ECU’s oldest known alumni dies at 106

The woman who is believed to be East Carolina University’s oldest living alumni has died at the age of 106.

Josephine Catlette Stem

Josephine Catlette Stem

Josephine Mae Catlette Stem of Winston-Salem, who died April 27, received a teaching degree from East Carolina Teachers College in 1929. She taught at Wilton High School in Granville County for eight years before marrying James Stem and becoming a homemaker.

She lived most of her life in the Raleigh area. According to her obituary, her main pleasures in life were baking pound cakes to share with friends and watching the Atlanta Braves and Carolina Tar Heels on television.

She is survived by two children, four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Steve Tuttle

Josephin Catlette Stem1929

 

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Alumni Association hosts April networking events

The East Carolina Alumni Association is hosting April networking events in Greenville and Raleigh. Both events are open to all alumni and friends of East Carolina, with an $11 cost for Alumni Association members and $17 for non-members.

The Greenville event is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 28 at A.J. McMurphy’s, 1914 Turnbury Drive. Register by April 23, indicating any special dietary needs during registration.

Featured alumni will be:

  • Jeff Foster ’83, founder and attorney at Foster Fitzpatrick and member of the East Carolina Alumni Association Board of Directors
  • Diane Taylor ’06, CEO and founder of Taylor Made Publishing

The Raleigh event is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 18 Seaboard, located at 18 Seaboard Ave., Suite 100. Register by April 28, indicating any special dietary needs during registration.

Featured alumni will be:

  • Heather Dickson Ransom ’06, owner of Consilium Connect
  • Jeff Tippett ’91, founder of Targeted Persuasion

For both events, dress is PURPLE and GOLD business casual. Bring business cards for a business card exchange and the opportunity to win ECU door prizes.

Individuals wishing to join the alumni association to take advantage of member pricing on these and future events may do so directly on the event registration form. Please note that advanced registration is required before the deadline. Early registration is strongly encouraged, as space is limited depending on the venue.

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Phil Kirk to address Honors College students

Phil Kirk of Raleigh, who chaired the State Board of Education for six years and led the state chamber of commerce for 16 years, will address Honors College students on Tuesday, March 31. He is expected to speak about the role of leadership in industry, education and government.

Phil Kirk

Phil Kirk

The Leadership Lecture Series event, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7 p.m. in room 1032 in the Bate Building.

Kirk, currently director of business and leadership for Brady, a Greensboro energy solutions company, served two terms on the ECU Board of Visitors and is a member of the ECU Educators Hall of Fame. A graduate of Catawba College, Kirk was named an honorary ECU alumnus in 2003.

Kirk was chief of staff to former governors Jim Holshouser and Jim Martin and U.S. Sen. Jim Broyhill. He twice served as secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

He currently serves on the boards of Meredith College, the N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching Foundation, the VIF International Education program. He was co-chair of the Strategic Planning Working Team for the Wake County Public schools.

In 1999, he chaired the working committees for the largest successful bond issue in North Carolina history–$2.75 billion for schools and roads and $3.1 billion for the UNC System, community colleges and UNC TV.

ECU received about $200 million from the bond issue, which funded construction of the Sci-Tech Building, the Student Rec Center and a major expansion of Joyner Library.

A native of Salisbury, Kirk began his career as a middle school journalism and English teacher. Honors College Dean Marianna Walker was one of his students.

Former Gov. Jim Hunt has said of Kirk, “If there’s a single person in this state who is more involved and at the center of every issue, I don’t know who it is.”

— Steve Tuttle

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Alumni Association announces 27 scholarship recipients

The East Carolina Alumni Association has announced the 2015-2016 Alumni Scholarship recipients. Twenty-seven recipients will be awarded a total of $46,500.

Since 2005, the alumni association has awarded 224 scholarships totaling more than $302,000. Alumni Scholarships are given to full-time undergraduates at ECU who demonstrate leadership, volunteer service, and academic excellence. Each spring, the alumni association awards approximately 25 scholarships in amounts of $1,000 or $2,500 for the following academic year.

Alumni Scholarships are funded by proceeds from the association’s ECU Alumni Scholarship Classic golf tournament each fall and the Pirate Alumni Road Race and Fun Run each spring, as well as generous donations from alumni and friends.

The scholars will be honored at a luncheon April 25. Recipients include the following (italics indicate a second-time Alumni Scholarship recipient):

East Carolina Alumni Association Scholarship ($2,500)

  • Keith Winston Dunbar of Greenville, NC; exercise physiology major
  • Darcy Harrington-Brown Dupree of Raleigh, NC; nursing major
  • Zachary Hammer Evans of Asheville, NC; psychology major
  • Marisa Michele Giglio of Marlborough, MA; criminal justice major
  • Annaliese Sutton Gillette of Greenville, NC; hospitality management major
  • Lucas Thade Hopkins of Greenville, NC; biology major
  • Madison Shea Parsons of Charlotte, NC; marketing major
  • Kirsti Holthe Robertson of Charlotte, NC; nutrition and dietetics major
  • Emma Nicole Shirley of Cary, NC; exercise physiology and Hispanic studies double-major
  • Kathryn “Katie” Elizabeth Stanley of Greenville, NC; political science major
  • Maya Lawann Williams of Greensboro, NC; social work and English double-major

East Carolina Alumni Association Scholarship in memory of Yvonne Pearce ’82 ($2,500)

  • Najee Jalice Brown of Charlotte, NC; communication and entrepreneurship double-major

East Carolina Teachers College (ECTC) Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Emery Elizabeth Bulla of Asheboro, NC; speech and hearing sciences major
  • Jessica Nicole Buss of Fayetteville, NC; applied sociology major
  • Amber Madison Heere-MacLeod of Douglassville, PA; elementary education major
  • Mackenzie Elise McNamara of Charlotte, NC; family community services major
  • Stephanie Maria Morales of Rocky Mount, NC; exercise physiology major
  • Jordan Bethany Thomas of Boone, NC; art major
  • Matthew G. Vogel of Morganville, NJ; management major

Donald Y. Leggett ’58, ’62 Alumni Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Amanda L. Blakley of White Plains, MD; birth-kindergarten teacher education major
  • Danielle T. Holdner of Holly Springs, NC; child life major

Mary Jo Outland Baugh ’55 Alumni Scholarship ($2,500)

  • Erika M. Dietrick of Greenville, NC; biology major

Megan Grace Lavinder Memorial Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Aenia Saad Amin of Greensboro, NC; multidisciplinary studies and Hispanic studies double-major

New York Metro Alumni Chapter Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Michelle K. Gianvito of North Brunswick, NJ; business and marketing education major

Pitt County Chapter Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Lauren Elizabeth Frye of Woodbridge, VA; finance major

Tidewater Virginia Alumni Chapter Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Brianna Blaise Ingram of Virginia Beach, VA; elementary education major

Washington/Metro Alumni Scholarship ($1,000)

  • Keira Rachelle Harris of Bowie, MD; finance major
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ECU Alum: Treating Ebola ‘an experience that few can imagine’

Adams, right, inspects the protective gear worn by another U.S. Public Health Service officer before the officer enters the Ebola treatment unit outside Monrovia, Liberia. (Photo courtesy U.S. Public Health Service Service)

Adams, right, inspects the protective gear worn by another U.S. Public Health Service officer before the officer enters the Ebola treatment unit outside Monrovia, Liberia. (Photo courtesy U.S. Public Health Service Service)

 

Daniel Adams, a 1999 ECU graduate, could have chosen to remain in his white-collar job overseeing management effectiveness programs at Environmental Protection Agency labs in Research Triangle Park and four other locations. Instead, he resigned that post to travel half a world away to help fight the Ebola crisis in Liberia.

Now a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service, Adams has served since February as the preventative medicine officer at the Monrovia Medical Unit located about 30 miles outside the Liberian capitol.

The 25-bed hospital provided by the U.S. Defense Department opened last November. It is the only U.S. government-funded medical facility in Liberia.

“We have mainly focused on treating healthcare workers who have contracted Ebola so they can get back on the front lines of treating their fellow countrymen,” Adams said. “We have celebrated life and mourned the loss of life over the past couple of months.”

The Public Health Service “has allowed me to be part of a strong mission with positive effects worldwide,” he said. “Helping treat the Ebola patients in Liberia has been an experience that few can imagine.”

The Monrovia Medical Unit, which was built to care for medical workers who become infected with the Ebola virus, sits about 30 miles outside Liberia's capital. The 25-bed facility recently treated what officials hope will be its last Ebola-positive patient. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army)

The Monrovia Medical Unit, which was built to care for medical workers who become infected with the Ebola virus, sits about 30 miles outside Liberia’s capital. The 25-bed facility recently treated what officials hope will be its last Ebola-positive patient. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army)

He said a highlight of his service came recently when MMU staff treated what they hope will be the last Ebola-positive patient in the country.

A native of Greenville, Adams served in the Army after graduation and worked overseas as a civilian military employee. He also did postgraduate work at Anna Maria College in Massachusetts.

“I remember a leader in (the Public Health Service Officer Basic Course) telling me that we are here to ‘serve the underserved.’ I took that to heart.”

He said those words made an impression on him because that’s what he learned at ECU. “I feel it is important for everyone associated with ECU to hear how we reach around the world to help serve the unserved populations.”

Volunteering to serve at the Ebola clinic isn’t the first time Adams has sought out new experiences. “At my wedding reception in the Philippines, I requested that we have food indigenous to the area. I got what I wished for – bat!”

– Steve Tuttle

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ECU Alumni Association names award winners

The East Carolina Alumni Association has announced the recipients of the 2015 Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award. These five students will be presented with the award during commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 8.

The most prestigious award for undergraduates at East Carolina University, the Wright award recognizes academic achievement, service to both the university and community, and demonstrated leadership. Recipients are recognized as those who will make a positive impact on their respective professions and communities.

In addition to receiving the Wright medallion at commencement, recipients are given a lifetime membership in the East Carolina Alumni Association.

Recipients are:

  • Ajay Ajmera of Greenville, NC; biology and chemistry double-major
  • Matthew Ryan Baucom of Marshville, NC; chemistry and biochemistry double-major
  • Jessica Katlyn Jewell of Clayton, NC; communication major
  • Shayna Nitin Mooney of Winterville, NC; neuroscience and international studies double-major
  • Kristi Noelle Wilkerson of Mastic, NY; nutrition major.

 

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ECU graduate sells the Broadway Channel

Matt Hege, left, said he frequently bumps into other ECU graduates while covering New York City’s theater scene for the Broadway Channel. At right is Jeremy Woodard, a 2001 graduate who has spent the past couple years starring in the Broadway musical “Rock of Ages.” At center is Regina Gatti Fogle, a 2004 graduate who is a recruitment director in New York City.

Matt Hege, left, said he frequently bumps into other ECU graduates while covering New York City’s theater scene for the Broadway Channel. At right is Jeremy Woodard, a 2001 graduate who has spent the past couple years starring in the Broadway musical “Rock of Ages.” At center is Regina Gatti Fogle, a 2004 graduate who is a recruitment director in New York City.

East Carolina University alumnus Matt Hege said interning at Greenville television station WNCT and then working as advertising director of the “East Carolinian” student newspaper taught him everything he needed to know to start a Broadway-themed cable TV channel. The MBA he also earned at ECU came in handy this week while negotiating the sale of the channel to an investor for a small fortune, he said.

“It’s all the same fundamentals,” Hege said Thursday, a day after he finalized the sale of the Broadway Channel to New York theater mogul John Gore. Hege declined to release financial details of the transaction.

“The real opportunity for me to understand the potential I had came from my work at the ‘East Carolinian,’” Hege said Thursday. “To go out and negotiate the deal for a quarter-page ad–that is real world stuff. When I realized I could do that, then the sky was the limit.”

2BroadwayChannelLogoHe said he attended graduate school on a scholarship from the ECU Media Board while working as director of advertising for the student paper.

The Broadway Channel, which Hege and his father started in 1998, is carried on most New York area cable systems and also is available in more than 40,000 hotel rooms in the Big Apple. It also is available over streaming media services.

Hege is executive producer of most of the shows airing on the Broadway Channel, including “Broadway Previews,” “Broadway on Tour,” “Las Vegas Previews,” “West End Previews,” “What’s Hot on Broadway” and the series “Broadway Profiles.”

Gore owns Key Brand Entertainment (KBE), which is widely known as the owner of the ticket-sales website Broadway.com. KBE also owns Broadway Across America, which manages the touring productions of Broadway shows.

Hege, who completed an undergraduate degree in communication in 1994 and returned for an MBA in 2000, will join the Key Brand management team with a continued focus on the Broadway Channel.

Hege lives in Miami where the channel’s corporate offices are located.

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Gift honors family that once owned Dail House

A recent gift to the ECU Foundation by James L. “Jim” Ratledge ’51 of Roswell, Georgia, came with a note that shines light on an era when the Dail House–the official residence of East Carolina presidents and chancellors for six decades—was actually known as the Young House.

Ratledge’s $10,000 gift to the foundation honors an aunt and uncle—the late Anne and Willoughby F. “Red” Young. A prominent Greenville family, the Youngs owned what we call the Dail House for 10 years.

When he graduated high school in 1947, Ratledge’s parents enrolled him in ECTC and shipped him off to live with his aunt and uncle in Greenville. As a small town boy from the western part of the state, moving into the mansion on Fifth Street was a cultural shock.

“I remember walking into their house for the first time, and I was just awed at how big it was, and how tastefully decorated it was,” says Ratledge. “They were such nice people, always helping somebody. They took me in and gave me a home and really made college possible for me. Looking back on it now, it was their help and loving support that put me on the right track in college.”

Ratledge lived with the Youngs and their two children for two years. In 1949 the Youngs sold their home to East Carolina and moved to Durham to be close to their daughter, Bettie Ann Young Doebler, after she enrolled at Duke University. She is now is a professor emeritus at Arizona State University.

“When I was a teenager,” Doebler recalls, “sometimes six or eight of us would take our sheets outside (and sleep on) the roof over the sun room–there was no air conditioning in those days. In (the living room) was a baby grand piano that my grandmother gave me, and I often played hymns and sang for the family.”

The Youngs’ other child, William Foster “Billy” Young ’66 came back to Greenville for college, and then settled in Charlotte.

The Youngs were generous to others in their extended family. When Mary Anne Howard ’73 of Raleigh, a niece of the Youngs, was in high school in Greenville, her mother died. The Youngs took her in, just as they had done for Ratledge.

About a dozen years ago Ratledge was back on campus for an event and asked about seeing the home where he lived for two years.

“The chancellor was Dick Eakin then, and when I called him he said come right on over, and he gave me a tour of the place. And it looked exactly like it did in 1947 when I first walked through the door.”

The Chancellor’s Residence was built in 1921 by William Haywood Dail Jr. He owned a brick-making company in Greenville that supplied the brick for the original six buildings on campus. It’s because of his role in East Carolina’s early years that the home bears his name.

A complete history of the Dail House was written by Gladys Howell in 1987 upon the retirement of her husband, Chancellor John Howell. It can be downloaded here.

– Steve Tuttle

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Alumni Association seeking survey responses

The East Carolina Alumni Association will conduct a 10-minute alumni survey asking about experiences as students and as alumni.  The survey link will be distributed by e-mail and will be open until March 23.

Alumni are encouraged to check to see if the Alumni Association has their current e-mail address.

For additional information about the survey visit https://piratealumni.wordpress.com/2015/02/20/alumni-survey-coming-up/.

 

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