Phi Kappa Phi earns Chapter of Merit

The East Carolina University chapter of Phi Kappa Phi was named a chapter of meri by the national organization.

The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disicplines. The award is presented to chapters that excel in recognizing and promoting academic excellence in all fields of higher education and in engaging the community of scholars in service to others.

The Chapter of Merit distinction is a part of the Society’s Chapter Recognition Program, which acknowledged 73 chapters with recognition this year, including 54 as a Chapter of Merit. Thirty-two chapters received chapter recognition in 2011.

“The sharp rise in the number of chapters that have achieved recognition this year is impressive. It shows our chapters aspire to live Phi Kappa Phi’s mission to recognize academic excellence, starting on their own campuses,” said Society Executive Director Dr. Mary Todd.

“Chapter officers are volunteers with a deep commitment to Phi Kappa Phi — they are to be commended for their tireless effort on behalf of students.”

By receiving the Chapter of Merit distinction, the ECU chapter is recognized as a thriving organization that meets frequently, holds annual initiations and applies frequently for Phi Kappa Phi’s select scholarships, grants, and fellowships.

Chapters achieving the Chapter of Merit distinction receive:

  • a commendation letter from the Society sent to chapter officers and campus administration
  • special recognition on the Society’s website and publications
  • specially designed logo for use in chapter communications
  • recognition advertisements in local media and educational journals
  • $100 award

Founded in 1897 at the University of Maine, Phi Kappa Phi is the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. The Society has chapters on more than 300 select colleges and universities in North America and the Philippines.



For William Friday: Donate to higher education institution

According to a statement from the UNC General Administration, the family of President Emeritus William Friday has asked that those wishing to make memorial gifts in his honor consider a donation to the college or university of their choice.

While they expressed a particular interest in student scholarships, his daughters did not want to create a new university-wide memorial fund to receive such donations or determine how gifts would be used or distributed.

For additional information about memorial gifts, visit, which also provides contact information for giving opportunities at 17 UNC campuses.


Creative Coalition CEO to speak, lead classes at ECU

Robin Bronk, chief executive officer of The Creative Coalition, will visit East Carolina University Oct. 23 – 26 as visiting scholar in the School of Communication.

As leader of the nation’s top arts and entertainment advocacy group, Bronk has developed corporate sponsorships to expand the group’s budget and programs. She started The Creative Coalition’s Spotlight Initiative to produce and support films that address national and global issues.

Robin Bronk

In the process, she has launched partnerships with independent film producers and distributors, including HBO, Focus Features and Samuel Goldwyn Films. Bronk has helped develop some of The Creative Coalition’s key programs, including Moviemaker Mentors and Teachers Making a Difference.

Bronk will speak at a reception from 6-8 p.m. Oct. 25 at Emerge Art Gallery, 404 Evans Street. She will also keynote the School of Communication’s annual High School Media Workshop, which begins at 9 a.m. Oct. 25 in Mendenhall Student Center. Held in conjunction with the N.C. High School Media Association, the workshop brings approximately 300 high school students to campus for sessions on journalism and media topics delivered by news professionals and faculty. Participants will also tour the new multiplatform newsroom and studio located in Joyner East 215.

Bronk will address several communication classes and the school’s Public Relations Student Society of America chapter during her stay. She is the School of Communication’s third visiting scholar. The Emerge reception is sponsored by CommCrew, the School of Communication’s alumni support group.

Members of the public who wish to attend the reception should visit and click the invitation link.


ECU ‘computer man’ awarded Order of the Long Leaf Pine

Retired East Carolina University professor Dr. Richard Kerns was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, a certificate presented to outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of service to the state.

Dr. Richard Kerns

The Order of the Long Leaf Pine is considered the state’s highest civilian honor, and it has been given to notable North Carolinians such as Andy Griffith, Michael Jordan, and Charles Kuralt.  The N.C. Governor’s Office bestowed the award to Kerns at his retirement reception Oct. 11.

Kerns, the former associate dean for computer services in the College of Business and professor in the Department of Management Information Systems, retired after a career spanning nearly 40 years.

“I am deeply humbled, surprised, and appreciative to receive such a high honor from the state of North Carolina,” Kerns said. “Serving at East Carolina University for four decades has been extremely rewarding on both personal and professional levels. I’m truly honored by this recognition.”

Kerns first joined ECU in 1973, when he was hired to teach and manage information technology in the School of Business. Under his leadership, the computer services department grew from a few hand-picked student assistants with Kerns as leader to a unit that now serves the technology needs of more than 150 faculty and staff and almost 4,000 students.

Throughout his tenure at ECU, Kerns’ unofficial title across campus became “the computer man,” because he helped individuals across campus with computer needs. He played a role in the establishment of ECU’s Information Technology and Computing Services department. At one time, he served on every computer committee ever present on campus, both administrative and academic.

Kerns said he worked for years to see the technology fee established, and that fee has since enabled technological progress such as smart classrooms. Kerns also worked to see that faculty and staff had the technology they needed to be more productive. He created the original management information systems curriculum in the College of Business, teaching all but one of the original courses the first time they were taught.

“Nothing makes me feel better than to have a former colleague or student come by or see me somewhere and talk about how they are doing and tell me something that I did that helped them,” Kerns said.  “I am very thankful for the opportunities that have been given to me for so many years, and I hope that others feel I have contributed to their success.”


Civil rights activist to deliver lecture Oct. 25

Civil rights activist Dr. Bob Zellner will present a lecture titled, “Wrong side of Murder Creek,” at 7 p.m. Oct. 25 in Hendrix Theatre at East Carolina University.  A question and answer session and book signing will follow.


Zellner was the first white Southerner to serve as field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He played a significant role in the civil rights movement throughout the 1960s. Zellner’s father was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Zellner’s newly released book is also titled “Wrong Side of Murder Creek.”

Prior to the lecture, Zellner will present to an ECU class in African and African-American studies, followed by a luncheon with faculty, students and administrators.

He is the first speaker in the New Horizons Lecture Series sponsored by ECU’s Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.

“We want people to stop and think, ‘Wow, that’s a story I have to hear,’” said Dr. Lathan Turner, interim director of the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center.  “The experiences, decisions and paths chosen by Dr. Zellner and others in that time period are simply amazing.”

The lecture at Hendrix Theatre is free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Lathan E. Turner at (252) 328-6495 or via email at