ECU to honor Golden LEAF’s investment in their Eastern Region Pharma Center

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – East Carolina University has scheduled a ceremony to name the first floor of the Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building in recognition of the Golden LEAF Foundation at 4 p.m. Monday in the new building’s lobby.

The naming honors Golden LEAF’s recent investment of $1.9 million in the Eastern Region Pharma Center that operates out of the building, as well as more than $9 million in support of ECU’s efforts to increase economic opportunity in eastern North Carolina.

Chancellor Philip Rogers is scheduled to attend the event, along with other officials and dignitaries from ECU, the Golden LEAF Foundation, BioPharma Crescent industries and community college partners.

The Eastern Region Pharma Center (ERPC) is designed to teach students and current pharmaceutical employees advanced manufacturing techniques and address a need for pharmaceutical workers with four-year college degrees in an area known as the BioPharma Crescent in eastern North Carolina.

Pitt, Johnston, Wilson, Nash and Edgecombe community colleges are also part of the five-year project, which will draw on input from 15 major pharmaceutical companies in the region to align efforts in support of this sector.

The Golden LEAF Foundation is a nonprofit organization established in 1999 to receive a portion of North Carolina’s funding received from the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement with cigarette manufacturers.

For more than 20 years, Golden LEAF has worked to increase economic opportunity in North Carolina’s rural and tobacco-dependent communities through leadership in grantmaking, collaboration, innovation and stewardship as an independent and perpetual foundation.

ECU’s Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building — funded through the $2 billion Connect NC Bond Referendum approved by voters in 2016 — opened in November 2021.

The four-story, $90 million structure serves as an interdisciplinary research space for faculty and students in biotechnology, bioprocess engineering, biophysics, environmental engineering, biofuels, plant biology, imaging and sensor development, and environmental biology.

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