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Pirate Club sets up endowment in mayor’s honor

GREENVILLE — The East Carolina University Pirate Club is taking donations to set up an endowment in honor of the late Washington Mayor Mac Hodges, which will benefit ECU student athletes for generations to come.

“This is just the perfect way to honor the Bear, because he loved Pirate football, basketball and baseball, and people loved seeing Bear at these different events,” said Matt Maloney, ECU Pirate Club assisting athletics director of major gifts. “It’s a way to honor Bear with a picture on our endowment wall and a gift that will always be given in his honor. It seems so appropriate.”

Once established, the $30,000 Mac Hodges Endowment will provide a $1,400 scholarship each year for an ECU student athlete. His picture will also be featured on the endowment wall inside the Murphy Center, alongside others whose legacies have built an endowment of more than $18 million.

“It was the family’s decision that they wanted to honor Mac in this way, and we are just a conduit to receive those funds,” said Pirate Club Associate Executive Director Mark Hessert. “An endowment, conceptually, is a way to give funds forever and ever. As long as ECU is playing intercollegiate athletics, this endowment fund will generate revenues that are dedicated to scholarships.”

For years, Hodges served as president of the Beaufort County Pirate Club, earning multiple awards for the chapter through his dedication to the program. A season ticket holder for ECU football, basketball and baseball, he was a constant presence at those events, always bringing new and old fans alike in his purple and gold ECU van.

“The classic time was when we were down in Myrtle Beach playing Coastal Carolina. He pulled up to a Pirate-owned restaurant, Bummz, there in Myrtle Beach and some people though it was a taxi cab,” Maloney laughed. “It’s classic, just iconic. It’s one of many things to remember the Bear by.”

So far, Hessert says there has been considerable interest in donating to the endowment. Those wishing to contribute can make checks out to the ECU Educational Foundation, with “Mac Hodges Endowment” in the memo line. Donations can be mailed to ECU Educational Foundation, 304 Ward Sports Medicine Building, Greenville, NC 27858. To contribute by credit card, call Maloney at 252-375-5222 or Hessert at 252-375-5226.