Slide show photos by Cliff Hollis, Jay Clark and Jessica Nottingham.
'SERVIRE' IN ACTION
Honors College students fulfill ECU motto in community
Aug. 22, 2014
By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services
Honors College students put East Carolina University’s motto “Servire” - to serve - into action Aug. 22, spending their first day on campus helping the community.
More than 100 students volunteered at nine local nonprofits across Pitt County: the American Cancer Society’s McConnell-Raab Hope Lodge, Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, Golden Living Center, GO-Science, Greenville Harvest, Habitat for Humanity, NCPacks4Patriots, Pamlico-Tar River Foundation and the Pitt County Arts Council at Emerge.
Now in its fourth year, Service Day helps introduce freshmen to the importance of community service, which is core to the mission and values of Honors College.
In Ayden, students organized shelves and assembled care packages to send to troops overseas at the NCPacks4Patriots office. Director Barbara Whitehead said ECU students have been a mainstay of their volunteer database. ECU students tend to connect with the initiative because they are the same age as troops.
“We are an all-volunteer organization and most of our volunteers are children or elderly, so we always need young, strong Pirates to unload trucks for military units to pick up from the warehouse,” Whitehead said. “It’s a huge help to have the physical ability here to help.”
On ECU’s campus, more than 100 children visited six GO-Science stations set up in Mendenhall Student Center. Honors students conducted hands-on experiments to get children excited about science or STEM courses in support of the regional technology and science center’s mission.
“It really helps us out by providing volunteers and high-achieving students who want to serve the community,” said GO-Science Executive Director Roger Conner. Many students continue to volunteer with the organization while at ECU, he said.
Breanna Hall, an early assurance student in physical therapy from Hickory, helped children make gummy capsules, formed from a chemical reaction between a gel and saltwater. “It’s been fun,” she said. “It helps me become more community based.”
She’s considering working with pediatric patients one day, so helping children at Service Day was good experience for the future, she said.
Marianna Walker, dean of the Honors College, said Service Day provides students with a strong sense of community. The college supports building relationships and giving back. “It really shows how important the mission is to the university,” she said.
Dr. Jesse Peel, an ECU alumnus and Honors College advancement council member, sponsored 2014 Service Day.
The Honors College will host its convocation at 2 p.m. Sept. 5 in Hendrix Theater with featured speaker Kris Carroll, president of Grady-White Boats.
Jessica Nottingham, coordinator for recruitment and marketing in the Honors College, contributed to this story.