Write Again … ‘Praise to Your Name So Fair’

Published 1:21 am Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Don’t attempt to build yourself up by tearing others down. We’ve all heard this, haven’t we?


This is what I’d say to my fellow ECU alums and all those who love and support our school. Don’t do this in expressing negative views about UNC-Chapel Hill. It diminishes those who do this in the eyes of UNC folks, both alumni and even those who don’t know one thing about the school other than basketball and football.


In a splendid center piece featured in the East Carolina winter edition 2011 of its alumni magazine, titled “Are We There Yet?”, we read how “ECU climbed from a teachers’ college to major university and medical center by always reaching for the next level.”


In the interesting, well-written and researched article, it was gratifying to find that the late Dr. William Friday, who presided over the UNC system for 30 years — and it’s fair to say was certainly not favorably disposed to East Carolina’s audacious ambitions — said that “It (ECU) works hard at teaching and research and public service and when you do those things well, you develop a reputation that’s gold.”


He further said, “It’s one of the really great stories of growth, but not just growth for growth’s sake; there’s quality in programs and initiatives and service.”


He went on to say, “You have in universities the teaching and research. But the best institutions add a third element, the element of public service. I don’t know any place with a more devoted and creative spirit than East Carolina.”


Thanks, Doc. Better late than …


Says Michael Ado, Class of ’02 “who is now an analyst for the federal government covering United Nations Peace-keeping efforts worldwide,” and who regards the chip-on-the-shoulder attitude as an anachronism. “Most of it is self-initiated group-think: Let’s share this view with each other. All of it, at least, for my contemporaries, is unnecessary. The chip on the shoulder is misplaced.


Amen. Do you hear this, Carolina bashers? Let’s just be proud of who we are; of what our school has become. Let’s keep on the high road.


Let us sing with pride, “Praise to your name so fair, Dear old East Carolina …”


Note: All quoted material and some other information come directly from the source cited near the beginning of this column. That this be clearly understood is important to this writer.