Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center announces partnership with local PFLAG chapters


Pictured from left are Keith Thomson, treasurer, PLFLAG Greenville; Jeannette Debs, president, PFLAG Greenville; Albert Ervin, president, PFLAG Rocky Mount; and Mark Rasdorf, director, Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center. (ECU Photo)

GREENVILLE, N.C. — East Carolina University’s Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center has established a new PFLAG of Eastern North Carolina Scholarship through donations from PFLAG Rocky Mount and PFLAG Greenville.

The need-based scholarship of $1,000 will be awarded annually to an ECU student, and ongoing donations will support the fund to ensure its long-term viability.

PFLAG is the first and largest organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ+) people, their parents and families, and allies.

With nearly 400 chapters and 250,000 members and supporters crossing multiple generations of families in major urban centers, small cities and rural areas across America, PFLAG is committed to creating a world where diversity is celebrated and all people are respected, valued and affirmed.

“Our chapter is pleased to partner with the Peel LGBTQ Center at ECU and PFLAG Greenville to create a legacy of support,” said Albert Ervin, president of PFLAG Rocky Mount. “This scholarship honors the efforts of students working to create a more just and equitable world for the LGBTQ community.”

Jeannette Debs, president of PFLAG Greenville, said, “At PFLAG, we understand the need for meaningful support of the LGBTQ community. This scholarship is evidence of our commitment to the region.”

The application process for ECU students is open via ECUAward, and the first scholarship will be awarded for the 2022-23 academic year. Eligible students must have a permanent residence in one of 12 eligible counties in eastern North Carolina and be actively involved in on-campus activities supporting the LGBTQ community at ECU.

“It is a privilege to partner with our colleagues at the local PFLAG chapters to help facilitate this scholarship,” said Mark Rasdorf, director of the Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center. “These funds targeting students from eastern North Carolina can help ease the financial burden.”

The Dr. Jesse R. Peel LGBTQ Center at ECU was founded in 2011 as the LGBT Resource Office.  Now the largest center of its kind in the 17-campus UNC system, the Peel LGBTQ Center serves as a resource, referral, educational and social center for the entire campus.

Anyone interested in supporting the PFLAG scholarship can contact Rasdorf at rasdorfm@ecu.edu or Will Williams, director of student affairs advancement, at williamswi17@ecu.edu.

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