A blue sky and mild temperatures provided the perfect backdrop for the 10th annual Pirate Alumni Road Race, which was held in Greenville Saturday, April 22. The 5K and 1-mile fun run provided some competition as a way to raise funds for scholarships.
“This is one of our major scholarship fundraisers for the year. It’s a great opportunity for people to not only to have fun and be active, but also to help us with scholarships,” said Heath Bowman, president of the East Carolina Alumni Association.
Bowman said they have 21 East Carolina Alumni Scholars this year and give away nearly $50,000 in scholarships every year. Many of the scholarship recipients were either volunteering or running in the event.
“A lot of students rely on financial aid and scholarship support, and so we feel like this is part of our mission to assist students and to help alumni and future alumni have a great experience here at ECU and to be able to obtain a higher education,” said Bowman.
ECU sophomore and alumni association scholar Jacob Walker is a public health studies and chemistry major who hopes to go to medical school. He said his alumni scholarship is vital to him attaining that goal.
“It’s been so important to me. I don’t really have a good financial background with my parents,” said Walker. “My mom has been a single mom of three for most of her life, and it’s been really hard. A lot of the financial burden is on me. This scholarship has really helped me in terms of paying for my own education.”
All of the 250 race participants received a T-shirt, and the top three finishers in each age group won medals. Approximately $6,000 was raised for scholarships. The students benefiting from the fundraiser said they are appreciative of those who took part.
“Thank you (donors) so much. It means the world to us that you would give back to the university and help students like us,” said ECU junior and alumni association scholar Stephanie Morales, who was volunteering at the event.
The next alumni association scholarship fundraiser will be the Purple Gold Golf Open, set for Sept. 15 at Ironwood Country Club in Greenville. More information about the alumni association is at http://www.piratealumni.com.
-by Rich Klindworth