that exudes when he’s talking, you can’t help but get excited about the vision that he has for East Carolina. I mean it’s contagious,” said retired General James Gorham ’81. “I know I have been bitten with his contagiousness tonight and I’m excited and ready to go spread the word.”

Chancellor Staton spoke with alumni and supporters either one-on-one or in small groups before and after addressing the crowd. Here he talks with _____

Chancellor Staton spoke with alumni and supporters either one-on-one or in small groups before and after addressing the crowd. 

Staton began his roadshow in August at the Murphy Center on ECU’s campus and has visited nearly a dozen communities in North Carolina and along the East Coast from New York to Florida.

Staton will be installed as ECU’s 11th chancellor in a ceremony on March 24.

For more information, contact ECU Advancement at 252-328-9550 or visit ecu.edu/give.

 

 

-by Rich Klindworth

Season of giving benefits ECU students

Giving Tuesday continues to bring out the generosity of the Pirate Nation. The 2016 day to donate to educational and non-profit organizations brought in $136,736 to East Carolina University. In the three years that ECU has been participating in Giving Tuesday, the university has raised $463,279.

Giving Tuesday 2016
“Thank you Pirate Nation, your generosity is very much appreciated,” said Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for university advancement. “Your donations are an investment in what we are doing here at ECU with our vision to enhance student success, serve the public and transform the region.”

The support for Giving Tuesday came from all across the country, with people donating in amounts ranging from $10 to more than $30,000. There were 24 states represented — North Carolina residents donated the majority with California coming in second. The gifts were spread throughout the university with Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences receiving the largest portion at $47,341. Rounding out the top five supported programs were the Honors College, College of Business, Pirate Club and School of Dental Medicine.

“With these gifts, we will move closer to achieving one of our major goals — doubling the number of students who study abroad each year,” said Dr. William Downs, dean of Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. “We firmly believe that ECU students should graduate with more global competence and more global competitiveness than ever before, and scholarship dollars are essential to making this ambition a reality.”

Cupola

On top of that, Downs said the funding by alumni and friends helped sustain the Voyages of Discovery, which has brought more than 24,000 students, faculty and community members to campus to hear from the world’s foremost authorities in the sciences, the arts and the humanities.

Glenn Woodard is a 1958 graduate of ECU and is a member of the advancement council for Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. He was one of the 170 people who donated to the university on Giving Tuesday. He said he donated to Voyages of Discovery because he loves ECU and credits it for making him who he is today.

“I think ECU is a terrific asset for eastern North Carolina. It has a great reputation for service and has produced dynamic graduates,” Woodard added.

“People might not realize how important these donations are day to day. With the money being allocated to priority funds, those dollars make a direct impact on specific program budgets. This funding will enhance our students’ education as well as our faculty’s access to technology,” Dyba said.

Following Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday has become a new tradition for people to give back in the form of charitable gifts in the beginning of the holiday shopping season. If you would like to donate to East Carolina University or for more information, visit  http://www.ecu.edu/give/.
–Rich Klindworth

Chancellor’s Roadshow visits the Queen City

The East Carolina University Chancellor’s Roadshow pulled into Charlotte Oct. 18 to visit alumni and university supporters. About 50 people came out to the Duke Energy Center to meet Dr. Cecil Staton and hear firsthand his vision for ECU’s future.

 

“I loved the opportunity to be able to hear what he had to say, his new vision for the university, the boldness of his statements – which I think pirate pride can match,” said ECU alumna Michaelina Antahades.

“We need for every pirate to make an investment in this institution. It’s only when we can come together and do this as a team that we’re going to be able to make sure East Carolina University can be all that I believe it can be in the days ahead,” Staton said.

Staton

Chancellor Staton shares his vision of ECU with those gathered for his roadshow.

During his remarks, the chancellor noted that he believes East Carolina is on the cusp of becoming America’s next great university. His plans include increasing the university’s national profile, increasing research, expanding international studies and preparing for a comprehensive campaign.

“The chancellor talks about increasing research, and we have philanthropic partnerships with corporations that help further research,” said Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Chris Dyba. “Duke Energy is a great example of that. They’ve given hundreds of thousands of dollars to our engineering program and other programs at ECU to advance our research and do collective work for the citizens of North Carolina.”

Linda Thomas, Chancellor Staton, Wanda Montano, Jon DeFriese, and David Fisher

Linda Thomas, Chancellor Staton, Wanda Montano, Jon DeFriese, and David Fisher

The view from the 46th floor of the Duke Energy Center where the Chancellor’s Roadshow was held.

The view from the 46th floor of the Duke Energy Center where the event was held.

A big focus of the night was the importance of corporate support for the university. While corporate funding can help the university increase its national footprint in research and scholarships, it also helps students prepare for the future through internships and job placement.

“Anytime you talk about a true partnership, it goes beyond the financial commitment,” said ECU alumnus Mike Hughes who is also the vice president of community relations for Duke Energy in North Carolina. “You’ve got to develop opportunities for young people to get integrated into your workforce. I think we can find things that we need at Duke Energy and that East Carolina can absolutely deliver on and provide those kind of opportunities for students.”

These roadshows also give alumni and supporters a unique opportunity to speak with the Chancellor in one-on-one conversations.

“I definitely want to hear his ideas about these challenging times, but exciting times, and celebrating diversity and where we go from here,” said Steven Carmichael, a 2000 ECU graduate and co-founder of the Black Student Union at ECU.

Ronald Ellis, Chancellor Staton, and Roni Ellis

Ronald Ellis, Chancellor Staton, and Roni Ellis

Staton began his roadshow in August at the Murphy Center on ECU’s campus and plans to visit nearly a dozen locations in North Carolina and along the East Coast. The chancellor’s next roadshow event is planned for New York City in early December. For more information, contact ECU Advancement at 252-328-9550 or visit ecu.edu/give.

–Rich Klindworth

 

Click here to see all photos from the event.

Chancellor Staton takes a selfie with a guest.

Chancellor Staton takes a selfie with a guest.

Chancellor’s Roadshow excites ECU supporters

East Carolina University’s reach extends well beyond North Carolina which is why Chancellor Cecil Staton took his roadshow across the state’s northern border. The third round of his meet and greets was in Norfolk, Virginia.

“I think it is fantastic. It makes me feel that he [Staton] understands how important we are as a body of alumni,” said ECU supporter Gail Englert.

“We appreciate you, we appreciate your loyalty to ECU,” Staton said as he addressed the crowd of about 60 people who came out to the Norfolk Yacht and Country Club.

The alumni and supporters heard firsthand Staton’s vision for ECU’s future. That vision includes increasing the university’s national profile, increasing research, expanding international studies and preparing for a comprehensive campaign. However, one of the main points of focus on this trip centered on the power of the Pirate alumni.

Shirley Byrd Slaughter, Chancellor Staton

ECU supporter Shirley Byrd Slaughter speaks with Chancellor Staton at the Norfolk Yacht Club.

“[Staton] being able to reach out and ask for our opinions and suggestions – we all love East Carolina, we all want to make it better – and it means so much to us for him to come up here for this visit,” said Class of 1985 graduate Neal Crawford.

“We want them [alumni] to be involved. Of course financial support is always welcomed but it’s the day in and day out, life-long relationships that are so very important as well,” said ECU Vice Chancellor for University Advancement Chris Dyba.

The Pirate alumni and supporters who came out said they are proud to be ambassadors of the university and will continue to spread the word as to all that ECU has to offer.

“I think it’s an obligation of ours to let people know [about ECU],” Englert said.

Bill Burnette, Joe Covington, Michelle Burnette, Neal Crawford

Bill Burnette, Joe Covington, Michelle Burnette, Neal Crawford

“We’re going to need our alumni to stand up and say ‘yes, we believe in the future of our university and we’re going to support it,’” Staton said. “I know a lot of you have already done that and I want to thank you very, very much for your investment in East Carolina University.”

Staton began his roadshow in August at the Murphy Center in Greenville and plans to visit nearly a dozen locations in North Carolina and along the East Coast. The chancellor’s next roadshow event will be on Oct. 18 in Charlotte. For more information, contact ECU Advancement at 252-328-9550 or visit ecu.edu/give.

–Rich Klindworth
Click here to see all photos from the event.

Chancellor’s Roadshow seeks out lawmakers

Round two of East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil Staton’s “Roadshow” took him to the Triangle to speak with legislators, members of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and ECU alumni. On Sept. 14, more than 100 people came to Prestonwood Country Club in Cary to meet Staton.

The chancellor used his two-day stop in the Triangle to speak with lawmakers regarding funding to support increased enrollment at the Brody School of Medicine and construction of a modern building.

“We’re going in to ask for some big things, and it may take us a little while to get there, but I need you to be an ambassador for your institution,” Staton told the crowd.

The economic impact of all the Brody-educated physicians in North Carolina is $3 billion a year, the chancellor said.

“North Carolina needs more of what Brody does,” Staton said. “We train physicians who serve in underserved, needy areas of this state.

“This is an important trip and the chancellor will be over here often with a legislative agenda that’s really right now focused on the Brody School of Medicine,” said Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for University Advancement. “We have ambitious plans to increase enrollment in the Brody School of Medicine, expand residency opportunities with the hope of retaining more talent in state and ultimately start a discussion about a new building.  To accomplish these ambitious goals, we need the state legislature to partner with our alumni to make this possible.”

Staton began his roadshow in August at the Murphy Center in Greenville and plans to visit nearly a dozen locations in North Carolina and along the east coast. During the visits, Staton plans to speak with alumni and friends of the university about his vision for ECU, including efforts to grow the university’s national profile, increase research funding, expand international studies and prepare for a comprehensive campaign.

The chancellor’s next roadshow event will be Oct. 5 in Norfolk, Virginia, and then Oct. 18 to Charlotte. For more information, contact ECU Advancement at 252-328-9550 or visit ecu.edu/give.

–Rich Klindworth
Click here to see all photos from the event.