Graduating from ECU a family affair for the Dellingers

Art and ECU make up a good portion of the family of Adrienne Dellinger ’94. If you include her, her husband, Greg Scott ’91, her parents, her siblings and their spouses, seven of them graduated from ECU – four with fine arts degrees.

“I think we all ended up at ECU because of the great art program that they have,” Dellinger said. “They have the best fine art program in the state.”

Their degrees are paying off. Adrienne is executive director of Clayworks in Charlotte, which is touted as the fourth-largest nonprofit pottery teaching facility in the United States. Greg is a senior instructor at Clayworks and is an arts coordinator and arts director for the Cornwell Center in Charlotte.

Steve Dellinger ’18 looks on as his daughter Adrienne Dellinger ’94 prepares a ceramic piece for the kiln.

“I haven’t done a job outside of the arts since I graduated from school,” he said.

Courtney Dellinger and their father, Steve, own Carolina Architectural Precast in Charlotte. Courtney creates custom concrete columns, railings, fireplace surroundings and more.

“He’s a sculptor. He’s really talented for sure,” said his father.

Steve attributes the artistic abilities of his children to his grandmother, who was an oil painter. Although Steve’s degree isn’t in art, he is an accomplished painter in his own right.

“I never thought that I had any art skills at all until I was much, much older. I started in water colors,” Steve said.

Adrienne’s mother, Eloise Hicks, graduated from ECU in 1968 with a degree in chemistry. Courtney’s wife, Katherine, earned her bachelor of fine arts degree in 2000. Their sister-in-law, Caroline Dellinger ’02, received her degree in business administration.

“It’s unusual, I think, to have that many people in the family that went to school there,” Steve Dellinger said. “They’re all dedicated Pirates, that’s for sure.”

The newest ECU graduate of them all is 72-year-old Steve. He graduated in December with a university studies degree – 50 years after he was originally a senior at ECU. His wife at the time, Eloise, was pregnant with their son, Sheldon, and was offered a job in Charlotte. Steve left school to help support his family.

“It’s just a matter of will – if you’re willing to put forth the effort, you can do it.” Steve said. “I wanted to finish at East Carolina.”

The number of Dellinger Pirates could rise. Adrienne and Greg have two children, Grace and Quinn Scott. Greg said both have inherited artistic ability, but Grace might be the one to potentially pursue a career in it. She is in high school now and Adrienne said she’s keeping her fingers crossed Grace will be the eighth member of their family to rep the purple and gold.

“Going to East Carolina for fine arts – from there you can get anywhere,” Greg said.

The Fine Art Family
Graduation: 50 Years Later