ECU Medical and Health Sciences Foundation, College of Nursing


The legacy of passion and service that nursing alumni have passed to current students is celebrated through the College of Nursing’s Legacy Launch.

Begun in 2020 as part of the College of Nursing’s 60th anniversary, the initiative through the ECU Medical and Health Sciences Foundation Inc. aims to raise funds for scholarships and, at every graduation beginning in December 2020, effectively “launch” new College of Nursing graduates into the profession with customized Pirate Nurse personal protective equipment.

Student scholarships remain a priority for the College of Nursing; 40% of nursing students come from the most impoverished counties in the state. Additionally, 50% of nursing students qualify for FAFSA. There are more than 1,400 nursing students registered for fall 2021.

The College of Nursing Legacy Launch effectively “launches” new College of Nursing graduates into the profession with customized Pirate Nurse personal protective equipment. (Contributed photo by Jeremy Smith.)

In 2020, over 82% of new nursing alumni stayed in the state, with over 40% serving eastern North Carolina and nearly 35% working in one of the state’s 40 most distressed counties. To visibly connect new Pirate Nurses to their legacy, each graduate will receive a branded face mask, making them instantly recognizable wherever they serve.

Construction contracting company T.A. Loving Company gave a $10,000 gift to the College of Nursing’s initial Legacy Launch program for nursing scholarships in fall of 2020, securing its success during the college’s 60th anniversary. On behalf of his company, T.A. Loving CEO Sam Hunter has pledged the same gift for the fall of 2021 because he believes that health care must be accessible, high quality and affordable. He knows the ECU College of Nursing delivers on each of those values.

Hunter’s interest in health care comes from a personal, business and civic-minded perspective. Originally from Virginia, just like Taylor Abbit Loving who founded T..A Loving in 1925, Hunter has been successfully contracting health care facilities among others for over 50 years out of the Goldsboro headquarters. Upon arriving in Goldsboro, he quickly learned that ECU was the “economic motor for Eastern North Carolina,” he said.

As CEO of TA Loving, Sam cares about the health care of the company’s more than 300-strong workforce as well. He has served on the Wayne County Hospital Board and worked closely with Wayne Community College. He was pleased to learn about the Regionally Increasing Baccalaureate Nurses (RIBN) program partnership between ECU College of Nursing and Wayne Community College. ECU also partners with 10 other community colleges in eastern North Carolina as part of the RIBN program.

When Hunter initially read about the Legacy Launch scholarship program in The Scope last fall, he wanted more information. Given his interest in health care, he saw how impactful his gift for these scholarships would be and hopes that others will support Legacy Launch as well.

You can support extraordinary future Pirate Nurses with your gift today. Your gift to Legacy Launch supports future Pirate Nurses while honoring our newest members. Whether you are an alumna/alumnus or a friend who values great nurses, you are improving health care delivery in our region and beyond.


Read “In Scope” August edition here:


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