Category Archives: Chancellor

The legacy of philanthropy takes center stage at the Chancellor’s Amethyst

Chancellor Cecil Staton awarded three of his Chancellor’s Amethysts at Thursday night’s East Carolina University Board of Trustees dinner. The Chancellor’s Amethyst is the premiere recognition of philanthropic commitment at East Carolina University. He honored BB&T, Carl and Connie Rogers, and Drs. Mary Raab and William McConnell for their ongoing generosity and service to the university.

Evans – BB&T’s Northeastern North Carolina Regional President, Scott Evans (right), accepts the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Cecil Staton on behalf of BB&T. (Photos by Will Preslar.)

BB&T’s Northeastern North Carolina Regional President, Scott Evans (right), accepts the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Cecil Staton on behalf of BB&T. (Photos by Will Preslar)

Staton recognized BB&T as one of ECU’s most loyal corporate supporters. Over the lifetime of BB&T’s support of the university, it has donated more than $3.6 million, which includes its support for the BB&T Center for Leadership Development at ECU. In addition, BB&T has pledged $1 million to the Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium Southside Renovation Campaign.

“Much like East Carolina, BB&T is a mission-driven organization with a clearly defined set of values,” Staton said. “If you look at BB&T’s philanthropic support of ECU, you will see where this culture aligns quite nicely with the work being done across campus to ensure student success, instill a passion for public service, and transform our region.”

Connie and Carl (right) Rogers receive the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Staton for their continued support and service to ECU.

Connie and Carl (right) Rogers receive the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Staton for their continued support and service to ECU.

Carl Rogers is a 1970 ECU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in physical education. He is in his sixth year as a member of the Pirate Club Executive Committee after serving as the ECU Educational Foundation president in 2015-16. The Rogers’ lifetime giving to the university of nearly $350,000 will be increasing through their pledge of $875,000 to name the Pirate Club Level located within the renovated southside tower in addition to their premium seating commitment. Their past commitments have helped several capital projects, including those funding Clark-LeClair Stadium, the Smith-Williams Basketball Practice Facility and the Step Up to The Highest Level Campaign.

“The Pirate pride runs deep within Carl and Connie Rogers,” Staton said.

Drs. Bill McConnell (left) and Mary Raab accept the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Staton.

Drs. Bill McConnell (left) and Mary Raab accept the Chancellor’s Amethyst from Chancellor Staton.

Raab and McConnell have long worked to support medical services in eastern North Carolina. Raab joined the ECU oncology department in 1977, eventually becoming the first female chief of medical staff at what is now Vidant Medical Center. She and her late husband, Dr. Spencer Raab, played a pivotal role in establishing the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center.

McConnell helped create Eastern Radiologists in Greenville. He also served as the hospital’s chief of medical staff. Through the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, they have established the Drs. Mary and Spencer Raab Distinguished Professorship in Medical Oncology and the R. William McConnell, MD, Medical Student Scholarship Endowment, in addition to supporting numerous other initiatives around campus.

Outgoing ECU Board of Trustees member Terry Yeargan (right) and Chancellor Staton show off their Pirate Pride at Thursday night’s dinner.

Outgoing ECU Board of Trustees member Terry Yeargan (right) and Chancellor Staton show off their Pirate Pride at Thursday night’s dinner.

“Servant leadership is in Mary and Bill’s DNA,” Staton said. “They have touched so many lives at East Carolina University and in the eastern North Carolina community. They are truly the type of people we would love our students, faculty and staff to model themselves after.”

The honorees join the Golden LEAF Foundation and Walter and Marie Williams as the only recipients of the Chancellor’s Amethyst.

Staton also recognized several ECU alumni whose terms are expiring on the ECU Board of Trustees and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors.

Robert Rippy and Henry Hinton have completed one term on the Board of Governors and have been members of the Public Affairs Committee and the University Governance Committee.

Outgoing UNC Board of Governors member Craig Souza (right) is recognized by Chancellor Staton for his service.

Outgoing UNC Board of Governors member Craig Souza (right) is recognized by Chancellor Staton for his service.

Each received a pewter plate in recognition of their service. Staton said ECU hasn’t always had the kind of involvement and advocacy on the UNC system board that it has had over the past few years, and that’s due in part to the three outgoing members.

Craig Souza served two terms on the Board of Governors and previously served as an ECU trustee.

Staton also recognized four outgoing ECU trustees: Terry Yeargan, Danny Scott, Steve Jones and Student Government Association President Ryan Beeson. Jones spent the last two years as chair of the board. Each received a desk box and a Board of Trustees chair.

 

 

-by Rich Klindworth

 

Chancellor Cecil Staton Initiated into Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society

East Carolina University Chancellor Cecil P. Staton was initiated into the ECU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, the national honor society, during a ceremony April 9 in Wright Auditorium.

Membership into Phi Kappa Phi is extended by invitation only to undergraduate and graduate students who are at the top of their respective classes. Faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the university are nominated for induction into Phi Kappa Phi.

PKP President Marianna Walker introduces the processional. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

PKP President Marianna Walker introduces the processional. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

“One my favorite activities as chancellor is interacting with our students, learning about their own academic journeys and hearing how the university is making a positive difference in their lives,” Staton said. “I am honored to help recognize the academic achievements of these impressive scholars on our campus and to be inducted into Phi Kappa Phi at ECU along with them.”

Dr. Marianna Walker, president of the ECU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, welcomed the students and their guests and inducted Staton into the society.

“We are honored to induct Chancellor Staton into Phi Kappa Phi at our ECU Chapter,” she said. “We look forward to our collaboration with the chancellor to promote and recognize our distinguished community of scholars, in all academic fields, at East Carolina University.”

Fellow members of the ECU Phi Kappa Phi chapter watch as Chancellor Cecil Staton is inducted.

Fellow members of the ECU Phi Kappa Phi chapter watch as Chancellor Cecil Staton is initiated.

ECU’s Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was formally installed on April 17, 1970. The university chapter provides student achievement awards, sponsors awards as part of ECU’s Undergraduate Research Symposium and sponsors public lectures, forums and debates.

A first-generation college student, Staton grew up in Greenville, South Carolina and attended Furman University. He received masters’ of theology and divinity degrees from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a doctorate in Old Testament, Hebrew and ancient Near Eastern studies from the University of Oxford in England.

Before beginning his role as ECU’s chancellor on July 1, 2016, Staton served as vice chancellor for extended education for the University System of Georgia, which included time as the interim president of Valdosta State University. Additionally, he was associate provost at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, and served five terms as a Georgia state senator.

Chancellor Cecil Staton

Chancellor Cecil Staton speaks at his initiation ceremony.

Earlier this spring, Staton was formally installed March 24 as the university’s 11th chancellor, following a week-long celebration of campus events. As chancellor, Staton is the leader of 12 colleges and schools, almost 29,000 students, 5,800 faculty and staff, and nearly 170,000 alumni.

Phi Kappa Phi was founded in 1897 at the University of Maine and is the nation’s oldest, largest and most selective honor society for all academic disciplines. It hosts chapters on more than 300 campuses across the United States, Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Each year, approximately 30,000 members are initiated into the society.

 

-by Lacey Gray, University Communication

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

ECU honors graduating veterans

East Carolina University held a ceremony and reception on Nov. 28 to recognize its graduating student veterans, who received red, white and blue tassels and gold challenge coins to commemorate the occasion.

Cords and Pins: ECU’s graduating student veterans received red, white and blue tassels and challenge coins during a recognition ceremony Nov. 28. (Photos by Chris Stansbury)

Cords and Pins: ECU’s graduating student veterans received red, white and blue tassels and challenge coins during a recognition ceremony Nov. 28. (Photos by Chris Stansbury)

First held last fall, the event is organized each semester by Student Veteran Services in the Division of Student Affairs. About 25 students and family members attended this fall’s ceremony.

Chancellor Staton with Keyvin Dixon

Chancellor Staton with Keyvin Dixon

ECU strives to be a military friendly university and is the only school in the UNC System with a veteran success counselor physically housed on campus, helping student veterans and their families navigate their educational careers.

At the recognition ceremony, Chancellor Cecil Staton spoke to the student veterans and their families, as well as faculty and staff in attendance in the Spilman Gallery.

“I commend each one of you for your service to our great country and further applaud your commitment to successfully completing your education,” he said. “Each of you has achieved so much to get to where you are today, and now we look forward to you becoming amazing ambassadors for East Carolina University.”

There are about 500 student veterans currently enrolled at ECU, and 66 are graduating this fall. One of them, Ashley Bonner, shared her personal story with those in attendance.

Chancellor Staton with Taylohr Richardson

Chancellor Staton with Taylohr Richardson

She explained how her three deployments impacted her physically and emotionally and that she struggled to return to a sense of normalcy.  Ashley began working with therapy horses at the Rocking Horse Ranch in Greenville. She said one horse in particular, named Cisco, changed her life.

“I worked very closely with Cisco and taught him a lot, but he taught me even more,” Bonner said. “I learned to trust in myself, have confidence in myself and that I could survive and succeed in my life after taking off my uniform.

“My university, East Carolina University, also gave me opportunities to grow and succeed. The university studies degree with a focus on rehabilitation will open doors that I hope will let me help other veterans making a life transition.”

 

Chancellor Staton with Shante Boseman

Chancellor Staton with Shante Boseman

–Jules Norwood

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.