Category Archives: Events

Chancellor’s Roadshow visits the Queen City

The East Carolina University Chancellor 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.


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

–Rich Klindworth

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

–Rich Klindworth

Pulitzer-prize winning poet coming to ECU

Pulitzer-prize winning poet Stephen Dunn will be reading from his work at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 21 at the Greenville Museum of Art.

Stephen Dunn (Photo by Bernard C. Meyers)

Stephen Dunn (Photo by Bernard C. Meyers)

The event is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by Thomas Harriet College of Arts and Sciences, the Great Books Program, the Department of English, and the Contemporary Writer’s Series.

Dunn is the author of sixteen books; his poems have appeared in Poetry, The Atlantic, The Nation, the New Yorker, the American Poetry Review, the New Republic, and many other journals. Since 1974 he has taught at Richard Stockton College of NJ, where he is Distinguished Professor of Creative Writing. Dunn has been a Visiting Professor at The University of Washington, NYU, Columbia, and The University of Michigan. 

A reading by 2nd annual Hallberg Award-winning undergrad writer at ECU

Tuesday, September 27th 7:00 pm

1005 Bate Building, ECU, East Fifth Street | Greenville, NC 27858

The ECU English Department and the Creative Writing Area presents a reading with Q & A by Cameron Green, this year’s Bill Hallberg Award in Creative Writing winner. Green will read his winning story, “Why the News is Bad for You,” which was chosen this year by Garth Risk Hallberg, in Room 1005 of the Bate Building on the ECU main campus, on Tuesday evening, September 27th, at 7 pm. Garth Risk Hallberg is Bill’s son and author of the acclaimed novel, City on Fire.

The Bill Hallberg Award, open to undergraduates at colleges in NC, VA, TN, and SC, was established to honor the late ECU Creative Writing Professor and to celebrate the literary efforts of undergraduate students in our region. The winner receives $500 and is invited to read at ECU. Bill Hallberg was the author of several books and a longtime professor at East Carolina University. His novel, The Rub of the Green, concerned golf and was published by Doubleday in 1988. The New York Times Book Review called it “a story to be enjoyed by non-golfers and savored by those who love the game.” A memoir, The Soul of Golf, followed in 1997. He also edited Perfect Lies, an anthology of golf stories by John Updike, Walker Percy, and others.

A question and answer session will follow the reading. This event is free to the public and the ECU community, thanks to the ECU English Department and the Creative Writing faculty.

For further information, please contact Creative Writing Area Coordinator: John Hoppenthaler; tel. 252-328-5562

United States Marine Band to perform at ECU on Oct. 3

The United States Marine Band “The President’s Own” will hold a free performance at East Carolina University’s Wright Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

US Marine Band

“’The President’s Own’ is perhaps the finest wind ensemble in the United States. It’s an honor to host these musicians on behalf of the citizens of the region,” said Michael Crane, producing artistic director of the S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series, a co-sponsor of the event. “The musicality on stage, coupled with the workshops and master classes the members offer behind the scenes to K-12 and university students, makes this event exceptionally valuable in our community. Hosting the band exemplifies ECU’s motto, ‘to serve.’”

US Marine Band

There are fewer than 200 tickets remaining for the performance. Tickets can be reserved at

People without tickets who want to attend are asked to arrive at the auditorium on Oct. 3 by 6:45 p.m., when any extra tickets will start being distributed. At 7:15 p.m., everyone will be allowed in the auditorium until seats are filled, so ticket holders are encouraged to arrive early to claim their seat.

The United States Marine Band provides music for the President of the United States, state arrival ceremonies, dinners and receptions. The band appears at the White House more than 200 times each year, and participates in more than 500 public and official performances across the country during the fall concert tour. 

At ECU, the program will include John Phillip Sousa marches, such as “Semper Fidelis” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever;” however, the program also presents a diversity of wind ensemble literature, possibly including film music by John Williams, Bach’s “Fantasia and Fugue in C minor,” and selections from Wagner, Bernstein, Holst and Puccini.

Parking enforcement will be relaxed for the event, allowing patrons to park near the auditorium in A1 spaces that are not specially designated or reserved. Those with handicap plates and tags can park in designated spots on Wright Circle and Beckwith Drive on a first-come, first-served basis.

US Marine Band

Patrons with walkers and wheelchairs may use an elevator located at the Dowdy Student Stores entrance. Assistive listening devices are available on request at the event. Large print programs for the visually impaired are available when requested at least 48 hours in advance.

The performance is co-sponsored by ECU’s S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series and Cooke Communications.

Established in 1798 by an Act of Congress signed by President John Adams, the United States Marine Band is America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization. 

The band made its White House debut on New Year’s Day, 1801, and has performed at the inauguration of every President since Thomas Jefferson, who is credited with giving the band the title, “The President’s Own.”

In 1891, the band’s legendary 17th director, John Philip Sousa, led the Marine Band on its first concert tour. As a result, for more than 100 years, the Marine Band has toured throughout the country performing in communities both large and small. Marine Band concerts offer a unique blend of traditional concert band and contemporary wind ensemble music suitable for people of all ages and musical tastes.

For questions, contact Michael Crane at or 252-328-5386.

–Crystal Baity

Prize-winning author coming to ECU

Author Jim Grimsley will meet with East Carolina University students and read from his best-selling memoir, “How I Learned to Shed My Skin,” on Sept. 22.

Grimsley will speak about his personal experiences growing up during segregation in Jones County at 3:15 p.m. in Mendenhall Student Center’s Great Rooms. At 8 p.m., he will read from his memoir at the Greenville Museum of Art, 802 Evans St. 



Grimsley also will announce the winner of the North Carolina Literary Review’s Alex Albright Creative Nonfiction Prize at the Greenville Museum of Art. The winner will receive $250 and their essay will be published in the North Carolina Literary Review (NCLR) in 2017. The prize is named for the publication’s founding editor and funded by the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association.

Both events are free and open to the public and are part of a series of events celebrating the 25th issue of the annual NCLR. Sponsors include ECU’s English and creative writing departments, the NCLR and Greenville Museum of Art.

Grimsley, who is white, combines the story of how Jones County schools were integrated, first by a “Freedom of Choice” desegregation plan and then by federal mandate, with his personal account of how he learned to be a racist while growing up there — and then unlearned those lessons. Black classmates brought into a whites-only school system by integration taught him how to “shed” his racism.

Since 1999, Grimsley has been senior writer in residence at Emory University in Atlanta and is one of 50 active fellows in the Fellowship of Southern Writers. He has won numerous awards and prizes for his writing, including the 2005 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Lila Wallace/Reader’s Digest Writers Award, the Lambda Literary Award for Fiction, the Asimov Readers’ Award, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, and the Bryan Prize for Drama. He has been named Georgia Author of the Year twice.

Grimsley has been an active supporter of the eastern North Carolina literary scene as a participant in the annual literary homecomings that were hosted by ECU for a decade and as a frequent contributor to NCLR. He did most of his background research for “How I Shed My Skin” at ECU’s Joyner Library and was featured at a Greenville Museum of Art reading last December.

Grimsley’s books and the NCLR will be available for purchase at the GMA reading. For more information, contact Alex Albright at 252-328-4876 or the Greenville Museum of Art at 252-758-1946.

–Sophronia Knott

ECU partners with LCC for satellite passport office

East Carolina University and Lenoir Community College have partnered to operate a satellite passport office in Greenville, providing a more convenient location for ECU students and employees to apply for a passport.

“LCC contacted me to discuss this partnership,” said Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs. “They were interested in providing this service because they have been seeing some of our students and others from Greenville (in their Kinston passport office).”

Between 600 and 650 students and accompanying faculty travel abroad each year, said Dr. Ravi Paul, interim executive director of global affairs. Some faculty and staff members also travel abroad for conferences and seminars.

U.S. citizens applying for a passport for the first time must do so in person.

“This should help our students and employees to be able to get their passports with shorter wait times and be more convenient than going to Kinston or the post office,” Hardy said.

The satellite passport office in Greenville will be located in ECU’s International House at 306 E. Ninth St. LCC will staff and operate the office one day each month this fall and twice a month in the spring. The hours will likely be expanded to meet increased demand in preparation for spring break, which is when LCC has seen the most demand from ECU students, Hardy said.

The dates for Fall 2016 are Sept. 14, Oct. 19 and Nov. 9, and the office will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The process and documentation for applying for a passport remain the same and can be found at the U.S. Department of State website at Required documents include a certified birth certificate; a printed passport photo, minimum 2 inches square; and photo identification (driver’s license, military or state ID). Passport photos can be taken at the satellite passport office.

Routine processing takes four to six weeks and costs $110, while expedited processing takes three weeks and costs $170; there is a processing fee of $25.

For more information contact Dr. Ravi Paul at or 252-328-1936.

–Jules Norwood

ECU joins national honor society for veterans

East Carolina University has started a chapter of SALUTE, the first national honor society for veterans.

SALUTE, an acronym for service, academics, leadership, unity, tribute and excellence, recognizes veterans, active duty service members, National Guard members and reservists who have been honorably discharged, or who are currently serving. Undergraduate and graduate students are eligible for membership.

File photo - ROTC

ECU ROTC students recognized at a ceremony earlier this year are some of the students eligible for the new SALUTE honor society being organized on campus this fall. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

“The students who are inducted into membership in SALUTE represent every slice of American military and veterans in higher education,” according to SALUTE’s website.

Set up as a four-step system, SALUTE encourages student veterans to improve their GPAs in order to advance to the next tier level throughout their academic career. Tiers include Delta (3.00-3.24), Charlie (3.25-3.49), Bravo (3.50-3.74) and Alpha (3.75-4.0).

“Student veteran services decided to apply for membership to SALUTE because transitioning from military service can be a challenging time for our student veterans. We want to support our students by taking time to officially honor those who have succeeded academically at ECU,” said Nicole Jablonski, assistant director of ECU Student Veteran Services.

Although ECU’s chapter is purely an academic recognition group, Jablonski hopes to add a service component in the future.

Each new member will be presented with a certificate and a challenge coin at an awards ceremony. Approximately 50 veterans are expected to be inducted into the inaugural group in spring 2017.

SALUTE was founded at Colorado State University in 2009. The honors society includes both two-year and four-year higher education institutes.


For more information, contact Nicole Jablonski at 252-737-6542 or visit SALUTE’s website at

–Sophronia Knott

1 2 3 42