2016 Alumni Award Recipients Announced

The East Carolina Alumni Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2016 Alumni Awards.

Virgil Clark ’50 Distinguished Service Alumni

This award given to dedicated volunteers with a record of service and leadership with the alumni association and university.

  • Douglas Privette ’72, member of the ECU Medical & Health Sciences Foundation Board of Directors

Honorary Alumni

This award is given to those who did not attend East Carolina but who have claimed the university as their own through substantial service and loyalty.

  • John Bray, retired ECU professor and founder of A Time for Science learning center in Grifton, NC

Outstanding Alumni

Our most prestigious award recognizes exceptional achievement and leadership in the recipient’s profession and/or public affairs.  

  • Henry Hinton ’75, president of Inner Banks Media, LLC
  • Maj. Gen. Frederick Padilla ’82, US Marine Corps, president of National Defense University
  • Steve George Smith ’73, retired CEO of Eveready East Africa Limited
  • Cathy Thomas ’79, ’86, ’88, branch manager, NC Division of Public Health

Save the date! These recipients will be honored at the 2016 Alumni Awards Ceremony and Dinner on Friday, October 28 as part of homecoming weekend at ECU. All alumni are welcome to attend. More details will be posted as they become available.

If you’d like to nominate someone for the 2017 awards, nominations will be accepted through November 1, 2016. Click here for more information.

By Jackie Drake

Marching Pirates Alumni Reunion a Success!


Marching Pirates of years past descended on Greenville as they came to participate in this year’s Marching Pirates Alumni Reunion, hosted by the East Carolina Alumni Association. The weekend was filled with old friends, good memories, and great football as ECU faced conference rival Tulsa on Oct. 17 during Homecoming 2015.

And just like in years prior, the reunion did not disappoint.

“I really like seeing old friends from my time at ECU, seeing the new ones that I’ve made at the reunions, and being a small part of a big band again,” said Roger Holmes ’88. “If the Pirates call me to play, I’m going to want to do my best to get back!”

Barry Garrison ’69, a former band instructor, echoed a similar response.

“Being back on campus was as great as always,” said Garrison. “I’m very emotionally involved in ECU, I have always loved it. I truly do bleed purple and gold.”

Alumni relived their college years as they had a weekend full of events leading up to the big game. During that time they had a chance to practice with current Marching Pirates, march to the stadium with them, and even participate in the pregame performance.

Out of the 40 or so total attendants, around 25 of them marched with current Pirates!

“My favorite parts of Homecoming were singing the alma mater with the present Marching Pirates, arm-in-arm, after practice, marching up College Hill with older alums cheering us along the way, and playing the national anthem on Bagwell field again,” said Garrison.

“Being back on the band practice field is like stepping back in time to those that spent many hours there,” said Holmes. “That and looking up from the football field to the press box side of the stadium. Those are two wonderful things to experience!”

Some alumni forget about their instrument after leaving ECU. The reunions give them a chance to wipe the dust off their instrument and play again. For some, it can rekindle a passion.

“In the time I left ECU, I hardly touched the trumpet. I started playing again because I wanted to be ready for the 2011 reunion,” said Holmes. “The 2011 reunion motivated me to work harder. It has taken four years, but now I think I’m playing better than ever! I owe it all to that first reunion!”

By Michael Avila

Pirates March Again for Homecoming!

Drum roll, please! The Marching Pirates Alumni Reunion is coming up on Homecoming weekend, October 16-17, 2015! Join fellow former band members for a weekend of fun, music, and football. Reminisce with old friends and make new ones as you join current band members on the field and in the stands during the game. Relive the excitement of playing EC Victory in Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium!

On Friday, sit in on the current band’s open rehearsal from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., followed by a Marching Pirate Alumni Social at Fitzgerald’s in downtown Greenville.

On Saturday, the day will start with breakfast and an alumni band rehearsal. Then the alumni band will join the current band for a full rehearsal at College Hill Field. Lunch will be provided before the march to the stadium.

Alumni band members will participate on the field in the pre-game performance and then sit in the Boneyard behind the band for the duration of the game.

As of this posting, kick-off has not yet been set for the homecoming game. On the event webpage, the schedule for game day is outlined in a countdown format (5 hours before kick-off, 4 hours before kick-off, etc). This webpage will be updated when kick-off is announced.

The cost is $22 each for alumni association members and $32 each for non-members. This includes a Marching Pirates Alumni polo shirt and breakfast on Saturday but does NOT include a ticket to the football game. Football tickets can be purchased separately online or by calling the ECU Athletic Ticket Office at 252-737-4500 with the code MPA.

For more information or to register, visit PirateAlumni.com/2015MPReunion.