Trustee Danny Scott ’84 shares how ECU changed his life

Q:  What was your ECU student experience like? 
A:  I really enjoyed my time at ECU. The school, the community, and the people played an integral part in my life both then and now. I found the College of Business to be challenging and thought provoking, and interestingly enough, I have applied many of the theories I learned as a student to my professional life. Just as important as the academics were to my overall development, the lessons I learned outside of the classroom and the people I met in the community also played a major role in my experience at the University. When I think back on my time at ECU, I have many great memories, such as participating in my fraternity (Alpha Phi Alpha), playing pick-up basketball games at Memorial Gym, eating and socializing at the Crow’s Nest, and going to parties at the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. Attending ECU was a life changing experience for me and I’m extremely proud to be an ECU alumnus.

Q:  Share with our readers what you’ve done in your career.
A:  I started my career as a production supervisor with Perdue Farms in Lewiston, NC in 1985. After two years with Perdue, I accepted a position in Suffolk, VA with RJR Nabisco Planter’s division in manufacturing. Two years later, I had an opportunity to join Anheuser-Busch in Williamsburg, VA in production. In 1994 I was promoted to corporate headquarters and headed to St. Louis, MO as the operations/marketing liaison. Shortly thereafter, I moved into Ethnic Marketing and was responsible for African-American and Asian Marketing. Within a couple of years, I became a product manager on Budweiser and then brand manager for the Malt Liquor brands. I was then asked to serve as the senior executive assistant to the vice president of Human Resources and two years later promoted to director of HR services. Shortly thereafter, I had the opportunity to go back to marketing as director of value brands (Busch family; Natural Light family; Ice brands; Malt Liquors). Approximately three years later, I was promoted to senior director of branded products and consumer hospitality centers. My last role at Anheuser-Busch was vice president of diversity and dispute resolution. In March 2009, I accepted a position with Monsanto and currently serve as the vice president of marketing for national brands and channel brand. It’s been an incredible and rewarding career so far. I’ve learned a great deal and hopefully have contributed to the success of the organizations I’ve had the pleasure of working for.

Q:  As a member of ECU’s Board of Trustees, you have unique insight into the University. What are some of the things about ECU’s future that make you excited and proud?
A:  I am extremely excited and encouraged by the leadership exhibited by the Chancellor, his leadership team, and the faculty. I have also been extremely impressed by my fellow Board members and their commitment to the University because they not only have a passion for ECU, but they also are dedicated to the continued growth and well-being of the University, the students, the faculty, the greater Greenville community, and eastern North Carolina. As a member of the Health/Sciences committee, I am extremely proud that ECU will have a new School of Dentistry, which will not only give future students an additional area of study within the medical curriculum, but also provide the state with additional dentists in the future.

Q:  What is your vision for ECU’s next decade?
A:  My vision quite simply is for ECU to continue its mission of providing the people of eastern North Carolina with a first class education. I think it is critical to remain accessible while continuing, where possible, to raise the University’s academic standards so that when students graduate from ECU they are adequately prepared to compete with their contemporaries in the workforce. As we look to the next decade, I think it is also important that we continue to stress diversity with our faculty and students to, again, prepare our graduates for a world that is becoming more and more global and diverse.

Q:  You’ve established the annual Danny R. Scott Scholarship for a student in the College of Business who contributes to educational diversity while demonstrating academic excellence and financial need. Why was creating this scholarship important to you?
A:  Creating this scholarship was important to me for several reasons, but primarily because I empathize with students who want to attend the University, have the academic qualifications to attend, but do not have the money. Establishing the scholarship was also important because the University and the School of Business provided me with the tools that enabled me to successfully compete in the work force and I wanted to give others the same opportunity. Including diversity as a part of the scholarship’s criteria was important because I believe that a diverse student population improves the overall learning experience. In addition, a diverse student population provides different perspectives and creates a culture of tolerance and inclusion.

Q:  In your opinion, why is it important for alumni to give back to the University?
A:  I personally believe that all of us have a responsibility to provide for the future growth of young people and those who may be less fortunate than many of us. With that said, the University provides a great opportunity to help young adults achieve their goals. Many students who attend ECU are the first generation in their family to attend college, and in many cases these students need the support of alumni to make their dreams come true. We all do not have to give a lot, but if we all gave something, it would enable the University to continue its mission of providing an affordable education and a life altering experience to the students of ECU.

Q: What is your favorite memory of your time at ECU?
A:  My favorite memory is the moment I took my last final exam and realized that my dream of graduating from college had come true. I was the first person in my family to receive a college degree and it was important to me to show others in my family, especially my young nephews, that it was possible to break the paradigm and change the direction of their lives. I had many challenges while I was a student, including surviving two fires that completely wiped me out, so there were several times I considered quitting. Thankfully, I had the support of family and friends who encouraged me to persevere and to hold on to my dream—a dream that has changed my life!

"My wife and I both graduated from ECU and we are both lifetime members of the Alumni Association. We've always had a devotion to East Carolina, and because we gained so much from our education, we think lifetime membership is a great way to give back to the University. I would recommend lifetime membership to anyone who went to East Carolina. There are many wonderful benefits, and it's very special."

Jerry '65 and Joanie '65 Tolley

"I am a member of the alumni association because it provides an opportunity for me to connect to the university, renew relationships through alumni events, and help attract potential students to ECU. As an active member of the alumni association, I have the chance to serve as an advocate for the university through volunteerism. Being a member along with my son as a fellow Pirate demonstrates commitment and builds a legacy within our family."

Linda Thomas '81

"I am a member because ECU is my second home. Staying connected not only allows me to give back to the university but also inspire the next generation of pirates."

Tim Willis '12

"I am a member of the Alumni Association because I want everyone to know what East Carolina means to me and how much pride and love I have for ECU. Being a member means the world to me, and is the one way that I can give back and stay connected to the place that gave me the best years of my life."

Jeremy Woodard '01

"I am a member of the alumni association because I appreciate how well ECU prepared me for my business career. I enjoy contributing to the alumni association's efforts to provide scholarships for some of our best and brightest students. The Alumni Association does a great job of providing ways for alumni to reconnect with their alma mater and I hope when they do they enjoy it as much as I do. I believe in what ECU stands for and my membership helps me feel a part of the great things ECU is accomplishing!"

Wes Johnson '85