Gift to fund LGBT Center
The new student center planned for East Carolina University’s main campus will contain an LGBT center as a result of a $500,000 gift from an Atlanta doctor. The ECU Board of Trustee’s Athletics and Advancement Committee discussed the gift on Sept. 18.
The donation is the latest gift to ECU from Dr. Jesse R. Peel, who established a University Scholars Award in 1986 in honor of his parents. Peel, a psychiatrist, was among the earliest benefactors of the University Scholars awards, now called the EC Scholars program.
Officials said the $500,000 gift will come from an investment account established by Peel. Separately, Peel made an outright gift of $25,000 to establish the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBT Center Endowment.
A native of Martin County, Peel completed his undergraduate studies and medical school at UNC-Chapel Hill. However, he has directed his philanthropy to ECU because Peel said his parents, the late J. Woolard Peel and Helen, believed ECU was critical to the future of eastern North Carolina.
Among other gifts to ECU, Peel has funded a distinguished professorship in religious studies. He also set up a core competencies program in the Brody School of Medicine.
Through his estate, Peel will establish a distinguished professorship in social diversity in the Department of Sociology; a distinguished professorship in social diversity in the College of Education; a new EC Scholars award in memory of his mother; and an endowment of support for the Center for Diversity and Inequality Research in the Department of Sociology.
Peel is a member of the Chancellor’s Diversity Council, is an honorary member of East Carolina’s chapter of Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, and received the Thomas Harriot College medallion in recognition of service to the college.
-- Steve Tuttle