GREENVILLE, N.C. – East Carolina University Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert and Pirate Club Executive Director Ryan Robinson announced that the Minges Family has made a Leadership Gift to the Pirates Unite Campaign for Comprehensive Excellence.
The gift was presented by Jeff Minges, President and CEO of Minges Bottling Group; Miles Minges, Vice President of Sales and Landon Minges, Vice President of Operations.
The generous investment, which will directly impact several projects in the Pirates Unite Campaign, continues the longstanding relationship between ECU Athletics and the Minges family.
The Minges family have a long and storied history of benevolence, commitment and philanthropic contributions to ECU Athletics and the Pirate Club. The Minges family, led by the late Dr. Ray Minges, are founding members of the East Carolina University Century Club (now the Pirate Club) in the 1960s and played a lead role on numerous athletic projects. Three generations of family members have served on the Pirate Club Executive Committee. Landon Minges served on the Pirate Club Executive Committee from 2016-2018 and 2020-22, and he was recently re-appointed to the committee for another three-year term.
“ECU and the athletics department are an important part of our family and business, and it is a privilege and a pleasure to show our commitment through the Pirates Unite Campaign,” said Jeff Minges. “Our family recognizes the importance of building and sustaining a strong university and athletics program and the benefits it has to our local community and region. We are fortunate to have an amazing group of young men and women who choose to become Pirates and be members of our community.”
The Minges family has supported numerous Pirate Club campaigns and capital improvement initiatives in the past including the Ficklen Stadium Renovations, Second Century Campaign, Clark-LeClair Stadium project and Step Up to the Highest-Level Campaign. The Minges family was awarded the coveted ECU Chancellors Amethyst Award in 2018, an award that recognizes overall philanthropic commitment and generosity to the university.
“We appreciate Jeff, Miles, Landon and the entire Minges family for their generosity and loyalty to ECU Athletics and the Pirate Club,” Gilbert said. “The Minges family serve as notable examples of what a monumental impact alumni and local businesses can have on our student-athletes, university, local community and surrounding region. They are tremendous partners and genuinely care about the future of ECU Athletics and our community. These projects in our current campaign will be impactful to our current and future student-athletes for years to come.”
The current Pirate student-athletes are highly aware of the Minges family contributions. Several Pirate sports programs compete in Minges Coliseum which was opened in 1968 thanks in part to the generosity of the Minges family. The headquarters of the Pirates women’s swimming and diving team is aptly named Minges Natatorium. Additionally, both men’s and women’s track and field programs practice and compete on the Minges Family Field at the Bate Foundation Track and Field Facility.
“The Minges family consistently answers the call for ECU Athletics, the Pirate Club and our great university,” Robinson said. “Jeff, Miles and Landon are also passionate about our community and are tremendous local business leaders. We appreciate them stepping up and investing in our momentum and future at this critical time. I hope this will inspire other alumni and friends of ECU Athletics to support these transformative projects as we build for the future of the Pirates.”
“Pirates Unite: The Campaign for Comprehensive Excellence,” is a bold, $60 million fundraising campaign that was initiated to create an opportunity for donors to partner and invest with ECU Athletics and the Pirate Club. More than $15 million has been raised in the first seven-plus months of the campaign. This campaign will provide critical funds, essential training spaces that will transform the experiences of our student-athletes and make an impact on all our programs’ ability to succeed.
The campaign comprises several facility projects and renovations for the athletics department. Including:
- A newly constructed swimming locker room in Minges Natatorium.
- A state-of-the-art Multipurpose Indoor Practice Facility which includes a full-length football field to be used by all sports programs.
- A Williams-Harvey Team Sports Building expansion to enhance the overall footprint for Olympic sports.
- Renovations to the lower bowl of Williams Arena at Minges Coliseum including additional premium seating options and a hospitality space.
- Expansion of the current baseball footprint including an enlarged locker room and team space with a designated area for premium seating.
- A Sport Programs Restricted Fund and Athletics Excellence Fund to emphasis sport-specific giving and designated support in areas of priority.
For more information about the campaign, please visit ecupirateclub.com or call (252) 737-4540.