Donations Covering Campus
Faced with the challenge of how to protect Chowan University from the coronavirus spurred senior Ginger Jordan, alumnus Jerry Bowman ’67 and faculty member Dr. Mitch Henke to action. All three have individually used their talents to safeguard their Chowan community.
Creative writing major and Marine Corp veteran Ginger Jordan is an avid sewer. While she was stationed in Okinawa, Japan she used her skills to create baby blankets for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society. A busy mom and student, Jordan had been looking for another flexible way to volunteer her talents. The need was made clear when masks were introduced as a defense against the spread of COVID-19.
With the supplies Jordan had on hand she produced and donated 30 masks to Chowan. Jordan sites Proverbs 3:28 as her motivation, “If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, ‘Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you’.” She believes “there are always ways for individuals to make life a little easier for others. Even if you believe an act is insignificant, you’d be surprised what seemingly small things can make a huge difference for someone else.”
While Jordan was making masks, alumnus Jerry Bowman ’67 was contacting Alumni Director, Kay Thomas with ideas of how he could help. “Jerry is a passionate alumnus and wanted to use his knowledge about masks to aid his alma mater,” says Thomas. Bowman graduated from Chowan with an associate’s degree in Civil Technology from Chowan and a textile engineering degree from NC State University. With his textile background and multiple contacts, Bowman secured masks from his customers, California Webbing Mills and Apex Mills (NC).
“I was delighted when all the boxes of masks arrived, it was such a thoughtful donation,” says Thomas. Bowman was happy to make this gift to the University he says “because of my love for Chowan and deep concern for the faculty, staff, and students.”
In March, Dr. Mitch Henke, Associate Professor of Graphic Communications began making face shields to combat the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers. His earliest set of shields went to Southampton Memorial and to NC Baptist Men for Disaster relief. Now that Chowan is back in session, professors in the classroom are using Henke’s specially designed face shields.
Henke has made over 200 face shields “I have been able to make some slight improvements over the first version. FujiFilm donated a better Mylar film material for the clear shield and the corrugated frame has been tweaked to improve functionality.” Henke has enjoyed making the shields and his colleagues have been thankful to have the added layer of protection.
“We are in unprecedented times of uncertainty, but one constant throughout history, is that you can rise above challenges and show kindness in unique and special ways,” said Andy Wilson, Vice President of Advancement. “We are grateful that our Chowan family from alumni, student, and professor found an opportunity to help their school in such a personal and heartfelt way.”
The University is grateful for these donations and countless others. Should you or anyone you know wish to donate masks, PPE, hand sanitizer, or learn other ways you can support the University, please contact Lou Ann Gilliam, Director of Church and Community Relations at firstname.lastname@example.org and 252-398-6371, or the Office of Advancement at 252-398-6226.