Black Alumni Chapter

Mission and Purpose

The East Carolina Alumni Association exists to inform, involve, and serve members of the ECU family throughout their lifelong relationship with the university. 

The Black Alumni Chapter is composed of alumni and friends who are interested in generating support for East Carolina University and serving its constituencies by:

  • promoting the university’s reputation for excellence
  • building good will between the university and its alumni
  • promoting the African-American presence on campus
  • promoting alumni contributions to the university
  • aiding in minority student recruitment
  • promoting the welfare of its alumni


The first full-time African-American student at East Carolina University was Laura Marie Leary (at right), a native of Vanceboro, NC. Leary enrolled in the fall of 1963 and attended the university for a full academic year as the only African-American student. She completed the requirements for a bachelor of science degree in business administration in 1966, becoming the first African-American graduate of ECU, and its first black alumna.
Following Leary was Bennie Teel of Greenville, NC. He received a bachelor of arts degree in English and French in 1967. Lillian T. Jones and Nellie Ross, both of Greenville, NC also graduated 1967. The Black Alumni Chapter began in the early 1980s under the leadership of Dr. Dennis Chestnut ’69, Jaquline Hawkins ’74, and Drs. Larry ’76 and Barbara ’76 Hines.

Get Involved & Support the Black Alumni Chapter

As members of the Black Alumni Chapter, it is important for us to support the East Carolina Alumni Association through membership. Membership in the association supports and strengthens Black Alumni Chapter programs and shows pride in ECU.



The East Carolina Alumni Association’s Black Alumni Chapter recognizes alumni with exceptional contributions to East Carolina University and their local communities. Honorees should adhere to conduct that would cause the university to be proud to present recipients as role models for students and other alumni.

Click here for more information about nominations.


  • PirateAlumni.com
  • Pirate alumni network – mentor current students
  • Pirate Career Casts – tips and advice to advance your career 



Photos from the 2015 Black Alumni Reunion

Stay Connected

The following groups have been setup to assist alumni with connecting with former classmates:

  East Carolina Alumni Association

Black Alumni Chapter
East Carolina Alumni Association
Taylor-Slaughter Alumni Center 901 East Fifth Street East Carolina University Greenville, NC 27858-4353
252-ECU-GRAD (328-4723)  800-ECU-GRAD Privacy Policy  ecualumni@ecu.edu