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Local bank pledges funds for ECU’s Access Scholarship program

At the announcement of the little bank's contribution June 23, little bank employees who are ECU alumni joined bank president Rob Jones as he made the presentation to ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard. In the photo, left to right, are Susan Barrett, Jamie Garner, Rob Jones, Michael Holt, Steve Woolard, Scott Newton, Jeremy Jones, Chris Moncourtois, Matt Steed, ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard, Alyson Faulconer and Doyle Thigpen. ECU Photo.
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (June 26, 2009)   —   Eastern North Carolina-based the little bank pledged $50,000 to East Carolina University’s Second Century Campaign in support for student scholarships at ECU. On June 23 at a gathering of bank employees who are also East Carolina alumni, the little bank president announced its contribution that will establish at least two new scholarships for the university’s Access Scholarship program.

“East Carolina University and the little bank share the same vision of Eastern North Carolina in terms of values, ideals, and potential for growth,” said Rob Jones, president and CEO of the little bank and an ECU graduate. “East Carolina University has had a huge impact on the little bank and upon my life personally. Many of our associates graduated from ECU with undergraduate and master’s degrees and are leaders within our company as well as their respective communities.”

Among all East Carolina graduates, approximately 80 percent have college loan debt to repay. On average, ECU students graduate with $19,000 of debt—one of the highest amounts in the UNC system. East Carolina’s Access Scholarship program provides financial support to students with proven academic potential and demonstrated financial need. The little bank’s contribution will create at least two additional four-year scholarships at East Carolina.

“We are proud to support the Access Scholarship program,” Jones said. “Helping students attend ECU and become successful leaders in Eastern North Carolina is a great fit for us and makes good business sense. We are thankful to be able to invest in ECU and future leaders.”

East Carolina’s Second Century Campaign is providing resources for student scholarships, faculty, academic programs, and athletic support, and campus facility construction and improvement. This campaign is one of the major steps necessary to accomplish the ambitious goals of ECU Tomorrow: A Vision for Leadership and Service, the university’s strategic plan adopted in 2007. To date, ECU has raised more than $142 million toward its $200 million goal.

“We are grateful for the little bank’s support of ECU and its students through the Second Century Campaign,” said ECU vice chancellor for advancement Mickey Dowdy. “Contributions such as the little bank’s are especially important now, in these challenging economic times. Private support for scholarships is crucial for the university’s ability to attract and retain talented, hard working students.”

The little bank was founded in November 1998 and today has six branches in Kinston, LaGrange, Goldsboro, Jacksonville, Greenville, and New Bern.

ECU’s Access Scholarship program awards $5,000 scholarships to full-time North Carolina students with proven financial need and demonstrated academic potential. ECU will provide at least 76 Access Scholarships during the 2009-2010 academic year and has the long-term goal of providing 100 scholarships annually.

For more information about how you can support East Carolina, the Second Century Campaign, and the Access Scholarship program, visit www.ecu.edu/adv/ or call 252-328-9550.

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Contact: Kara Loftin | 252-328-9597