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Beth LaNier

Being an East Carolina University® student added up to much more than alumna Beth LaNier ever dreamed it would. ECU became a point of pride for LaNier '91 and integral to her identity.

It's a familiar ECU story. Becoming a Pirate was the logical decision for a bright student who lived close enough to commute and had limited means for college life. An unexpected scholarship allowed LaNier to make more of her college dreams come true and live on campus.

Being at ECU allowed her leadership opportunities, job experience and life-long friendships and provided her with a career path in uncertain times.

"Things have a way of working out," LaNier said. "Those were the best four and a half years of my life. I loved ECU once I got there."

LaNier is paying forward the generosity that made attending ECU possible for her. Through a bequest in her will, LaNier has established the Beth Page LaNier Access Scholarship Endowment in the College of Business. LaNier hopes that the scholarship will provide an ECU education and experience for future Pirates™ with academic merit and demonstrated financial need.

"Coming from my experience, I know it's difficult to pay for college. I want to be able to help someone else who might need the support to make college possible," LaNier said. "If it was not for my degree from ECU, I wouldn't be where I am today and would not be able to give back."

An Access Scholarship was important to LaNier because access to ECU meant so much to her. College was not an option for LaNier's parents, and she was the first in her immediate family to attend college. Scholarships, financial support from a relative and on-campus jobs made ECU possible for her.


LaNier moved into Tyler Hall as a freshman and lived there throughout her undergraduate years.

She got involved in residence life and served on the residence hall council during her freshman year. LaNier took a job as a resident advisor as a sophomore and became head resident as a junior. It was a job that allowed her to live on campus for the remainder of her years at ECU.

Residence life acclimated LaNier to campus. "You're missing out on your college experience not living on campus," she said. When LaNier arrived at ECU, Tyler Hall had a "beach," movies and bowling were easy entertainment in Mendenhall, and you could walk downtown to Cubbie's.

"You learn so much outside of the classroom from people of different cultures, socio-economic backgrounds and different religions. I was exposed to so much I would have missed if I had lived at home and commuted," LaNier said.

LaNier filled her schedule with accounting courses in the College of Business. With 21 hours of accounting classes complete, LaNier was sitting in her first audit class when she realized she did not want to do audits for the rest of her life. She was in her first management information systems class the same semester, and everything clicked. LaNier worked on a project team to develop software for a small bookstore. Her team won the pitch of their program in the class and had to present and compete against the winning teams from other classes.

"I really got it," she said. "I thought, this is cool. This is what I want to do."

The preparation for the real world as a software developer, hours in the computer lab and learning how to create the software all matched well with LaNier's skills. She switched majors and earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a concentration in information systems.

LaNier graduated during a recession. At graduation in December 1991, LaNier remembers looking down the row at her classmates, half accounting and half information systems. "None of us had a job. None of us even had a job prospect."

It was a sad reality, and one LaNier and her friends delayed dealing with for a few days. Like thousands of loyal Pirates in 1991, LaNier believed in ECU and followed graduation with a trip to the Peach Bowl.

"That was a graduation present to myself," she said. "I am so glad we went to the Peach Bowl. We camped out for tickets and had the whole experience."

She returned home to Blounts Creek to find two messages on her parent's answering machine from two companies who had picked up her résumé from the ECU career center.

"One of them was for a job as an auditor of public accounts for the Commonwealth of Virginia," she said. "It was kind of hard to turn down when student loans were getting ready to start, and I needed a paycheck."

The job combined her experience in accounting and information systems. It was a starting point for a 30-plus-year career in information security. Today, she serves as Senior IT Bank Examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, where she examines community and regional banks to help them have good IT controls and cybersecurity practices.

"We manage their systems to make sure they have the proper controls and policy and procedure in place through security updates," LaNier said. "We work to make sure banks have good plans so that they can continue to serve their customers and not be victims of cyber attacks."


East Carolina® was woven into LaNier's life long before she made the decision to attend the university. She attended math events at ECU with her high school math club, and her theater club attended performances on campus. Her junior high math and high school English teachers in Beaufort County were among the ECU graduates who were proponents of her attending their alma mater.


John and Nelda Lowe '70 looked out for LaNier in school and stayed connected with her through college. John Lowe worked as a statistician at ECU football and basketball games for 50 seasons.

"My freshman year, he knew I needed money and told me they were looking for people to keep stats at the football games," LaNier said. "It's amazing when you start working in the press box, keeping the stats and watching the game, you actually start learning the game. I'm now a huge football fan."

LaNier kept defensive tackle stats for four seasons. She realized at the start of her fifth fall semester at ECU she had never attended a game as a fan.

"I decided to attend as a student. That was the year we went 11-1 and went on to the Peach Bowl," LaNier said. "It was incredible. That year of football and being in the stands was the highlight of school."

LaNier never counted on being a Pirate. However, the statistics show attending ECU was the right game plan, and one LaNier fully believes in for future members of Pirate Nation.

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