My daily post theme for 2017 is on Colleges and Universities.
The plan for starting my blog back in 2014 was at the urging of fellow coaching colleagues to share posts on leadership and/or motivation. Somehow that idea got derailed and turned into daily posts on one theme for an entire year.
In 2014 my daily posts were on the “Beer of the Day”, 2015 it was “A Friend of a Friend”, 2016 I wrote about “North Carolina”, and for 2017 I will focus on “Colleges and Universities”.
I have been associated with colleges since I was 18 and I love them. I have coached/worked at four different universities and in my professional and personal travels visited 100’s more. Each college has something in its history that I want to share that to me make it unique or personal.
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Name of University: East Carolina University
Location: Greenville NC
Today is my birthday so I am going to write about my Alma Mater East Carolina University.
When I arrived in Greenville NC in the early 1970’s on a blistering hot day in September I remember a smell I encountered when I got off the Greyhound Bus from New York City. I wasn’t sure what it was but it had a pleasant sweet fragrance to it. I soon found out that was the smell of tobacco being cured in a warehouse.
The train reaching Greenville and connecting it to the rest of the state arrived in 1890. That event spurred growth including the first tobacco warehouse, the beginning of what later pushed Greenville into being the largest tobacco market in the state. Tobacco money flooding into the city meant beautiful mansions, expanded borders and new industries for Greenville.
That growth eventually resulted in the creation of the East Carolina Teachers Training School. The school was established by the state legislature in 1907. Its opening in 1909 transformed Greenville into the educational and cultural center of eastern North Carolina.
Each University has a history. History has periods of time. Leo Jenkins time at ECU was memorable. He served as President and the First Chancellor from 1960 to 1978. He was my Chancellor the entire time I was enrolled there. We also were both from Morris County NJ.
Leo Jenkins stood at the helm during some of East Carolina’s most bustling, productive years in the 1960s and ’70s. He brought optimism to Eastern North Carolina and rallied campus and community to focus on expanding the reach and impact of what was then East Carolina College to become East Carolina University.
On a Saturday in the fall Greenville comes alive with ECU Home Football Games.
From the time Leo Jenkins arrived at ECU to the day he retired he guided the college into official university status, fought for a medical school in Greenville and oversaw expansion of academic, medical and athletic facilities.
1964 Photo of Leo Jenkins-with Flanagan Building over his right shoulder.
He also was instrumental in integrating campus without a court order, boosted support for creative and performing arts and pursued changes on campus that reverberated from the student body to citizens across the East.