Faculty, staff donors give ECU time, talent and treasure

East Carolina University’s faculty and staff demonstrate their dedication to the university’s mission in their daily efforts to educate students and manage its programs. Many go beyond their work commitments and also support the university financially.

During ECU’s comprehensive campaign, Pursue Gold, faculty and staff have given more than 60,000 gifts totaling more than $27.6 million. Chancellor Philip Rogers recognized employee giving at University Day on Sept. 20 and at a donor breakfast at the beginning of the semester.

“Thank you so much for your generosity, hard work and dedication to this place we hold so dear,” Rogers said in a message to faculty and staff. “Every gift makes a difference in the lives of our students, programs and communities.”

As donors, faculty and staff have supported more than 800 unique funds during the campaign, which continues through the end of the year. Academic support has been the top funding area for their philanthropic gifts.

Employee donors say they believe in the university system and their areas of work. Their gifts mirror that sentiment. Many donors are also Pirate alumni who support their alma mater to pay forward their student experience.

Elizabeth V. McAllister ’93 ’04, director of the Center for Pre-Professional Advising, advises undergraduate students who are undecided on a major but know they are interested in a career in dentistry, medicine or law. Beyond her 29-year career in advising, she also gives back to the university to support a future for students at the institution.

“I’m an ECU grad and I had a great experience,” she said. “I think of all the good things I did as a student and I want others to have the same kind of experience I had.”

McAllister was a student worker and served as an ECU ambassador during her undergraduate years. She received an alumni scholarship and has supported the fund to create scholarships for future students. McAllister also has been a long-time supporter of the Pirate Club and donates during Pirate Nation Gives.

Shannon Powell is a double Pirate. She supports her alma mater and the university where she works as an associate professor of nursing in the College of Nursing (CON). Her gifts follow her heart and support the CON and the Laupus Health Sciences Library.

“I’m a proud Pirate nurse alum, now teaching future Pirate nurses who will positively impact the health of people in our region, state and beyond,” Powell said. “The College of Nursing does incredible work with limited resources. Additional resources are vital to impact the future of nursing and most importantly the health of those we provide care.”

Belief in Education

Mark Sanders, assistant director of public services at Joyner Library, sees the impact of philanthropy in the programs and collections the library is able to offer the campus community.

Greg Abeyounis, senior associate vice chancellor for development, greets Chancellor Philip Rogers and Jennifer Hodgson, human science and family development professor, at a faculty and staff appreciation breakfast. (Photo by George Crocker)

“ECU is a special place,” Sanders said. “We’re fortunate to be able provide many innovative resources and services that otherwise wouldn’t be possible at the library because of gifts.”

As a UNC Asheville graduate and an ECU employee, Sanders believes in the mission of the UNC system and gives at ECU to further the teaching and learning made possible by the state’s university system.

Dr. Kathy Kolasa, retired professor at the Brody School of Medicine, says it was her husband who first suggested it would be a good idea to continue the good work she had done promoting nutrition education for medical students and primary care residents at ECU over 40 years by establishing a planned gift.

She saw a need for scholarships so students could participate in summer nutrition programs. The Kathryn M. Kolasa and Patrick N. Kelly Endowment Fund fulfills that purpose, supporting nutrition learning opportunities for medical students and residents.

“Supporting education is very important to us,” Kolasa said. “The way our gift is set up both as an endowment with the possibility of a supplemental fund, let’s us see it working in our lifetime.”

Kolasa continues to serve as affiliate faculty at Brody, teaching nutrition to medical students, staff, practicing physicians and other health professional students.

ECU’s Pursue Gold campaign to raise half a billion dollars will end in December. This ambitious effort will create new paths to success for Pirates on campus, across the country and around the world. Donor gifts during the campaign will keep ECU constantly leading and ready to advance what’s possible. Learn more at pursuegold.ecu.edu.