1987: Great Scott! Summer Ventures accepts a profoundly deaf-from-birth student by the name of Scott Smith. Smith returned to ECU as an undergraduate due, in part, to the support program at the university, including interpreters. He completed his undergraduate studies at ECU with a 4.0 average and a triple major in biology, chemistry and biochemistry and scored in the top percentiles on his medical school admissions exam. Although he applied to 15 medical schools, Smith was accepted only by ECU where his academic talent and determination to succeed were well-known. As far as anyone knows, Smith's admission to the ECU School of Medicine marked the first time a profoundly deaf candidate embarked on the long road to a degree in medicine. Thought to be the country's first and only profoundly deaf medical student, Scott's remarkable story has been chronicled on CNN, NBC Nightly News and CBS This Morning. Scott Smith, '92, '96 probably ranks as the ECU School of Medicine's best-known graduate.
1991: Summer Ventures student, Cydney Cowan of Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington, makes news, complete with her picture in the paper. Assigned to the School of Medicine while at Summer Ventures, Cydney chose to research the methods of extracting deoxyribonucleic acid, commonly known as DNA. Little did she know that by the end of the five weeks she would make a major medical breakthrough. Cydney chose to compare the DNA extraction methods of phenol and salt precipitation. She found that the least-used method actually was the best way to extract DNA. She discovered that the phenol method takes five to six days for extraction. Salt precipitation takes three days. Her conclusions, which have been printed, may be published and, if so, it will be under her name. (Information taken from The State Port Pilot, Southport, North Carolina, Wednesday, August 7, 1991.)
1993: JOY! Summer Ventures student, Joy Turpin, of Fairview is accepted to Summer Ventures. Joy is deaf. Joy said that while at Summer Ventures she was trying to figure out who she was. Then, she won the "Miss Summer Ventures" pageant and said that it piqued her interest in representing the deaf community. Joy went on to become 1996 Miss Deaf North Carolina and then represented North Carolina in the Miss Deaf America Pageant. But she was just following the footsteps of Hope, her older sister.
1991: HOPE! Hope Turpin attended Summer Ventures in 1991, was crowned "Miss Summer Ventures" and was first runner-up in the 1993 Miss Deaf North Carolina. These Turpin ladies are remarkable.
1996: Hurricane Bertha. Had to send many students home during the week when Bertha decided to go through town. The RAs loaded up students and left for central unloading areas (like Crabtree Mall in Raleigh) and parents picked up their son or daughter at the points across the state. Then everyone came back the following Sunday. Those students who could not go home for one reason or another or whose hometown was being hit by Bertha, had the experience of sleeping in the hallways of the dorms. None of us will ever forget Bertha.
1996: Olympic soccer team from Brazil shares Slay Hall with Summer Ventures students.