Awards to recognize outstanding ECU alumni and friends

Six outstanding East Carolina University alumni and friends will be honored by the ECU Alumni Association this fall for their careers and service to the university. The awards are presented annually during homecoming weekend, with this year’s dinner to be held Oct. 20. Tickets for the celebration are available by visiting

Mary Earp ’58, Scott Avett ’99 ’00 and Vivien Sansour ’02 ’06 will receive Outstanding Alumni Awards.

Earp is a community advocate and agriculture business leader in Brunswick County. She was a driving force in lobbying for one of ECU’s School of Dental Medicine Community Service Learning Centers to be located in her county.  

Avett is a founding member of the three-time Grammy-nominated band, The Avett Brothers, and an accomplished visual artist. His paintings and prints, created in his North Carolina studio, have been showcased in notable galleries around the country. He has also released two art books, “Invisible” and “Purpose at Random.”

Sansour is an artist, researcher and writer. She is a conservationist of international stature. She founded the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library in 2014, where she works with farmers in Palestine, New York and around the world. She is the Distinguished Artistic Fellow at Bard College in New York.

Matt Slate ’96 will be honored with the Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Award for his dedication to ECU. Slate serves as a chair of the ECU Foundation board and as a member of the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences (THCAS) advancement council. Slate and his wife, Kelly, have endowed scholarships and planned gifts in the THCAS and ECU Athletics, and support the Pirate Club, the Beacon Scholarship program, the College of Business, the ECU Alumni Association, Voyages of Discovery and veteran scholarships through annual giving.   

Terry Holland will be honored posthumously with an Honorary Alumni Award. Holland served as ECU athletic director from 2004 to 2013 and led the department during one of the Pirates’ most successful periods. Holland’s tireless efforts in conference realignment led to the Pirates’ membership in the American Athletic Conference. At ECU, Holland led efforts that resulted in an expansion of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and the creation of facilities for softball, track and other Olympic sports.  

Dr. Felix Morton IV ’13 will receive this year’s Young Alumni Award. Morton serves as a well-being coach and assistant director for community well-being in the undergraduate business program at UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is a certified counselor and certified clinical trauma professional. Morton has advocated for access to higher education and culturally affirming clinical support for students, with special attention to the experiences of Black youth and men.  


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