Wachovia announces gift to ECU
(Aug. 19, 1993)
Officials from Wachovia Corporation and East Carolina University announced the largest corporate gift to date to ECU’s Shared Visions campaign during a convocation program on campus Thursday.
The gift, $667,000, will be combined with matching funds from the state to create a $1 million endowment for the Wachovia Distinguished Professorship in Educational Leadership. It will also help start a program at ECU to leadership skills to public school teachers.
“I am convinced,” Chancellor Richard R. Eakin said, “that when the Shared Visions Campaign is successfully completed, its impact will constitute a historical change in the character of East Carolina University.”
“We are indebted to Wachovia Bank for its farsightedness and its willingness to make such a significant investment in the young people of North Carolina.
Also on hand for the announcement were William C. Baggett, regional vice president for Wachovia and Dr. Charles Coble, dean of the ECU School of Education.
“Wachovia is committed to improving the quality of education in North Carolina,” Baggett said. “We have repeatedly witnessed the value of empowering front-line associates through the development of leadership skills. That experience attracted us to East Carolina’s teacher-leader concept.”
He said he was convinced the program “will pay significant long-term dividends in terms of re-energized public schools and better student performance.”
In responding to the gift, Coble said the Wachovia Distinguished Professorship will allow the university to attract an outstanding authority in the field of educational leadership and will help ECU create a new program for developing the leadership abilities of classroom teachers and other educators.
“I am deeply grateful to Wachovia for their trust in East Carolina University’s School of Education and for their commitment to this vital service mission,” Coble said.
The new program is expected to have a far-reaching impact on education in North Carolina, according to the ECU dean. In addition to significant contributions it will make to the way teachers are prepared at East Carolina, the program will also lead to the development the Wachovia Leadership Program for North Carolina Teachers.
Each summer, the leadership program will attract 25 teachers from around the state for an intense two-week conference on the ECU campus. The Wachovia professor and a select group of corporate and educational leaders will conduct the sessions.
Following the conference, each teacher-leader will be assigned a “mentor.” The group will remain intact for the remainder of the year, implementing, refining and reviewing their new skills in a “real world” environment.
After participating in the program for a year, the graduates will then serve as mentors and facilitators in their own school systems. A new class of Wachovia Teacher-Leaders will begin each year.