GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Greenville’s newest thoroughfare officially took the names of two of the city’s most influential figures in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning.
The 10th Street Connector was christened the Dr. Leo W. Jenkins Highway in honor of the former East Carolina University chancellor.
The bridge that passes over Dickinson Avenue was designated the Dr. Andrew A. Best Bridge to honor the city’s first African-American physician.
The Connector opened in April as an avenue to connect Greenville’s medical district with East Carolina University and the Uptown district.
It spans Memorial Drive to 10th Street at Evans Street.
“This 10th Street Connector project is one that has been transformational for our city, by providing an easier connection between our medical campus, our university, and the Uptown district,” Mayor P.J. Connelly said. With a project this impactful, it’s certainly appropriate that it will take the names of two men who had a significant impact on our city, Dr. Andrew Best and Dr. Leo Jenkins.”
Monday’s event was attended by representatives of the City of Greenville, ECU, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, as well as relatives of Dr. Best and Dr. Jenkins.
Dr. Best was the first African-American member of the ECU Board of Trustees and was one of the first African-American members of University of North Carolina Board of Governors.
Dr. Jenkins served as ECU president from 1960-72, and chancellor from 1972-78.
He is the namesake for the Leo W. Jenkins Cancer Center at the Brody School of Medicine.