The Black Alumni Chapter is being reactivated, according to the East Carolina Alumni Association. And the chapter’s leaders are encouraging classmates to reconnect at a special Black Alumni Reunion during Homecoming 2013.
“We are reactivating because there is a need for a viable Black Alumni Chapter to bring black alumni together in support of each other and current students,” said Linda Thomas ’81 of Charlotte (right), chair of the Black Alumni Chapter. “The BAC was established to serve as a leadership and networking team that builds on the university’s and the alumni association’s missions.”
The goal of the reactivated BAC is to enhance access to and attainment of education for African-American students, Thomas said. “We want to continue the tradition of academic excellence for African-American students and to raise the bar even higher.”
In addition to a reunion celebration every year at homecoming, the BAC will provide scholarship assistance, mentoring, networking, advocacy, philanthropy and alumni volunteer involvement. The chapter will also provide social and cultural activities and opportunities for its members.
“Now that we are reactivated, we will begin developing key programs and activities to focus on student success, leadership and readiness for the work environment,” Thomas said.
The conversation about reactivating the BAC began with the university’s celebration last year of the 50th anniversary of campus desegregation.
“Following an event at the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center honoring Laura Marie Leary Elliott ’66, the first African-American graduate, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Virginia Hardy ’93 facilitated a discussion on black alumni engagement,” Thomas said. “The conversation resulted in everyone agreeing that there was a need for a viable Black Alumni Chapter. In addition to volunteering to assist, Dr. Hardy asked if I would be willing to lead the effort.”
Black alumni and students are very important to the history and future of ECU, according to Thomas.
“We must continue to tell our story to students and educate them. African-American students are the largest minority student population at ECU and have made significant contributions,” she said. “We need to help support current and future African-American students to make their paths successful through college and into the world.”
Homecoming this year is on Nov. 9. See page 45 for more information on the Black Alumni Reunion.—Jackie Drake
Meet the EC Scholars
Future engineers, physicians and musicians are among the 19 incoming ECU freshmen selected for the prestigious EC Scholars Program.
The four-year merit scholarship recognizes outstanding academic performance, commitment to community engagement and strong leadership skills.
Recipients are admitted to East Carolina University’s Honors College and receive a scholarship for four years, along with a stipend for study abroad, for a total value of about $61,000. All are North Carolina residents.
The entering Class of 2017 EC Scholar recipients have completed a rigorous three-tier selection process that includes meeting the Honors College admissions criteria, having an additional faculty review and completing an on-campus interview. The incoming EC Scholar recipients have an average combined math/verbal SAT score of 1344 and an average unweighted GPA of 3.92.
They are Tori Chapman, Webster; Trey Cook, Cary; Matt Earley, Rocky Mount; Allison Flowers, Wilmington; Kristalyn Gill, Statesville; Sydney Hendricks, Ayden; Zoe Hinton, Louisburg; Lee Hoff, Greenville; Jared Keever, Dunn; Katerina Koloustroubis, Youngsville; Ian McMillan, Greenville; Shivam Patel, Cary; Tori Plyler, Statesville; McKenzie Shelton, Stokes; Ryan Stitt, Fuquay Varina; Ricky Tharrington, Pikeville; Jessie Tucci-Herron, Greenville; Patrick Twisdale, Mint Hill; and Keerthana Velappan, Cary.