Readers’ Forum: Oct. 20


Thanks BYU for treating ECU fans with respect 

I am writing to describe my experience in Provo, Utah, on Oct. 10 at the first ever meeting of BYU and ECU in football. I was born in Greenville in 1949 and attended public school there and eventually attended and graduated from ECU in 1974. Three brothers and two sisters also attended and graduated from ECU. My father, Dr. N.M. Jorgensen, was the first athletic director and chairman of the health and physical education department at ECU starting in 1947 so my family and I have a direct link and history with Greenville and ECU.

I am also familiar with and tied to the BYU community in that my family and I are members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and I attended BYU from 1972-1974 as an undergrad student. A sister and daughter also attended and graduated from BYU. My mother and three sisters live in the Salt Lake City-Provo area but I am currently living in the Dallas, Fort Worth area of Texas.

Several years ago our family learned that ECU was going to play BYU in football on Oct. 10. On game day my two brothers, who traveled from South Texas and Florida, three sisters, one sister-in-law and I were seated among the BYU booster club members in Lavell Edwards Stadium. All of us were wearing ECU sweaters and shirts so there was no denying who we were supporting.

From our earliest contact with the BYU fans, before and after the game, we were greeted and treated with courtesy and respect. We were welcomed to Provo and quizzed about ECU and Greenville and at the end of the game were wished a safe return to our homes and sympathy for ECU losing. I never witnessed or received a single incident of disrespect or criticism as an ECU fan. I talked to several other ECU supporters, who mentioned the same thing about their experience at the game. I sincerely hope that in 2017 when BYU goes to Greenville to play ECU that the BYU team and supporters will receive similar treatment from the great people of Eastern North Carolina and shown great Southern hospitality.

— Mark Jorgensen

Dallas, Texas

Pirate and Cougar fans at ECU game

When East Carolina University visited BYU for Homecoming there was more things in common between the two schools than the first football competition.

Dr. Nephi Moroni Jorgensen, the first athletic director in 1947 at East Carolina Teachers College started the football program. Athletics flourished as ECTC became ECC in the 1950’s and East Carolina University in the 1960’s. Now enrollment is reaching 27,000, third largest in North Carolina. The ECU Pirates have appeared in several bowl games, this past season playing in the Birmingham Alabama Bowl against the University of Florida Gators.

Dr. Jorgensen was the first son of Danish immigrants born in America. They came after joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Nephi grew up in southern Idaho, attended Utah State, University of Oregon, and Iowa State. He and his family settled in Greenville, NC where they raised seven children. From 1947 to 1997 there was an unbroken time when there was either a Jorgensen on the faculty or as a student. Nephi passed away in 1988 and is buried in Greenville, NC, home of the ECU Pirates.

Nephi’s descendants have attended ECU, BYU or both. Several great grandchildren are currently enrolled at BYU. Many now live along the Wasatch Front. One son played football for ECC. All six of Nephi’s surviving children attended the October match up. There is great excitement to honor this patriarch who was remembered on Homecoming Day. If you came to the game and saw a few purple and gold flags and a very small group cheering when you are not, just think of Nephi and how proud he must be that his team is playing against the BYU Cougars.

— Lynn Jorgensen

Navarre, Florida

Eva J Kendrick

South Jordan, Utah 

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