Scholarship honors first African-American undergraduate

Joseph Bryant, a junior from Greensboro, is the initial recipient of the Laura Marie Leary Elliott Memorial Scholarship, which was created in memory of the first African-American to earn an undergraduate degree from East Carolina University.

The scholarship was created to assist students pursuing careers in fields that are historically underrepresented by minority populations. These fields include, but are not limited to, science, mathematics, engineering, and technology.

Bryant is majoring in chemistry. He is active in club basketball, the Pre-Pharm Club, ECU Ambassadors and the Chemistry Club. He is the son of Gralin and Annette Bryant, who are active members of the ECU Parents Association. Gralin Bryant graduated from ECU in 1983.

According to Zack Hawkins, director of Student Affairs Development, more than $32,000 has been raised so far for the scholarship, a sum that allows it to become endowed.

Alumni who gave $1,000 or more to the scholarship fund include Danny Scott and Connie Shelton, ECU Football Coach Ruffin McNeill, Ray Rogers, ECU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Virginia Hardy, Linda Thomas and Valeria Lassiter. Many other black alumni and several of Laura Leary Elliott’s family members, including her daughter, Rachel Elliott Byers, and sister, Ruth Leary Asbury, also made contributions.

Bryant will be recognized during the Black Alumni Chapter Scholarship and Awards Banquet on Oct. 17 as part of Homecoming activities.

The $2,000 scholarship will increase in value in subsequent years, Hawkins said. In the future the scholarship will be awarded annually to one female and one male student.

Leary graduated in 1966. She taught school in Windsor for two years and then relocated to Washington, D.C. She worked for many years at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, retiring as a senior accountant in 2006. She died in 2013.

Left to right, Gralin, Annette and Joseph Bryant are pictured with PeeDee on campus. Joseph Bryant is the first Laura Marie Leary Elliott Memorial Scholarship recipient.

Left to right, Gralin, Annette and Joseph Bryant are pictured with PeeDee on campus. Joseph Bryant is the first Laura Marie Leary Elliott Memorial Scholarship recipient.

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Alumni Association plans event in Wilmington

The East Carolina Alumni Association will host a networking lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 19 at Dockside restaurant, 1308 Airlie Road.

Cost for the lunch is $12 for alumni association members and $22 for non-members, with registration by June 12 at PirateAlumni.com/UpcomingEvents. Attire is purple and gold business casual. Participants should bring business cards to exchange and enter for a door prize drawing.

For additional information, visit https://piratealumni.wordpress.com/2015/06/01/were-coming-to-wilmington/ or contact 252-ECU-GRAD (252-328-4723) or ecualumni@ecu.edu.

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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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