Honoring Service | Eastern North Carolina Now | Distinguished Military Service Society set to honor its 2022 inductees

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    Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of ECU News Services. The author of this post is Hannah Eccleston.


A pair of East Carolina University alumni will be inducted into the Distinguished Military Service Society in November. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

    East Carolina University alumni Thomas Arthur and Paul Singleton will be inducted to the Distinguished Military Service Society (DMSS) in November.

    The ECU Alumni Association recognizes alumni and friends for their service to the military through the DMSS. Recipients are honored each year at a dinner and ceremony.

    Arthur and Singleton will join 73 other society members who have been inducted since the organization was created in 2008.

    According to the DMSS website, "while most inductees are ECU alumni and most did serve on active duty, the society wanted to have the latitude to honor people who have done great things for this university and the nation's security regardless of attending ECU or serving active duty."

    ECU offers many resources to support veterans and service members. The ECU Military & Veterans Resource Center and VetSuccess on Campus host programs to get veterans involved and comfortable on campus.

    2022-23 inductees

    Thomas D. Arthur of Tampa, Florida graduated from ECU in 1971 with his Master of Business Administration after serving in the Army from 1966-69.

    He continues to support ECU and the College of Business (COB) graduate program. In 2021, Arthur donated $5 million to the COB to strengthen students' education and to support military personnel attending the graduate school. Arthur also made a $1 million gift in 2010 that established the Thomas D. Arthur Distinguished Professorship in Leadership.

    During his time in the Army, Arthur served as an infantry officer in Vietnam. He received several awards including the Combat Infantryman Badge and Silver Star, among others. After completing his MBA, Arthur joined an investment banking firm in Florida, eventually becoming vice president. He then moved to the Havatampa Corporation in Tampa where he formed a group that bought a cigar manufacturing business. It grew into the second largest cigar manufacturing company in the United States.

    Arthur serves as an emeritus board member for the Truist Center for Leadership Development. He served on the Special Operations Warrior Foundation board since 2005.

    Paul L. Singleton of Fort Walton Beach, Florida, has helped countless students with his generosity. He graduated from ECU in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in science education and again in 1961 with a master's in science education.

    Through his gift of $400,000 to ECU in 2021, the Paul Singleton Military Academic Success Fund was established. This fund provides support to not only veterans, but also to reservists and dependents of disabled veterans who do not receive federal funding for textbooks. This is one of the largest gifts ever for student veterans at ECU.

    While at ECU, Singleton was president of the Circle K, the Science Club and the International Relations Club. He served as Air Force ROTC cadet commander and was a 1961 distinguished military graduate from AFROTC.

    Singleton served in the Air Force reserves from 1954-56 and was an active-duty Air Force officer from 1958-84. During this time, he served on numerous special operations missions as well as a tour in Vietnam and Grenada. He received many awards for his service including the Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Meritorious Service Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Air Medal with two Silver and one Oak Leaf Clusters.

    The DMSS dinner and ceremony will take place on Nov. 18 at 6 p.m. at the Greenville Hilton. For more information and to register, visit the DMSS 22 event page.
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