East Carolina University has its own set of Wright brothers who are reaching new heights – not in flight, but in medicine.
When ECU senior Ajay Ajmera receives the 2015 Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award this week, he will be the second in his family to do so. After graduation, Ajay will join his brother Arun Ajmera, a 2013 Wright award recipient, at the Brody School of Medicine at ECU.
“I was surprised at the news, and I was extremely thankful for the honor from the alumni association,” said Ajay (pictured at left). “Arun was the first person I told about receiving the award.”
“I was very surprised when I heard from Ajay that he got this award too,” Arun said. “Getting the award is not easy and it is truly an honor. I am very happy that he also received this award. I think he really deserves it.”
The Robert H. Wright Alumni Leadership Award recognizes academic achievement, service to both the university and community, and demonstrated leadership. The East Carolina Alumni Association presents the award at spring commencement each year. Named for the first president of what was then East Carolina Teachers Training School, it is the most prestigious award presented to undergraduates at ECU.
“Arun mentioned the Wright award to me, and I became aware of it when he received it his senior year,” Ajay said. “However, Dr. Fraley, my nominator for the award, was the first person to tell me about the award and encouraged me to apply.”
Ajay will graduate summa cum laude with a bachelor of science in biology and a bachelor of arts in chemistry after three years of study. As an EC Scholar, he received ECU’s most prestigious merit scholarship, and is a member of the Honors College, with early assurance to the Brody School of Medicine. Arun was also a member of the Honors College and earned degrees in biology and chemistry. When Ajay gets to Brody, Arun will be in his third year of medical school and working on his first clinical clerkship.
“I can’t wait until Ajay joins the Brody family in August,” says Arun (pictured at right in 2013). “We have a great relationship. We grew up together and we were always together. Since we are similar in age, we ended up doing many things together growing up. Over time, if he ever needed any help, I would try to be there for him and help him out in any way I can to help him succeed and help him achieve his dreams.”
Ajay and four other 2015 Wright award recipients will be honored at the alumni association’s Senior Celebration Dinner on Thursday, May 7.
By Jackie Drake