Dr. Lessie Louise Bass, 62, died Jan. 18, weeks after receiving the 2008 Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Public Service (above). Dr. Bass joined the ECU College of Human Ecology School of Social Work faculty in 1993. She also taught at the University of Maryland, Fayetteville State University and Barton College. She also was Executive Director of the Lucille W. Gorham Intergenerational Community Center of West Greenville. She was a founding member of the Wilson, Omicron lota Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and a life member of Norwayne Alumni.
The Green Grass Cloggers, founded at ECU in 1971, received the 2008 Mountain Heritage Award at the 34th annual Mountain Heritage Day at Western Carolina University. In the years since the group was started by Dudley Culp ’71 and Toni Jordan Williams ’77, helped by recreation professor Ralph Steele and geology professor Stan Riggs, a third of its nearly 160 members have been ECU graduates or faculty. Green Grass Cloggers now has a team based in Asheville, and a Home Team based in Greenville that performs regionally. The two teams perform together at least once a year. A 40th anniversary reunion of all former and current members is being planned for 2011 in Greenville.
YEARS AGO President Messick’s last year The rigors of leading a college undergoing constant growth and change begins wearing on President John Messick. In his 12 years at the helm, the student body triples in size to 4,000, 11 new buildings are constructed and 13 others on campus are enlarged or remodeled. In early 1959 he tells friends, “I’m just getting tired of the pressures involved, mostly the pressure of obtaining sufficient funds to operate a college like ours.” He announces his resignation in October. Leo Jenkins, Messick’s longtime right-hand man, is named to lead the college.
Computerized registration begins As student complaints soar over long lines at registration and drop-add, East Carolina buys 50 IBM computers in the spring of 1984 and becomes the first college in the state to move toward a computerized, decentralized system of registering students for classes. The system requires students to go to their advisors’ offices and make out class schedules. The schedules are then given to computer operators who feed the data into the campus mainframe. Observers are awed that the mainframe is able to crunch the data and confirm the requested classes “within minutes.” After a year of testing, the system is first used in March 1985. Images courtesy University Archives
Published on May 8, 2009