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Chancellor Cecil Staton addresses those in attendance for an international students’ reception this past spring. Staton and his wife, Catherine, have pledged $100,000 for the study abroad program.

Chancellor Cecil Staton addresses those in attendance for an international students’ reception this past spring. Staton and his wife, Catherine, have pledged $100,000 for the study abroad program. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

SUPPORT REMAINS STRONG

ECU raises $48 million in FY17

Aug. 8, 2017

By Rich Klindworth
ECU News Services

An increase in individual donors helped East Carolina University raise more than $48 million in fiscal year 2017. 

“ECU’s supporters continue to rally behind our university,” said Chris Dyba, vice chancellor for University Advancement. “From what we hear from Pirate Nation, alumni and friends believe in what the university is doing and want to help out in any way that they can.”

Helping to make FY17 so successful was the Dowdy-Ficklen Southside Renovation campaign. The Pirate Club received more than $27 million for the project, slated for completion by the fall of 2018. The renovation will enhance the game day experience for fans through the creation of premium seating and parking opportunities.

Loyal Pirate Club supporters alumnus Phil Hodges and his wife, Lisa, recently finalized their estate plans to benefit the College of Allied Health Sciences and the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences. In addition to their continued support of student scholarships, they have recently made commitments to fund a professorship as well as equipment and technology in the chemistry department. Another ECU alumnus, Dave Englert, and his wife Gayle are also keeping ECU in their future plans. They will endow several scholarships as part of their estate. The Englerts intend on supporting four areas on campus that are special to them –  the College of Business, the College of Education, the Alumni Association and the men’s basketball team.

Chancellor Cecil Staton recognizes Phil Hodges for his continued philanthropic support of ECU during an event last fall.

While the Hodges’ and Englerts’ gifts may be further down the road, planned gift commitments brought in $15.2 million in FY17, including a $1.2 million realized planned gift from long-time ECU teacher and supporter, 103-year-old Eleanor Toll, who died in April 2016. She and her late husband, Dr. Paul Toll, left money to be divided equally between the School of Music, where she was a piano teacher, and the sociology department, where he was a professor. The funding will support scholarships in both areas. 


Dr. Bob Edwards, chair of the Department of Sociology, said the Toll gift alone could increase the number of sociology graduate students by 25 percent. There are currently 16 graduate students. 

He said, “Six thousand dollars a year from the Toll fund for four different students, for an example, could be the difference between four people being able to go to grad school to get a degree or not.” 

Chancellor Cecil Staton is personally supporting his goal to increase the opportunities for ECU students to have study abroad experiences. He and his wife Catherine have pledged $100,000 to create a study abroad scholarship endowment. Staton is hoping that others will follow his lead.

“My study abroad experience as an undergraduate was a defining point in my life,” Staton said. “We live in a global economy today and it’s essential that our students have the opportunity to gain a global perspective through an international experience.”

While there has been an increase in support across campus for international education, the College of Education itself received a recommitment of funding for the Maynard Scholars program thanks to the Maynard Family. The four-year $20,000 scholarship is modeled after the N.C. Teaching Fellows Scholarship, and recipients are expected to teach in a public, charter or government school for four years following graduation. 

Alumnus Pat Lane and his wife Lynn also invested in the future of education with a generous gift to provide students with the ability to practice teaching skills and lead parent-teacher conferences in the newly remodeled state-of-the-art Mursion lab. Mursion, a mixed-reality classroom with simulated students, provides teachers the opportunity to develop their pedagogical practice in a safe environment.

In addition to individual gifts, numerous corporations and foundations supported ECU in fiscal year 17, donating nearly $6 million. The Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation again gave $130,000 to support students enrolled in the College of Nursing and has pledged to increase their contribution in FY18. The Oak Foundation, Peter J. Frenkel Foundation, SECU Foundation, Harold H. Bate Foundation, and the West Memorial Fund directly supported students through their funding, mainly through scholarships. The Brody Foundation gave more than $328,000 in FY17 continuing their support of the Brody Scholars Program and various projects in the Brody School of Medicine. Additionally, Duke Energy, for the second consecutive year, funded the Engineering and Technology Summer Academy for rising ninth grade girls, bringing students from eastern North Carolina to campus to learn from and work with ECU’s faculty, staff and students.  

The success of FY17 has ECU’s $500 million comprehensive campaign off to a strong start. So far, $140 million has been raised – and the total continues to rise daily.

One item that will assist ECU in building on the previous year’s success is a new online giving website. The site has been streamlined to simplify the donation process. For more information on how to support ECU’s mission or to donate, visit www.ecu.edu/give.

The Pirate Club received more than $27 million for the Dowdy-Ficklen Southside Renovation project during fiscal year 2017. The construction project will begin after the end of the 2017 football season and is slated for completion in time for kickoff in fall 2018. (Contributed graphic)

The Pirate Club received more than $27 million for the Dowdy-Ficklen Southside Renovation project during fiscal year 2017. The construction project will begin after the end of the 2017 football season and is slated for completion in time for kickoff in fa