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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
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