Five alumni and one honorary Pirate will be honored by the East Carolina University Alumni Association at its annual alumni awards ceremony on Friday, Oct. 19.
The awards recognize alumni and friends of the university who have demonstrated outstanding merit and achievement, distinguished themselves as leaders for the university, and adopted ECU as their own.
“Spanning the classes of 1967 to 2013, this year’s awardees include those who have served in the medical, military and corporate arenas. Through their service and achievement, they have shown the world what we already know – that Pirate alumni are second to none!” said Heath Bowman, associate vice chancellor for alumni relations. “From start to finish, our awards event is a showcase of our stars, and we are so grateful to get to spend time celebrating them each fall during ECU Homecoming Weekend.”
The recipients will be honored at 5:30 p.m. Friday at the Greenville Convention Center. The media is invited to attend.
2018 Alumni Award Recipients
Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award
Danny Scott of Swansea, Illinois, graduated from the College of Business in 1984. Scott is the co-founder of the specialty food company All-N-Food, LLC. Scott served on the ECU Board of Trustees for eight years, was the recipient of the Laura Marie Leary Elliott Courageous Leader Award in 2015, and established a COB scholarship in 2008. Whenever he visits campus, Scott speaks with COB classes and on student discussion panels. He also serves as mentor and coach to students.
Honorary Alumni Award
Austin Bunch (posthumous)
While he did not graduate from ECU, Bunch served four chancellors at the university from 1999 until his death in 2017. He impacted almost every major campus celebration including installations, commencements, convocations and awards. His talents and love of the university were felt by hundreds of people across multiple administrations.
Outstanding Alumni Award
Kodi Azari of Pacific Palisades, California, graduated from the Brody School of Medicine in 1997. He is now the world-renowned surgical director of the hand transplant program at UCLA Health. Azari was one of the lead surgeons in the first double-hand transplant and the first arm transplant. He is also the medical co-director of Operation Mend, a UCLA Health program that provides free complex reconstructive surgery and psychological support to wounded service members. He credits ECU for shaping his career.
Lt. Commander Kathleen Ferguson
Lt. Commander Kathleen Ferguson of Atlanta graduated from the College of Health and Human Performance in 2007. As a quality assurance specialist for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, Ferguson approves and rejects critical pharmaceutical products, medical devices and vaccines for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) and Department of Defense. She volunteered to be on the front lines in Sierra Leonne during the 2015 Ebola virus outbreak while also ensuring that the United States’ stockpile of medicines and medical devices stood ready and available if needed.
Charles Jenkins of Laurinburg is a ’66 and ’67 alumnus from the College of Health and Human Performance. He is professor emeritus of educational leadership at UNC-Pembroke, where he’s worked in numerous roles for more than 47 years, including interim chancellor, provost, vice chancellor of academic affairs and director of admissions. He is also the former president and current member of the Pembroke Chamber of Commerce, as well as a member of the Laurinburg-Scotland Area Chamber of Commerce.
Young Alumni Award
Tywana Lawson of La Grange is an ‘03, ’13, College of Nursing alumna. She is now the director of nursing programs at Nash Community College, where she oversaw an
increase in nursing student completion rates by 30 percentage points. Lawson also worked with Nash UNC Health Care to establish scholarships for first and second-year nursing students. She is a member of the American and North Carolina Nurses Association, Sigma Theta Tau International, and is an ECU Centennial Pirate.
Visit www.piratealumni.com for more information about the ECU Alumni Awards.
-Contact: Erin Shaw, University Communications, 252-737-1505, firstname.lastname@example.org