Funds support chair in family medicine
March 1, 2013
By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services
The Monk family, which built a leading tobacco exporting company in Farmville, has endowed a chair at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
Medical school leaders announced the Robert T. Monk Distinguished Chair in Family Medicine at the Feb. 28 medical school faculty meeting. The $500,000 endowment is funded by $333,000 from the family matched by $167,000 in state funds.
“For a relatively young medical school such as the Brody School of Medicine, it is essential for us to develop areas of excellence that are immediately relevant to the citizens that we serve,” Dr. Paul Cunningham, dean of the medical school, said before the faculty meeting. “The Monk family endowment will help us to do this in one of the premier departments in the school, family medicine.”
In a letter to Cunningham, Emily Monk Davidson and Bob Monk said the people of eastern North Carolina helped their father and grandfather build their tobacco exporting business, and creating the endowed chair is a way to return the generosity.
“This is very special for us, as this support comes from the generous and caring support that exists within our community,” Cunningham said. “It is evidence of the enormous generosity of the people of eastern North Carolina. We are exceedingly grateful to the Monk family.”
As early as 2003, Frances Monk began working with ECU on planning the new family medicine center. A $2.5 million gift helped create the Frances J. and Robert T. Monk Sr. Geriatric Center at the ECU Family Medicine Center, which opened in 2011.
The endowed chair is the 13th endowed chair or professorship in the ECU Division of Health Sciences that’s funded in part through the University of North Carolina system’s Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund.
The Distinguished Professors Endowment Trust Fund was established in 1985 by the North Carolina General Assembly to enable each constituent institution of the UNC system to receive and match challenge grants to create endowed chairs for selected distinguished professors. It provides matching grants of $1 in state money for every $2 in private funds.