A T-shirt sale and promotion at East Carolina University raised more than $5,000 in November for a scholarship fund that honors JP Thompson, an ECU graduate who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010.
On Dec. 15, representatives from ECU Dowdy Student Stores and its vendor, Perfect Promotions & More of Apex, presented a check for $5,224 to Lt. Col. Sean Farrar, professor of military science, in Christenbury Gym on campus.
“Today’s donation will go a long way in enabling us to endow this scholarship, which we hope to be able to do in the spring,” Farrar said.
Accepting the donation along with Farrar were Steve Duncan, assistant vice chancellor for planning, development and military programs, and Dr. Glen Gilbert, dean of the College of Health and Human Performance, which houses the ROTC programs at ECU.
The money was raised through sales of “ECU Supports our Military” shirts at ECU Dowdy Student Stores between Veterans Day and Military Appreciation Weekend in November. A portion of the sale of each shirt was donated by Dowdy Student Stores and its vendor Perfect Promotions and More, which allotted $3 per shirt for each ordered to go toward the contribution.
Thompson was a 2002 ECU graduate and member of the U.S. Army Special Forces who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2010. The deployment was his third in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. While at ECU, Thompson was captain of ECU’s Army Ranger Challenge Team, which he led to a second place victory from among 40 other teams.
According to his sister, Alisa Mueller, one of Thompson’s life goals was to provide a scholarship to cadets. “Endowing this scholarship will achieve this goal and honor his memory for many years to come,” she said.
Dowdy Student Stores Director Bryan Tuten said he was pleased with the customer response and amount raised. “The Pirate fans have really come out and supported this effort. This is a very worthy cause, and it is something we would like to continue each year,” he said.
Each year, the university owned and operated bookstores sell shirts for the military appreciation football game, but this was the first year for the joint project with Perfect Promotions and the scholarship program. Stephen McFadden, vice president of Perfect Promotions and More and an ECU alumnus, said he was proud to play a role in the effort.
The check was presented by Dowdy Student Stores Merchandise Manager John Palmer, Tuten, Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance Scott Buck, and McFadden.
Anyone wishing to contribute to the scholarship fund may contact: ECU Advancement Office, Rachel Nichols at 328-9558, or make a check to the ECU Foundation, Greenville Center, Charles Blvd, 27858, with JP Thompson Scholarship Fund on the memo line. T-shirts are still available at Dowdy, in the Wright Building store on campus, or by calling (252) 328-6731.