Member Spotlight: Captain David R. Herndon ’05

Bio Portrait

Air Force Captain David R. Herndon ’05 knows a lot about service. He is dedicated to serving both his country and his alma mater.

Herndon is finishing up a deployment to Headquarters Resolute Support in Kabul, Afghanistan as the military assistant and aide-de-camp to the deputy chief of staff for strategic communication.

From his post in Afghanistan, Herndon recently joined the East Carolina Alumni Association as a Centennial Pirate, after being prompted by his father. Herndon says this is especially fitting since his father has been his example for his whole life.

“My father is my inspiration, role model, and best friend,” Herndon says. “I recall him taking me to plenty of air shows and visiting his reserve unit when I was growing up. He retired as a lieutenant colonel after more than 34 years of honorable service and every day, I salute him for sacrificing and showing me what it means to serve. When I go off on tangents about the greatness of ECU, he always asks what I’ve done recently to give back and ensure its greatness continues. I’m one of the proudest Pirates you’ll ever meet, so it was an easy decision to join the alumni association.”

Herndon enrolled in the Air Force ROTC program at ECU during his freshman year. Originally from the Triangle area, Herndon was considering out-of-state schools, but a visit to ECU and the Air Force ROTC detachment changed his mind. “I talked it over with my parents after that initial visit and we agreed ECU was the best decision. It remains one of the best journeys I’ve taken in my life,” he said.

Herndon earned his bachelor of science in communication. While at ECU, Herndon also served as student body vice president. Some of his favorite memories are those from the campaign trail with the Student Government Association. He also enjoyed his aerospace courses and leadership labs with the Air Force ROTC program.

“The School of Communication at ECU definitely put me on a solid track to support the rigors of handling international communication portfolios,” he said. “ECU not only gave me that foundation, but provided me with an opportunity to network and think globally when exploring communication concepts. My biggest takeaway from my undergraduate experience was the importance of continued life-long learning. There was a banner above the entrance of the Air Force ROTC detachment that read ‘Following Today, Leading Tomorrow, Learning Forever.’ I take that message with me everywhere I go.”

1560744_10102193065211753_1936797137953890315_nAfter his deployment, Herndon will return to the Pentagon where he works as a public affairs officer at Headquarters Air Force, with additional duty as a social aide to the president of the US with the White House Military Office.

By Jackie Drake

2015 Wright Award Recipients

The East Carolina Alumni Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2015 Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award. These five students will be presented with the award during commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 8.

The most prestigious award for undergraduates at East Carolina University, the Wright award recognizes academic achievement, service to both the university and community, and demonstrated leadership. Recipients are recognized as those who will make a positive impact on their respective professions and communities.

In addition to receiving the Wright medallion at commencement, recipients are given a lifetime membership in the East Carolina Alumni Association.

  • Ajay Ajmera of Greenville, NC; biology and chemistry double-major
  • Matthew Ryan Baucom of Marshville, NC; chemistry and biochemistry double-major
  • Jessica Katlyn Jewell of Clayton, NC; communication major
  • Shayna Nitin Mooney of Winterville, NC; neuroscience and international studies double-major
  • Kristi Noelle Wilkerson of Mastic, NY; nutrition major

140501WrightMedallion

By Jackie Drake

Alumni Scholarship Applications Due January 30

The East Carolina Alumni Association is now accepting applications for Alumni Scholarships for the 2015-2016 school year through Friday, January 30, 2015. New this year, applications must be submitted online through the ECU Online Scholarship Management System. No paper applications will be accepted. To receive a scholarship, students must be able to attend the Scholarship Luncheon on April 25, 2015.

Approximately 20-25 scholarships of $1,000 or $2,500 are available. To be eligible, ECU students must be registered as a full-time undergraduate with at least 12 credit hours and a 3.0 GPA. Students should demonstrate service and leadership in the university and community. Applications must be accompanied by a signed letter of recommendation and a creative expression, both of which can be completed and/or uploaded through the online system.

Since 2005, the Alumni Scholarship program has awarded 197 scholarships totaling more than $260,000.

For more information, visit Piratealumni.com/scholarships.

Now Accepting Wright Award Nominations from Faculty and Staff

ECU faculty and staff are invited to nominate an outstanding undergraduate senior or recent graduate for a 2015 Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award, to be presented at spring commencement in May 2015. In addition to undergraduate seniors graduating in May, those who have graduated with a bachelor’s degree in the summer or fall of 2014 will also be considered. All nominations are due by Friday, January 30, 2015. Only current ECU faculty and staff may nominate a student.

The Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award is the most prestigious award presented by the East Carolina Alumni Association to seniors during annual spring commencement exercises. The award recognizes academic achievement, service (both to the university and the community), and leadership qualities (both potential and exhibited). Nominees should be recognized as those who will make an impact in their professions and communities.

For more information, visit www.piratealumni.com/wrightaward.

Board Applications Due December 31

Are you looking for a way to give back to ECU? Are you looking for service opportunities and leadership experience? You can gain all this and more as part of the East Carolina Alumni Association Board of Directors!

We’re looking for a diverse and enthusiastic group of alumni to help strengthen their alma mater by serving on our board. All degrees and class years are welcome. New members will start on July 1, 2015 and terms will last three years. Board members are expected to maintain active membership in the association and attend four meetings per year. Board members serve on a volunteer basis.

Board members advise alumni association staff, serve on various committees, and help select scholarship and award recipients. Members also share their professional expertise and individual talents to advance ECU. Finally, board members serve as advocates for the university by encouraging alumni involvement. The ultimate role of the board is to guide staff and volunteers in carrying out the mission of the alumni association and university.

Current first-term board member Tim Willis ’12 was motivated to serve on the board by his passion for ECU and desire to stay involved. “ECU is a rapidly growing institution and I want to help bring new ideas and traditions to help benefit future Pirates to come,” he says.

Willis’ favorite part of serving on the board is working with a team of like-minded people to continue to make ECU great.

“I most definitely recommend anyone willing to become actively engaged with the alumni association to apply to serve on the board,” Willis says. “Please do reach out to myself and/or other board members to learn about the commitment and the important impact joining will have. The alumni board is a huge outlet to connect with other Pirates as well as give back to East Carolina.”

Online applications will be accepted through December 31. Click here to apply or learn more.