Six people were inducted on April 20 to the East Carolina University College of Health and Human Performance Marvin and Joyce Johnson Wall of Fame.
The inductees were Linner Griffin and Robin McManus, who were both inducted posthumously, along with Jannis Shea, Thom Skalko, Jerry Tolley and Odell Welborn. Welborn died May 10.
Griffin, professor emeritus at ECU, served on the ECU faculty from 1990 until her retirement in 2013. She served in a variety of roles including associate professor of social work and associate dean for graduate studies, interim dean of the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice, and associate provost for academic program planning and development.
McManus was an instructor in the Department of Human Development and Family Science and lead teacher in the infant classroom of the child development laboratory, now known as the Nancy Darden Child Development Center. She helped secure the center’s accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and a five-star child care license.
Shea’s teaching career spanned 37 years including two stints as acting chair for the Department of Child Development and Family Relations and as assistant to the dean for Helen Grove. She taught the first introduction to marriage and family course offered in home economics and every child development and family science course before the family therapy program was established. She served on the committee that developed the ECU code of operations and designed and helped implement the first interdisciplinary minor in gerontology at ECU.
Skalko served as a professor at ECU from 1996-2017 including as chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies from 1996-2004. He directed the ECU Horizons Day Treatment program, providing intervention for youth with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. Skalko collaborated with educators in South Africa to establish the country’s first degree in recreational therapy.
Tolley has been an active member of the college’s Dean’s Advancement Council for decades and a longtime supporter of ECU athletics. A track and football athlete at ECU, Tolley coached football at Elon College, where he led the team to national titles in 1980 and 1981. He held academic and administrative positions at Elon University and served as associate vice president of Laboratory Corporation of America. He is a nationally known sports author and serves as the mayor of Elon.
Welborn, faculty emeritus at ECU, coached the Pirate wrestling, track and football teams between 1960 and 1992. He led the football team after Coach Clarence Stasavich had a heart attack in 1963. Welborn posted an undefeated record as interim head coach and continued as an assistant after Stasavich’s return, helping the Pirates win two consecutive bowl games. He was inducted in the ECU College of Education’s Educators Hall of Fame in 2010. He taught health, physical education, driver education and traffic safety for decades.
The inductees joined 30 outstanding men and women already recognized on the College of Health and Human Performance Wall of Fame, which is on the first floor of Rivers Building.
The wall was established with a $50,000 donation in 2015 in honor of Joyce Johnson in support of the Department of Human Development and Family Science.
Marvin and Joyce Johnson met in the early 1950s at ECU where Marvin majored in physical education and Joyce in home economics. Marvin Johnson was drafted into the Korean War and Joyce Johnson completed her degree. Following the war, they were married and raised their family in Atlanta.
Funds from the inductions help students in a variety of ways from membership fees for professional organizations and development to academic programming and events for outstanding seniors.
Angela Lamson, associate dean for research in the college and professor of human development and family science, served as master of ceremonies for the event.
-by Crystal Baity, ECU News Services