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Chancellor tours Outer Banks

(Sept. 28, 2001)   —   The old white Dodge van, flying ECU flags and sporting magnetic purple and gold "Hometown Tour" signs, bounced to a stop alongside a convenience store outside Manteo. A construction worker looked up from his job updating the store to ask" "Are y’all from ECU? We heard about you on the radio."

"Y’all" included Chancellor William Muse and a small entourage who were kicking off the Hometown Tour that is designed to introduce the chancellor to eastern North Carolina.

The first leg on Sept. 27 took Muse to Manteo and Nags Head. Future stops will include Morehead City and Beaufort on Oct. 24, Elizabeth City on Nov. 28 and New Bern on Dec. 11.

On campus, Muse is undertaking a similar getting-to-know-you effort with academic and administrative units. So far, he has met in half-day sessions in various campus locations with the School of Education, the College of Arts and Sciences, the School of Nursing and the Student Life and Administration and Finance Divisions.

In Nags Head, Muse told a luncheon audience that was jammed with civic, business and educational leaders that he opened his tour on the Outer Banks because it gave him a chance to start in the easternmost spot of the state and work back to the west. He also cited ECU Trustee Mike Kelly of Nags Head and state Sen. Marc Basnight of Manteo as reasons to come to the area.

Muse said, "On all these visits, it is more important for me to listen to you than vice versa. ECU is the university of eastern North Carolina, and if it is to successfully carry out its mission of service to the region, it is critical for me to know the people of the region, your hopes and aspirations, your successes and failures, your expectations of our university."

He listed a number of connections between ECU and the Outer Banks, including projects headed by Stan Riggs (Geology) and Hannah Jubran and Jodi Hollnagel (Art).

The Riggs project, partially funded by the U.S. and N.C. Geological Surveys, is mapping the entire Outer Banks and may one day help scientists predict where the most damage from hurricanes will occur. It is vital to provide public and regulatory officials with the information they need to make sound decisions.

Jubran and Hollnagel are working with Glenn Eure, an artist in Nags Head, on a monument that will be built in Kitty Hawk for the centennial anniversary of the historic flight of the Wright Brothers.The centennial date is Dec. 17, 2003.

Muse opened the day by accompanying ECU students Jenna Frey and Jonah Endsley to Manteo High School, where they had graduated in 1999. He visited with the senior administrative staff, the guidance counselors and several classroom teachers.

He also met with the editors of the Coastland Times in Manteo and the Outer Banks Sentinel in Nags Head and did an interview with WITN-TV.

In addition, he toured the Outer Banks Hospital that is under construction in Nags Head. The 73,500-square-foot facility, a joint project of Chesapeake General Hospital in Chesapeake, Va., and University Health Systems of Eastern Carolina, is scheduled for completion next spring.

He ended the day with a reception for ECU alumni and friends at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo.


Contact: ECU News Bureau | 252-328-6481