A new name for criminal justice and social work
(Oct. 22, 2002)
A retired Mooresville couple has designated the School of Social Work and Criminal Justice Studies at East Carolina University to receive a $5.1 million gift in honor of their daughter, Carolyn Freeze Baynes, a former State Bureau of Investigation employee.
The donation by Charles and Hazel Freeze is one of the largest ever received by a public school of social work or criminal justice studies in the United States, said Dr. W. David Harrison, dean of the school.
The school was officially named the Carolyn Freeze Baynes School of Social Work and Criminal Justice Studies at a campus ceremony on Oct. 4.
Benjamin Ruffin, former chair of the University of North Carolina Board of Governors and the holder of a master’s degree in social work, delivered keynote remarks and praised Mrs. Baynes’ compassion and her family’s generosity.
Mrs. Baynes, who died in 1999, was the wife of Mike Baynes, a 1973 ECU graduate who now manages the Wingate Inn in Mooresville.
Harrison described the gift as a "magnificent gesture that will enable us to significantly raise our profile both nationally and internationally."
"We have the opportunity to look to the future as few schools can," Harrison said. "We will strive to become a peerless public resource for every level of society."
Chancellor William V. Muse, assisted by members of the Freeze family, unveiled a portrait of Mrs. Baynes that will hang in Ragsdale Hall, home of the school.
Gina Airheart, Mrs. Baynes’ daughter, said, "It is an honor to have the school named for her. It is amazing to think that if my children–her grandchildren–come to school at East Carolina, they will see her name on the school."
Harrison said that Charles Freeze drove a gasoline truck for his entire career and Hazel Freeze worked in a cotton mill. The couple also owned a gas station and they bought a farm during the Depression, Harrison said.
Mrs. Baynes worked for the SBI for 27 years as district secretary of the Southern Piedmont District Office. She retired in 1997.
The School of Social Work and Criminal Justice Studies offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in both fields. It has 28 full-time faculty members, 208 graduate students and 487 undergraduate majors. The school’s mission is to "improve the quality of community life and social justice in eastern North Carolina and beyond," Harrison said.