Your Letters


Terry Holland

Terry Holland

I settle into my seat in the press box atop Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and lift my binoculars to scan the crowd. The stadium is filling and the noise level is rising as the huge video screen begins showing the pirate ship sailing ashore. Then the cannon booms and purple smoke billows up as the team runs onto the field, bringing a full-throated roar from the crowd.

I sit down and think, as I have many times before, that ECU has the best college football pregame show, bar none.

It’s been a dream of mine to watch a game from up here. Tom McClellan, the director of athletic media relations, snapped his fingers and made it happen for the Houston game.

The working reporters sitting around me are plugging in their laptops and scanning their media packets. Above us, on the press box’s second level, the radio and TV people are setting up cameras and doing sound checks. Far below us, the teams exchange punts and we reach the first TV timeout. The room relaxes, and I begin playing a game I like to do at times like this.

It’s like “Where’s Waldo?” except I play “Where’s Terry?”

Athletics Director Terry Holland has been a constant presence at ECU sports events for eight years. I’ve spotted him somewhere in the crowd at every game I’ve attended. I’ve learned not to look for his tall, thin frame on the 50-yard line at football games or sitting behind the bench at basketball games. He’s not in the box seats at baseball and softball games. I almost always spot him standing off in a corner, a strategic vantage point where he can see everything. From his intense gaze, I often get the feeling that he’s watching not just the game, but the event.

Lifting my binoculars, I scan down the home sidelines toward the west end zone, and there he is, standing, armes crossed, near a clutch of photographers. What looks like a staff member walks up to him, and Holland bends down to hear above the noise. He nods and the staffer walks away. Apparently, another item on Holland’s game day to-do list has been checked off.

After nearly 50 years as a college player, coach and athletics director, Terry Holland knows every detail required to stage the spectacle that I and 50,000 other people are enjoying this sunny Saturday. He has steered East Carolina through a building boom in sports facilities and a step up to a major sports conference. His signature accomplishment on campus is arguably the new Olympics Sports Complex, which is being named in his honor.

As he transitions into an emeritus role and helps ECU find its next athletics director, it’s good to know his presence will continue being felt and seen on campus. Soon, playing “Where’s Terry” at the softball, soccer and track and field complex will be a piece of cake. Just look up and he’ll be there.

Above, ECU volleyball players Amanda Lutzow (left) and Andrea Queck (right) with Slavin at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport.

I was walking through the airport ...

I read your article on "Away Games" in the (spring 2013 issue of) East magazine and it reminded me of a picture I took with some Pirate volleyball players.

The volleyball team had a layover at the Dallas-Ft. Worth Airport in Dallas and I was flying out for a business trip. The girls were happy to meet a Pirate so far from home and I think I made their day. I know they made mine!

Tim Slavin ’90, Dallas, Texas

Here's my postcard from abroad

David Gordon
Gordon in the cockpit

I saw the ("Postcards from Abroad") story (in the spring 2013 issue) and would like to tell you about me.

(I am) ECU class of 1984. I was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity and was production manager of The East Carolinian student newspaper.

I live in Shenzhen, China, a world-class city of over 14 million which was the start of the reforms. I am an airline captain and fly a 737 for Donghai Airlines.

I went to the Marshall football game in 2012 and come home four times a year (to the Winston-Salem area). I also lived and flew 737s in India during 2011.

Dave Gordon ’84, Shenzhen, China

Liked the desegregation story

I really enjoyed the spring edition of East magazine. The article about Mrs. Elliott really touched me. I wish her well. My only news is that I’m still here. I entered ECU in September 1940 at age 16 and graduated in June 1944 at age 20. I taught – mostly math – for 30 years in North Carolina. I celebrate 33 years of retirement in June of this year.

Nina Cook Welch ’44, Rougemont, N.C.

Editor's Note: Unfortunately, Mrs. Elliott died a few weeks after the story about her appeared in East. Her obituary is on the In Memoriam page.

I also was a face of change

Hubert Walters
Rev. Hubert Walters
I have just read in the spring 2013 issue of East magazine an excellent article titled “The Face of Change,” which focuses on the experiences of Laura Marie Leary Elliott ’66.

Reading her remarks reminded me of some of the experiences that I had while enrolled at the university during the first semester of 1962 through the summer session of 1965, at which time I completed the requirements for the master of music degree.

I left Greenville, my hometown by the way, as soon as I received the degree to accept the position of chair of the music department at Texas College In Tyler, Texas. I could not attend the spring commencement of 1966 as I was on my way from Texas to North Carolina, to accept a position at Shaw University in Raleigh.

I knew Dr. Leo Jenkins and Dr. Andrew Best was my family physician. I was enrolled at East Carolina during the early days of the desegregation of the hotels and motels of Greenville. Dr. Best was a member of a bi-racial committee established by the city to oversee the transition. The committee agreed that it was time to test the law. Dr. Best asked me to register at the Holiday Inn that was located on Greenville Boulevard near Fifth Street. I did so without incident, but I clearly remember remaining awake all night studying for my classes the following day.

As an alumnus of East Carolina University, I wanted to share with you this information to add to the celebration that the university is undertaking. My experience during this period at the university helped me to be an active participant in the desegregation efforts at Harvard University, Boston University, Boston College and the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

I would like to express again my thanks and appreciation to the East magazine for the attention given to my visit in the fall of 2006, and for the outstanding role the publication is playing in the celebration of five decades of desegregation at ECU.

Rev. Hubert E. Walters ’65, Framington, Mass.

Editor's note: Click here to read the profile of Rev. Walters and his Boston College gospel choir in the spring 2006 issue of East.