GREENVILLE, N.C. – Longtime Pirate Club members and community advocates Parker and Becky Overton made a significant gift to the Pirates Unite Campaign for Comprehensive Excellence, Pirate Club Executive Director Ryan Robinson announced today.
The Overton’s are well-known in Greenville, the surrounding region and state for their generosity. The investment in the Pirates Unite Campaign continues the longstanding relationship between the Pirate Club and the Overton Family. The Overton’s have supported numerous University and athletic scholarships during their 30-plus years of giving to the Pirates.
Becky Overton earned a degree in mathematics at East Carolina University and started teaching at Rose High School in Greenville at age 19. Parker Overton received the distinguished ECU Honorary Alumni Award in 2011 and the Department of Chemistry Honorary Alumni Award from ECU in 2010. He also received the honorary alumni award from the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine and still serves on the R.B. Terry Charitable Foundation Investment Committee.
“Parker and Becky Overton have been incredibly generous to ECU Athletics and the Pirate Club over several decades,” ECU Director of Athletics Jon Gilbert said. “They have always been there for the Pirates and our local community. It is always rewarding to work with a family that believes in our vision and wants a stronger athletic department and success for our student-athletes. When we initiated the campaign, we knew it would take time to achieve our goals and we are grateful for the support we have received to date.”
“Becky and I love ECU sports and are honored to continue to share our blessings with ECU Athletics and our great university,” Parker Overton said. “The student-athletes that represent the Pirates are family. So many people have stepped up for the Pirates Unite Campaign and we hope this will inspire more to push us toward our goal. We love the Pirates, and we want to be competitive with our peers, and it is going to take all of Pirate Nation to get this accomplished.”
The Overton’s were honored at the Goldsbys in 2019 with the Lifetime Achievement Award, an award selected by Pirate student-athletes. Lake Kristi, which is on the Overton’s property, serves as the home course for the East Carolina men’s and women’s cross-country teams. The course has been the home to numerous cross country meets throughout the years, including four NCAA Regionals and a pair of Conference USA Championship meets. The AAC Championship will be held at Lake Kristi in the fall of 2023.
“We are grateful for the continued support from Parker and Becky Overton,” Robinson said. “Personally, I value their friendship and marvel at the impact they have made on so many people over the years. It is difficult to list all the ways the Overton family impacts ECU Athletics and the Pirate Club on an annual basis whether it’s through investing in our student-athletes, attending our athletic sporting events or providing leadership to our department. This investment is impacting several different projects and sport programs.”
The family were the founders of Overton’s, the world’s largest catalog of watersports and boating supplies from 1975-2003. Parker received the Long Leaf Pine in 2019, the highest award for state service granted by the office of the governor. The award honors those who have gone above and beyond to strengthen and impact their communities.
Parker was a founding member and former board member of Metrics Pharmaceuticals, founding member of Select Bank & Trust Greenville and Select Bancorp, former chairman of the NC State Veterinary Foundation, member of the Advisory Board for the ECU Chemistry Department, and one of the people instrumental in securing funding for the East Carolina University School of Dental Medicine. He is past chairman of the Vidant Health Foundation Board and the Greenville Utilities Commission.
“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. Nearly $16 million has been raised in the first eight 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.