Leo Jenkins Society inducts new members at annual planned giving event

Every year, generous donors make planned gifts to East Carolina University that support countless scholarships, professorships and endowment funds. This year was no different, with donors championing areas from business to nursing to math education.

Their philanthropy earns them membership in the Leo W. Jenkins Society, an esteemed group of benefactors who support the university through will bequests, retirement plan beneficiary designations and life insurance policy designations. The nature of these gifts means that many donors will not be alive to see their gifts implemented. But they give anyway. On Thursday, ECU inducted 26 new members into the Leo Jenkins Society.

The Leo W. Jenkins Society is an esteemed group of benefactors who support the university through planned gifts.

The Leo W. Jenkins Society is an esteemed group of benefactors who support the university through planned gifts. (Photos by Will Preslar)

At a luncheon honoring the inductees, Chancellor Cecil Staton expressed his gratitude and spoke of the trust in ECU that a planned gift demonstrates.

“ECU is a wonderful university where wonderful things are taking place,” he said. “I’m so grateful to the Pirates and friends like you who believe in ECU enough to step up and support our students, our faculty and our mission.”

Ann and John Laliotes, both ECU alumni, decided to give widely across campus, and have multiple planned gifts that will support endowments in athletics, medical and health sciences and east campus. The couple felt ECU students would be the best recipients of their philanthropy.

“ECU has given us the world both personally, professionally and in good and ill health. It is an honor and privilege to give back and to impact the future of ECU, its students and the community,” Ann Laliotes said.

Left, Chancellor Cecil Staton awards a Leo W. Jenkins Society medallion to Ann Laliotes. Right, Staton awards a Leo W. Jenkins Society medallion to Sallie Chauncey Mercer.

Left, Chancellor Cecil Staton awards a Leo W. Jenkins Society medallion to Ann Laliotes. Right, Staton awards a Leo W. Jenkins Society medallion to Sallie Chauncey Mercer.

Another new Jenkins member, Sallie Chauncey Mercer, said her bequest will establish a scholarship in the Risk Management and Insurance Program in the College of Business. Mercer spent 30 years working in insurance and spoke highly of her experiences working with ECU students and graduates. Her scholarship is in memory of her son, Jack, who passed away in June.

“This scholarship keeps his name alive and supports a career that I loved. It was absolutely the right choice for this,” she said.

The Leo W. Jenkins Society was named after the university’s sixth president. It now has nearly 300 members. Seven current members also made additional planned commitments this year.

 

Leo Jenkins 2018 inductees and their areas of support:

Michael E. Armstrong – Michael E. Armstrong Endowment for the College of Business

Ernest Avery Jr. – Friends of Joyner Library, ECU Alumni Association

Ruth Barnaby – Funding the Future of Social Work Scholarship Endowment

Ronald Davis – Dr. Ronald and Nancy Davis Family Scholarship Endowment (Brody School of Medicine)

John and Eleanor Flowers – Joyner Library Dean Fund for Excellence

William H. Freeman – Masie Castlebury Freeman Scholarship (College of Human Ecology)

Charles and Eva Gouge – Charles and Eva Gouge Scholarship Endowment (general scholarship support)

Haywood and Carolyn Harris – College of Arts and Sciences Priority Fund, Department of Biology Priority Fund

Margaret Hendricks – Craig W. and Ruth T. Joyner Family Scholarship (Math Education)

Dr. Thomas Irons – Carol Fleming Irons Nursing Honors Scholarship

Kinna Nicole Clark – Kinna N. Clark College of Business Scholarship Endowment

John and Ann Laliotes – Athletics, Medical & Health Sciences

Sallie Mercer – Sallie Mercer Scholarship Endowment in Memory of Jack Keel (College of Business)

Charles and Willa McGimsey – Sarah S. and Charles G. McGimsey Scholarship Endowment for the College of Business

Michael and Brenda Mills – ECU Educational Foundation’s Student Athlete Endowment Fund

Timothy Nussman – Nussman Endowment Fund (general support)

Betty Ridan – Betty Brown Ridan Endowed Scholarship (general scholarship support)

Howard Rooks – Fund for Excellence in the College of Business

Harold Troxler – two distinguished professorships in Economics

 

-by Erin Shaw, University Communications