Among these new posts is the Drs. Mary and Spencer Raab Distinguished Professorship in Medical Oncology. Mary Raab, who joined the medical school at ECU in its earliest years, created the post along with her husband, Dr. William McConnell. It honors her late husband, Spencer Raab, also an oncologist at the medical school. One of the first cancer doctors in eastern North Carolina, Spencer Raab traveled weekly to small towns treating patients who otherwise lacked specialty care.
“We wanted to honor his work,” Mary Raab said.
The Second Century Campaign supported funding for the Clark-LeClair baseball stadium, and began raising dollars for a new basketball practice area for the men’s and women’s teams through the Step Up to the Highest Level Campaign.
On the Health Sciences Campus, the campaign resulted in several major building successes, including funding for the new School of Dental Medicine, supported with a major gift from Greenville orthodontist and businessperson, Dr. Ledyard E. Ross, whose contribution will be reflected in the building’s name. A major gift from the Monk Family of Farmville helped fund the Frances J. and Robert T. Monk Geriatric Center.
‘Students should have the opportunity’
For Alan White, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, it is especially meaningful to thank those whose gifts reached the level of the Order of the Cupola.
“They have given a long time in a very steady way,” he said. “That’s what helps us build sustained programs.” He noted that the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Voyages of Discovery Lecture Series has served the university – and the region – as a hallmark offering, drawing as many as 1,000 people and more. It costs about $50,000 a year, paid entirely by contributions.
Among the Voyages of Discovery supporters is Harvey Wooten, who was inducted into the Order. In addition to contributing to the lecture series, she has helped fund arts and sciences programs and gives to the Educational Foundation, or Pirate Club, to fund scholarships for student athletes.
“I am a strong believer that students should have the opportunity to be exposed to music, art and languages,” she said. “It makes you a well-rounded person.”
Among those celebrating the campaign’s conclusion was former Chancellor Richard R. Eakin, who currently serves as interim dean of the Honors College. He says one of his special projects is to ensure the long-term success of the EC Scholars Program, which is housed in the college.
He hopes to see more endowments for these awards to make them competitive with those offered anywhere in the state. “I refuse to believe we can’t be successful,” Eakin said.
The Order of the Cupola, formed in 1996, now has about 750 members. New members received a custom-made miniature cupola, created by ceramics professor and artist Seo Eo. It was modeled after the campus landmark, the cupola that once sat atop old Austin Building, one of the original buildings constructed more than a century ago. The order has several categories -- Platinum Level for donors of $1 million or more; Gold Level from $750,000; Silver Level from $500,000; and Bronze Level from $100,000.
In the years to come, pursuing excellence will drive the university’s growth in all areas and inspire others to attain that level of giving, said Ballard.
“The single most pressing need is for us to keeping building upon the quality of what we do,” he said.