Pictured at the Pirate Alumni Legacy Brunch are, left to right, current ECU student Kayla Hollingsworth, ECU alumnus and award-winner Ted Hollingsworth ’79, ECU alumna Debbie Hollingsworth ’81 and ECU alumnus Robert Hollingsworth ’10. Kayla and Robert are Ted and Debbie’s children. (Contributed photo)
East Carolina University alumnus Ted Hollingsworth ’79 was named the East Carolina Alumni Association’s first Legacy Parent of the Year.
The award was presented at the inaugural Pirate Alumni Legacy Brunch at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium’s club level Sept. 15 during ECU’s Family Weekend.
The Legacy Parent of the Year award honors an alumnus or alumna with a child currently attending ECU who has served as a role model to their student and all students through campus involvement and service to the University and community. Students submitted essays to nominate their parents, and Ted was nominated by his daughter Kayla Hollingsworth. The recipient was a surprise until announced at the event.
“Ted Hollingsworth exemplifies the ‘We Believe’ spirit and displays that through his love, support and commitment to ECU. He is a worthy recipient of this award as he has passed this legacy and spirit on to his children,” said Alumni Association President and CEO Paul J. Clifford, who presented the award.
Hollingsworth attended the event unaware that he had been nominated, so the award came as a complete surprise. “I was filled with emotion and could not speak,” Hollingsworth said. “I just thought we were going to a social event.
“The fact that I was nominated by my daughter brought tears to my eyes. It is an extreme honor to be chosen as the first Legacy Parent of the Year,” he said.
“I know there are a lot of parents who bleed purple and gold just like I do. Passion for ECU runs deep in our family as in many other families, and that is what makes ECU such a special place.”
Hollingsworth, whose degree is in art, is the president and creative director of Line Design Graphics in Greensboro. He has designed T-shirts for student groups on campus. He helped design how the football field would be painted when ECU became part of Conference USA. He is an active member of the Pirate Club and was fundamental in starting the Ron Pugh Memorial Golf Tournament.
“My dad has always dedicated his life to ECU; he is one of the biggest Pirate fans I know,” Kayla said. “He has always done anything and everything he can for the school or anyone who simply attended ECU. I am extremely proud to be part of an ECU legacy.
“The legacy brunch was a very nice event,” Kayla continued. “It was awesome to have so many legacies in one room. It shows the true dedication Pirates have to ECU.”
The Pirate Alumni Legacy Brunch honored families of current ECU students with two or more generations of Pirates (including parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, siblings, and/or cousins). The brunch was a sold-out event with more than 140 participants. It will be held again next year during Family Weekend when another Legacy Parent of the Year will be named.