VIEWS FROM THE REALM OF
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
By Danny Whitford
Publisher & Editor
Don't take the 'chip'
All rights reserved.
Robert Morgan passed away on July 16, 2016, at age
90. This article, which reflects on the pivotal role he
played in shaping ECU's history, was originally published on this site on
July 31, 2007.
INSIDE GLIMPSE AT
|East Carolina alumnus Robert
Morgan, pictured in his days as a member of the U.S.
Senate, is the focus
an article by Al Myatt in the 2007 edition of
Bonesville The Magazine.
During his tenures on the East Carolina Board of
Trustees and in the N.C. legislature, Morgan bucked
the establishment and shaped his alma mater's future
in significantly positive ways that still
Did you ever wonder about
the genuine origin of that collective chip on the shoulder that is
associated with East Carolina partisans?
those of us who matriculated at ECU in the 'sixties and 'seventies, there
are many who misguidedly think of the chip's history in relation to athletics.
Some assume it was
spawned on the football field, that it sprang out of the grass and the
stands of Carter-Finley Stadium and Kenan Stadium in the era when N.C. State
and UNC-Chapel Hill used the always-outmanned Pirates and their caravan of free-spending fans as lucrative schedule fodder while ridiculing
the mere suggestion of paying reciprocal visits to Greenville.
Others are under the
impression the chip didn't really fester until the Bucs finally became
competitive with their western brethren, followed by rationalized
pronouncements — first from Chapel Hill, then from Raleigh — that their
series with ECU would end.
Outsiders are puzzled by
the chip. Some get downright condescending about the chip. Vociferous
segments of the Wolfpack and Tar Heel constituencies are particularly
disdainful toward the chip.
Many ECU students and
younger graduates have inherited a watered-down version of the
chip without grasping from whence it came.
How soon the old ones
How little the young ones
They can be educated by
reading the 2007 edition of
Bonesville The Magazine, which is on its way to
the mail boxes of Pirate Club members, is
available for order online and
is on sale at selected retail outlets.
They will learn that the
chip traces back to events much more profound than those that took place in
a sports venue.
an extensive and
unambiguously candid interview with Bonesville's Al Myatt, venerated East
Carolina alum and longtime political mover and shaker Robert Morgan decided
it was time to go on the record — never-before-reported details included — about the
partisan conflict that began almost 50 years ago with a skirmish over then
East Carolina College's proposed School of Nursing and escalated in
subsequent years into epic political warfare over ECC's bids for a medical school
and university status.
pitted advocates of East Carolina and the rural eastern part of the state
against the entrenched, "cosmopolitan" interests associated with what is known
today as UNC-Chapel Hill but was then simply called the University of North
The fighting was of the
bare knuckles variety and sucker punches were part of the spectacle.
Sucker punches, as one
knows, can arouse intense anguish on the part of the recipient.
And give birth to a chip.
In addition to recording
for posterity Morgan's first-hand account of some of the most pivotal moments
in East Carolina's history, Myatt's article documents the life
and times of a modest man of great impact, one whose footsteps echoed in the aisles of the
Assembly and in the halls of the U.S. Capitol.
Most importantly, the
documents the heretofore underappreciated role Morgan played in
shaping the future of his alma mater.
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07/17/2016 03:25:32 PM