Founders Day 2009

This year’s Founders Day celebration was truly memorable in that it saw the dedication of the new Trustees Fountain at Wright Circle, the first female recipient of the university’s highest honor, and public recognition of those ECU community members who continue to exemplify the meaning of Servire.

Trustees wall at Wright Circle

The names of all current and former ECU trustees are engraved on a granite wall near the Trustees Fountain at Wright Circle

Observances began with the annual community leaders breakfast at Jarvis Memorial United Methodist Church and were followed by the dedication of the new campus fountain, and convocation at Wright Auditorium.

After being fountainless for the past three years, water is once again flowing on Main Campus thanks to the newly completed fountain. Before structural concerns forced the removal of the original fountain in 2006, a fountain had graced Main Campus for more than 70 years. Now, thanks to the ECU Board of Trustees, a new fountain sits at Wright Circle, and on Founders Day, it was officially dedicated by Chancellor Steve Ballard and Board of Trustees chair Bob Greczyn.

However, it appeared that someone had beat them to it.

“I think the real dedication of this fountain apparently happened over the weekend,” said Board of Trustees chair Bob Greczyn of the frothy layer of soap bubbles that ringed the fountain. “And as a graduate of this school, that doesn’t surprise me a bit.”

Dumping detergent into the fountain was a common prank in the 1950s and 60s. If one of the goals of building the new fountain was to reconnect the past to the present, it certainly worked. But the university also hopes that the new fountain serves the current students as well as the previous one did its generations before—as a nexus for sharing ideas and fostering community.

“This will be the center of campus and a great spot for students, faculty, and staff to congregate. It truly is a beautiful place,” said Chancellor Ballard.

Mr. Greczyn added that the Trustees Fountain will “be a place where people come together to talk about the world.”

Janice Faulkner received the Thomas Jordan Jarvis Medal, ECU's highest honor, on Founders Day in recognition of a career dedicated to the service of the university and the people of eastern North Carolina.

A granite wall displays the names of all current and former trustees that served ECU over its one hundred years. The entire plaza serves as a tribute to their guidance, leadership, and service to East Carolina.

At the Founders Day convocation, the Thomas Jordan Jarvis Medal was given to former ECU administrator and faculty member Janice Faulkner for her distinguished career in public service.

As a former North Carolina secretary of revenue, secretary of state, and commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles, Faulkner faithfully served the State of North Carolina. Her commitment to ECU is equally strong. An alumnus with bachelor’s, master’s, and honorary doctorate degrees from the university, she served as the first chair of the university’s Board of Visitors, sat on the board of the ECU Foundation, and is a former recipient of the Distinguished Alumna award.

The Jarvis Medal is awarded by the university’s Board of Trustees to recognize extraordinary service to the university and to society. It is ECU’s highest honor and is presented only to the most deserving recipients, and only when the board is prepared to recognize a person of particular distinction.

“It has been said, and I believe it’s true, that the vision captured by one generation, becomes a dream realized by another,” said Faulkner upon receiving the Jarvis Medal. “Our founding fathers 100 years ago captured a vision of doing something great and wonderful and good for the people of eastern North Carolina. And I think I stand her today as a representative of the fact that the vision that they captured has indeed become a dream realized for hundreds of us here, and I am proud to have made that journey.”

Faulkner is the seventh Jarvis Medal recipient and first woman to receive the award. Other honorees include Governor Thomas Jordan Jarvis, Robert Wright, Leo Jenkins, former U.S. Sen. Robert Morgan, and Dr. Andrew Best.

The university also recognized many in its community who worked tirelessly in the past year to serve others in the name of ECU. Centennial Awards for Excellence were given in the categories of service, leadership, ambition, and spirit, and more than 100 faculty and staff members, and students were inducted into the Servire Society in recognition of their community and university service.