Eight-figure pledge to support EC Scholars program

Burney Warren ’70 grew up in the shadow of East Carolina University’s football stadium. The east end zone was two doors down from his house in Greenville. It was easy to predict he would become passionate about ECU.

Warren graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business and went on to become an executive vice president of BB&T, now Truist. He’s a past chairman of the ECU Foundation board and continues to serve on the executive committee during retirement. He and his wife, Judy ’69, still live in Greenville. Their son James graduated from ECU in 1996. Their son Scott attended ECU before graduating from Appalachian State University. And their granddaughter Tess is an ECU student.

“We have had a very successful and enjoyable life in Greenville and with ECU. And now we are pleased to share that success with ECU and help it grow,” Warren said.

A $1 million planned gift for the Burney and Judy Warren EC Scholars Endowment, in addition to an eight-figure, long-term estate gift, will support the EC Scholars program.

“We feel like the best way to propel the university is to have very high quality students. They lift everyone else with them. We think that program is particularly important,” Warren said.

EC Scholars is the most prestigious undergraduate award program at ECU. It includes a scholarship valued at nearly $64,000 and high-impact learning experiences for a select group of undergraduates. EC Scholars are part of the Honors College.

“These are students who, in a very positive way, change the reputation of the university,” said Todd Fraley, interim dean of the Honors College. “They’re winning prestigious awards, they’re getting grants, they’re doing amazing research, they’re going to respected graduate programs. These students touch every single aspect of the university. They come here, they have goals, and they take advantage of everything ECU has to offer.”

In the past, the Warrens have funded the Burney and Judy Warren Scholarship in Special Education, in honor of Judy’s background in the field, and the Burney and Judy Warren Access Scholarship.

“Burney and Judy Warren’s planned gifts are crucial to ECU’s future success,” said ECU Chancellor Philip Rogers. “They are loyal Pirates and truly embrace the spirit of service that is so important to our culture and mission. The EC Scholars program brings exceptional students to this university and prepares them to make a mark on the world, which wouldn’t be possible without the sustained support from generous donors.”