Published 8:35 pm Thursday, January 8, 2009
North Carolina, especially eastern North Carolina, has lost a newspaper publisher whose family has a long and storied history in Greenville and eastern North Carolina.
D. Jordan “Jordy” Whichard has retired as publisher of The Daily Reflector of Greenville and as group publisher of Cox North Carolina Publications Inc. The Daily Reflector announced Whichard’s immediate retirement in its Tuesday edition. Whichard spent 23 years with the company.
Whichard, his family and The Daily Reflector have a long relationship with the Washington Daily News, Brownie Futrell, president and publisher of the Daily News, and the Futrell family. That relationship has benefited both families and newspapers. Whichard, while at The Daily Reflector, continued his family’s commitment to quality community journalism.
The Daily Reflector, originally named The Eastern Reflector, was started by brothers David Jordan Whichard and Julian Whichard in 1882 with equipment they purchased from another newspaper they had worked for, The Greenville Express. In 1894, their newspaper became a daily publication known as The Reflector. The newspaper joined the Cox Newspapers Inc. family in 1996.
Whichard’s family has long been a supporter of East Carolina University and its programs and schools such as the Brody School of Medicine. To be sure, the Whichard family used The Daily Reflector to indicate that support. But true to the family’s journalistic standards, the Whichards used The Daily Reflector to criticize the university when there was a need to do so or urge it to act when there was the need to do so.
The Whichard family, to honor David Julian “Big Dave” Whichard and his wife, Virginia Suther Whichard, established a distinguished professorship in the humanities in the fall of 1991. The name of David Julian Whichard is noticeable at East Carolina University, with an administrative building at the main entrance to the ECU campus named after him in 1962. The Daily Reflector has supported a scholarship program at ECU since 1952. It provides four full tuition scholarships each year for Pitt County high-school graduates.
The Whichards, each generation, made sure the newspaper continued its long history of service to the community. The fourth-generation Whichard was no different.
During “Jordy” Whichard’s time at the helm of the newspaper, it underwent major changes that included a major renovation of its building and implementation of computerized operations.
Whichard understood the legacy his family and the newspaper cultivated in Pitt County and beyond. Being a family owned newspaper also, the Washington Daily News can appreciate the hard work and commitment displayed by Whichard and his predecessors at The Daily Reflector. The fourth-generation Whichard has done his family and North Carolina proud.
Eastern North Carolina will be better off if D. Jordan “Jordy” Whichard remains at home and continues his family’s effort to make eastern North Carolina a better place to live. There are plenty of opportunities to do so.
Don’t leave, Jordy. You’ve still got work to do in eastern North Carolina. You can add even more to the Whichard family’s legacy.
It’s a legacy that’s nurtured growth and progress for more than 100 years. It’s a legacy that must continue.
After all, when it comes to eastern North Carolina, you are family.