Chancellor's Legacy Award Honorees 2018

Chancellor's Legacy Award Honorees 2018



Andy Hartsfield


Andy Hartsfield retired in December 2017  from Sanofi, a French-based biopharmaceutical company, where he served as Head, International Policy.  In that role, Andy was responsible for working with the US Government and industry associations to influence issues in key international markets involving intellectual property, biopharmaceutical regulation, pricing & reimbursement, and market access.  He also supported Sanofi’s CEO, Dr. Olivier Brandicourt, in his participation in several trade associations and international organizations.

Andy joined Sanofi in 2011 after serving 20 years at GlaxoSmithKline, a UK-based biopharmaceutical company, where he was vice president of Public Policy & Advocacy.  In that role, he developed the Triple Solution for a Healthier America policy agenda, which was designed to reduce overall healthcare costs and improve healthcare quality in the US by focusing on prevention, better chronic disease management, and biomedical innovation.

Also in 2017, Andy completed his second full term on the Board of Trustees for Elizabeth City State University.  His tenure on the Board saw several leadership changes, but he was proud that the Board and University staff retained a consistent focus on the goal of offering superior educational opportunities for students.

Andy earned a BA in chemistry from the University of North Carolina and a law degree from Wake Forest University School of Law.  After serving four years on active duty in the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate Generals Corps, Andy served as counsel for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Security and Terrorism, and as legislative director to Senator Jesse Helms for six years. 

Bettie Jones Parker


Bettie Jones Parker in her own words:  From my humble beginnings to my roots in Elizabeth City and the deep and abiding faith at the center of my life, I find it difficult to write a brief statement of my many important life experiences.  I have been blessed beyond all expectations.  My parents instilled in me and my siblings, early in life, that the blessings granted each of us should be embraced, acknowledged, and – most of all – built upon with hard work and determination so that we keep growing and preparing ourselves as worthy recipients of even greater rewards.  No matter where each of us starts out on the socio-economic scale, we will have the potential for prosperous and fulfilling lives if we take responsibility for our own successes.  These values have shaped my life as a wife, mother, grandmother, and public servant.

I was born in Elizabeth City, raised in Elizabeth City, educated in Elizabeth City, and like many of you, proud to be a contributing citizen in Elizabeth City.  I am a graduate of P.W. Moore High School and Elizabeth City State University.  I am a retired high school mathematics teacher and received National Board Certification in Mathematics in 2001.  For several years, I served on the Albemarle Hospital Authority Board of Commissioners, and just a few years ago, the voters of Elizabeth City - Pasquotank County voted for me to be the first African-American woman to be elected as a Pasquotank County Commissioner At-Large.

Most recently, in the October 10, 2017 municipal elections, yet again, history was made when the voters elected me as the first woman to serve as Mayor of Elizabeth City, North Carolina.  They debunked misogyny and ethnicity as a premise to electing the governing leadership of our town.  Instead, they chose unity, humility, and integrity as a basis for casting their votes -  all of the traits that I tried to convey during my campaign.  Thanks to community supporters, friends, and family, I have “broken the glass ceiling “… broken through what many would have considered an unsurmountable barrier.

Yes, I have spent my entire adult life being a public servant.  I believe in public service because it can keep us focused on doing the best we can, collectively, for improving our community for all citizens.  I plan to continue to be a good servant of my community.

I am working hard to be a successful mayor of Elizabeth City, realizing that success takes perseverance, ambition, passion, courage, heart, humor, and talent.  Moreover, I hope to prove to the people of my home town that I have what it takes to meet the challenges, overcome obstacles, and pursue excellence to fulfill this awesome endeavor.

Helen Frances Hemingway Muldrow


Helen H. Muldrow was born in Wisacky, South Carolina , 1918.  She is the daughter of the late Bishop Lawrence H. Hemingway and Catherine Dingell Hemingway. She is the middle child of seven children.  Her father was a local pastor in South Carolina moving from parish to parish before he became the Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for the South Carolina, North Carolina and Washington DC area in the 1950s. Her mother was a local elementary school teacher.

Helen was educated from elementary school to high school at Claflin College, located in Orangeburg, South Carolina. It was at Claflin that she met William J. Muldrow, her soon-to-be husband. She moved with her family to Washington, DC, where she received her bachelor’s degree (1942) and master’s degree (1944) from Howard University. During that time, she married William J. Muldrow. In 1945, as husband and wife, they moved to Alcorn State College where William accepted an appointment as the dean of the college. After a brief stay at Alcorn, William took a position in 1947 at Elizabeth City State Teachers College (ECSTC).

At ECSTC, Helen and William were a dynamic duo that loved their profession and their work with students.Helen taught biology and zoology and William taught childhood psychology during their early years. As the college grew in the 1950s and 60s, it became Elizabeth City State University and their duties and classes increased as well. An unknown fact is that Helen was the first person to commit to serving on the homecoming committee and proposing the idea of having a homecoming parade in the City of Elizabeth City. According to Helen, this idea was carried out with one old farm mule, one float, many “walking” students, and the college band sporting uniforms ordered by William. Although the parade route was only about two miles long on Southern Avenue, she delights in telling alumni that at the end of the route, the mule fell over and died.

 Between having four children from 1950 to 1959, Helen completed post-graduate work in the field of botanical ecology.  In the 1970s, she had an idea to start the first campus greenhouse, where the students could plant and cultivate their own lab seedlings. She also established an outdoor field-study laboratory. Located in the wooded area behind Bedell Hall Cafeteria, this laboratory gave many students in her class hands-on opportunities to study and record the developmental stages of a natural ecosystem.                                                                                       

Helen retired in 1984 after 30 years of faithful, creative, and passionate teaching at ECSU. At 100 years old, she remains active on committees and is often seen at various campus events, including class reunions and other alumni gatherings.

In 2014, because of their legacy of excellence in teaching and enduring support for ECSU, the university honored the Muldrow Professors with a street naming and dedication of the William and Helen Muldrow Way, located in front of the Marion D. Thorpe Administration, Building.

John Shelton Best


John Shelton Best is a graduate of Charles H Darden High School in Wilson, NC.  In 1970, he received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Elizabeth City State University.  In the furtherance of his studies, John received a Master of Arts degree from Bowie State University in Bowie, Maryland.

As a student at ECSU, John played in the concert, jazz and marching bands.  He continues to enjoy playing the saxophone as he did at ECSU. Since graduation, John has been an active supporter of his alma mater through his life membership in the ECSU National Alumni, Incorporated. He is a generous donor and is often seen at ECSU sporting events and other alumni events.

John is a retired probation official from the District of Columbia Superior Court. While employed as a probation officer, John conceived the idea of starting a sightseeing tour company highlighting African-American historical attractions.  In 1979, he founded Capitol Entertainment Services, Incorporated, a District of Columbia tour company, which became the largest bus company in the District of Columbia operating a large fleet of luxury coach buses, mini-buses, and sightseeing tour buses.

Over the years, Capitol Entertainment Services, Inc. has received numerous awards and accolades, such as the United States Chamber of Commerce’s ; The White House designation of the African American Heritage Tour and the Duke Ellington Neighborhood Tour as ; the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners’ , and the Black Meetings and Tourism Trade Publication’s .

In 2016, after 37 years of providing charter bus services, contracted bus transportation services, and sightseeing bus tours, Capitol Entertainment Services, Inc. ceased all bus operations and produced a new GPS DC tour app, titled The Washington, DC Driving/Walking Tours App.  This app uses the smart phone to play GPS coordinated DC tour site audios and videos.  The GPS tour app is now available at the App Store or Google Play.

In addition to Capitol Entertainment Services, Inc, John and his spouse, Vinnie Best, own and manage DC real estate, including commercial properties, houses and an apartment building.  Vinnie Best also serves as vice president of their tour bus company.

John and Vinnie Best have one daughter, Shelrese Best, an attorney and member of the District of Columbia Bar Association. They reside in Washington, DC and are actively involved in a variety of community projects.

Mary Albritton Douglas


Mary Albritton Douglas, a scholar-educator, who was the valedictorian of her 1948 high school class at Washington Colored High School in Beaufort County, earned her bachelor’s and a master’s degrees from Elizabeth City State University and Columbia University, respectively.  She also taught elementary and middle school for more than 30 years in Maryland and New York.

Her learning continued as a volunteer for 30 years at a New York hospital and by traveling as an adult to every continent on the globe except Antarctica.  She acknowledges that she has been a roadrunner of sorts.

“I have been places I never thought I would go, seen people I thought I would never see,” she said. She has visited Rome, Italy, twice Sydney, Australia Barcelona, Spain Nairobi, Kenya. There were trips to the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Haiti, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Panama Islands, and half the states in the United States.

As a young teacher in the New York public schools, Albritton Douglas went during the summer on excursions arranged for teachers to learn the customs and norms of other countries. Some of her leisure trips were made with her sorority sisters of Sigma Gamma Rho. She took other tours with fellow church members.

After their children graduated from college and her husband of nearly 30 years died, Albritton Douglas volunteered for 30 years as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) at a Bronx hospital.  In that role, she accumulated an impressive record of helping others.

Albritton Douglas has also been a dedicated scholarship donor for Elizabeth City State University since 2001.  She now stands among the top donors to the university.  Resultantly, the theatre inside the Walter N. and Henrietta B. Ridley Student Complex was named in her honor in 2009.  Additionally, she was the Grand Marshal of the 2009 Homecoming parade.  On May 14, 2016, the university presented Albritton Douglas with an honorary doctorate of public service.

Dr. Paul Andrew Norman


Dr. Paul Andrew Norman is the son of Elder Elmer and Rusha Norman.  He is a native of Roper, North Carolina and presently resides in Raleigh, NC.  He is a 1977 graduate of Creswell High School in Creswell, NC.  He pursued his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration at ECSU graduating in 1981.  He earned his Master of Arts degree in Counseling (Student Personnel) from NCCU, and his Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education from NCSU.

For more than 35 years, Dr. Norman has been able to enjoy a challenging career in human services and in higher education.  He has incorporated his educational, administrative, and leadership skills into a variety of positions including VISTA Volunteer, Volunteer Coordinator, Social Worker, Counselor, Dean of Student Development, and Dean of Students.  Paul continues to enjoy his career after a brief retirement from Wake Technical Community College and considers it a blessing to be in a position to advocate and assist others while employed at Saint Augustine’s University as Dean of Men/Director of First Year Experience.  He considers his life’s mission to give back and understands fully “To whom much is given, much is required.”

A faithful community leader, Dr. Norman has served his community well.  He was recently appointed to serve on the North Carolina Human Relations Commission appointed by Governor Roy Cooper.  He had the privilege of serving on the Wake County Human Services, Environmental Services Board appointed by Wake County Commissioners for six years during which he chaired the Social Services Committee.  Additional leadership roles in the community include:  Past President of Phi Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.; Past Vice-President of African America Cultural Festival of Wake County; Volunteer Consultant for the Adult Role Model Program.

Dr. Norman is a true and dedicated supporter of his alma mater.  He has served in various leadership capacities in the ECSU National Alumni Association, including serving as the national president for four years and Mr. Alumni for ECSU (2009).  He has served on the ECSU Board of Visitors and the ECSU Foundation Board.  The UNC Board of Governors appointed him to serve as a member of the Board of Trustees at ECSU.  In this role, he had the privileged serving as Vice Chairperson and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for a number of years.

Dr. Norman is no stranger as a recipient of many honors and awards.  He has been recognized by various educational, fraternal, civics, and religious bodies for his noteworthy accomplishments.  Various groups and organizations have recognized Dr. Norman, including: Recipient of A.M. “Gus” Witherspoon Leadership Award given by the Southern Region Association of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. (2015);  Recipient of the Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Education Award (2009); Raleigh Wake Chapter of the National Pan-Hellenic Council Community Recognition Award for achievement in Education (2006); Wake Technical Community College Student Services Employee of the Year (2005); Graduate of Future Presidents Institute sponsored by the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill Center for School Leadership (2002);  NAFEO Leadership Award given by the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, Washington D.C. (1996).

A man of great faith who is very active in church circles, he is a deacon at Howell Chapel Church of Christ in Selma, NC, where he is also the Superintendent of Sunday School.  Dr. Norman is married to the former Patricia Bond, a native of Windsor, NC.

Dr. Ronald H. Blackmon


Dr. Ronald H. Blackmon graduated with a B.S. degree in Biology from Delaware State University in Dover, DE.  He earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. with specialization in Cell Biology from Howard University in Washington, DC. He completed post-doctoral studies in biochemistry and molecular biology at the USDA Research Labs in Gainesville, FL.

During his tenure of almost 30 years at Elizabeth City State University, Dr. Blackmon has held several positions, including Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (2005–2008).  His duties and responsibilities as provost included directing academic, personnel, and budgetary functions for the division comprised of 153 full-time faculty members, 60 staff members, and over 50 adjuncts who delivered services to 3,400+ students through four schools--Arts & Humanities, Business & Economics, Education & Psychology, and Mathematics, Science & Technology.  During this period, he also served as the first chairman of the Board of Directors of Port Discover:  Northeastern North Carolina’s Hands-on Science Center, Inc.

His other duties as provost included supervision of the Division of General Studies; Summer School; the Pharmacy Program; the University Honors Program; the G.R. Little Library; two interdisciplinary research centers (Center for Remote Sensing Education and Research (CERSER) and the Computational Science & Scientific Visualization Center).  The Office of Sponsored Programs, Contracts & Grants [OSPGC]; Small Business & Technology Development Center [SBTDC]; Center for Teaching Excellence; Virtual College; Division of Distance Education, and several related programs also reported to him.

Prior to assuming the role of provost, Dr. Blackmon served as dean of the School of Mathematics, Science & Technology and chairman of the Department of Biology.  Currently in phased retirement, he continues to serve ECSU as a senior research professor and graduate faculty member in the H.G. Cooke Department of Natural Sciences, Pharmacy and Health Professions.

For excellence in teaching and research, Dr. Blackmon has received many honors, fellowships, and awards. He is a highly respected scholar in his discipline and is widely published with more than 25 peer-reviewed publications and presentations to his credit. His extramural funding during his tenure at ECSU exceeds $4 million. He has directed 48 undergraduate student research projects including eight senior honors theses and seven master’s theses.  He is most proud of his students who have pursued successful careers as physicians, dentists, pharmacists, research scientists, public and charter school teachers, college professors and administrators at community colleges and other higher education institutions.

Dr. Blackmon is married to Dr. Velma Brown Blackmon, retired director of the ECSU Honors Program.

Susie Sharpless Hodges


Susie Sharpless Hodges resides in Littleton, North Carolina.  She received her high school diploma from Charity High School in Rose Hill, NC, in 1961.   Coming from a long lineage of ECSU graduates, Susie followed four sisters (Navassa S. Brown ’40, Carrie S. Newkirk '44, Wilhelmenia S. Chandler '48, and Marie S. Carrington '57) to Elizabeth City State Teachers College, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1965.  Susie's niece, Amanda Brown, continued the family legacy when she graduated with honors from ECSU in 2011.

As Susie advanced her career, she completed her graduate studies at The George Washington University, Washington, DC, where she earned a master’s degree in Education and Human Development in 1983. She did post graduate studies at Trinity College in Washington, DC and Sterling Institute in McLean, VA.

Susie is a retired educator who enjoyed a successful career that spanned 45 years.  During her tenure, she served as an elementary school teacher in several school districts, including the Charles County Public Schools (MD), District of Columbia Public Schools, and York County Public Schools (VA).   For her exemplary teaching and dedicated community services, Susie received numerous awards and special recognition, including Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers; 2004/1997 Charles County Teacher of the Year; 1997 Southern Maryland’s Outstanding Mathematics Teacher, and1996 Soror of the Year from Nu Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.  Susie also received noteworthy recognition from the Maryland State Department of Education for her students’ high performance on local, state, and national competency tests.

In addition to her superb record as an elementary school teacher, Susie is noted for her fundraising ability. She provides passionate support for Elizabeth City State University, and works diligently to provide funds for ECSU students and the ECSU athletics program.   Along the away, she also served as a supervisor of ECSU student teachers completing their practicums in Halifax and Warren counties (NC).

Susie is a life member of the ECSU National Alumni Incorporated, and she is actively involved with the J. T. Doles Alumni Chapter in Halifax County, NC   She has served on the ECSU NAA Board of Directors and the ECSU Foundation, Incorporated, where she has been a leader in giving back to the university.  Currently, she is a member of the Viking Varsity Club (VVC) Board of Directors.  In this role, she gives generously to athletics, generally, and to the Benny O. Hodges (’67) Endowed Scholarship Fund, specifically, the latter of which was established in memory of her late husband, an ECSU Football Hall of Famer and avid fan of “everything” ECSU.

Susie is also member of St. Matthew AME Church where she serves as a trustee and stewardess. She is a life member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated; member of the Littleton Civic Association; the Roanoke Valley HBCU Collaborative Association; the Tri-City Chapter of Chums, Incorporated, and the Auxiliary Unit of the American Legion.

She is the proud mother of one son, Gerald Hodges; daughter-in-law, Annjellic; and grandmother to Jannelle, a student currently enrolled at ECSU.  Susie likes to travel and spend with time with family and friends.

Lt. Col. Tyron Wallace Eason


Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Tyron Wallace Eason is the son of Wallace H. and Shirley Lightfoot Eason.  He is a native of Jamaica, NY.  LTC Eason is a 1982 graduate of Perquimans County High School and a distinguished military graduate receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Geology with a minor in Leadership and Management from Elizabeth City State University (1986). He earned a master's degree in Human Resource Management from Troy State University. His military education includes the United States Army Command and General Staff College and the Armed Forces Management School. 

During his 21-year military career, LTC Eason served in various command and staff positions.  His duty locations include: Shaw Air Force Base, SC; Wiesbaden, Germany; Taegu and Tong Du Chon, South Korea; Washington, DC (Howard University) and Fort Bragg, NC.  Additionally, LTC Eason deployed to Iraq and several other Middle Eastern countries in support of contingency and combat operations.  His extensive travel allowed him to continue his passion for community service.  Even while deployed to Iraq, he found time to visit Iraqi children in the hospital and to mentor hundreds of junior officers, which included establishing a Bridge Builder program to ensure his mentees would continue paving the path for future minority officers.

Viking Eason is a charter member and former chapter president of the Cynthia M Clayton Military Alumni Chapter; charter member and elected officer of the Viking Varsity Club; former member and chair of the NAA Board of Directors. He also served as the ECSU alumni director with the NAA Scholarship Endowment and License Plate initiatives as his major accomplishments.  He currently supports ECSU in many ways, including the Tyron W. Eason Athletic Scholarship Endowment (Football).


LTC Eason's logistics, training, and operational assignments have earned him numerous awards and decorations. His military awards include: two Bronze Star Medals awarded by the United States Air Force (Operation Iraqi Freedom I) and United States Army (Operation Iraqi Freedom III); Meritorious Service Medal (four awards); Joint Service Commendation Medal; Army Commendation Medal (seven awards); Air Force Commendation Medal; Army Achievement Medal (two awards), and the Iraqi Campaign Medal.  In addition, he earned the United States and Australian Armies Parachutist badges.  Tyron’s non-military honors include the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Superior Service Award, Lambda Xi Chapter, Seoul, Korea and the Tau Gamma Gamma Chapter, Fort Bragg, NC); Omega Man of the Year 2003 and 2007, Delta Iota Chapter, Elizabeth City, NC; Colonel Charles Young Military Leadership Award 2005 Sixth District (NC and SC) and 2007 Third District (Virginia and the District of Columbia), and the 2012 Founders Award, Eta Beta Beta Chapter, Lexington, NC.   

Currently, LTC Eason serves as the Senior Army Instructor at Rocky River High School, Mint Hill, NC, where his program continues annually to lead all CMS Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) programs in community service hours. For these efforts and program achievements, he received the Principal’s Award (2014-2015); the Teacher of the Year Award (2015-2016), and the American Legion Department of North Carolina JROTC Officer Instructor of the Year Award (2017).

LTC Eason is a life member of the following organizations: ECSU National Alumni Association Jnc.; Military Officers of America Association, Transportation Regimental Association, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.  Additionally, he is a member of the American Legion Post 400 and Saint Paul Baptist Church in Charlotte, NC.

He is married to the former Joycelyn J Powe, Esquire, a native of Spartanburg, South Carolina. His legacy continues with sons, Tyron W. II (ECSU 2007), Katori J., Isaac E. and daughter, Madeleine M.