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Scholarship dinner honors donors, outstanding nursing students

Oct. 20, 2014

If there’s a common characteristic among attendees at the annual East Carolina University College of Nursing scholarship dinner, it’s a passion for helping others. The event brings together private donors who make the academic scholarships possible with the outstanding nursing students who receive their awards. 

This year’s recipients were recognized at a ceremony held Sept. 5 at the Greenville Hilton Hotel. One hundred and four students received scholarships totaling $220,070 for the 2014-2015 academic year.

Scholarship dinner 2014
Charles with 2014 Heather A. Purtee Nursing Scholarship recipient
Amy Smith and CON Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown

College of Nursing Dean Dr. Sylvia Brown thanked donors at the event for enabling students to pursue their dreams of becoming nurses or continuing their education. 

“Please know your gifts make a huge difference in our students’ ability to study and meet the demands of the nursing curriculum,” she said. 

Many of the scholarships awarded were created to memorialize individuals who have or had exceptional dedication to the field of nursing. The evening event represents a heartwarming opportunity for donors to meet the students who benefit from their financial gifts. 

The Voice of the Pirates, Jeff Charles, and his wife, Debby make it a priority to attend the event each year. They created the Heather A. Purtee Nursing Scholarship, a fund named for their daughter who died in a car accident in 1992 while an ECU nursing student. 

Charles explained that attending the event is a way to honor his daughter’s life and preserve her memory while at the same time seeing the students who receive the scholarship. 

“The College of Nursing was very dear to (Heather),” he said. “We try to award the scholarship to someone who needs financial help. That’s been gratifying to us, that we’re helping these kids.” 

To make a donation to a nursing scholarship, contact Major Gifts Officer Mark Alexander at alexanderma@ecu.edu or 252-744-2324.