The James R. Talton Jr. Leadership Award

James R. Talton

James Ralph Talton

The Talton Leadership Award has been created to honor the servant leadership of the late James R. Talton Jr. (’65). A servant leader is someone who serves others in his/her work through collaboration, empathy, trust and the ethical use of authority. These characteristics are applicable to roles that you have in your work at the ECU and can be applied at any level position within an organization

Criteria for the Award

The award will be given annually to honor one faculty member, staff member or administrator in recognition of his or her demonstration of outstanding servant leadership through exemplary performance in the following:

  • Exhibits the characteristic of a servant leader
  • Demonstrates continuous learning and development
  • Fosters the development of others
  • Demonstrates strong character and ethical professionalism
  • Demonstrates uncommon commitment to service in an active role as a positive change agent

The award honors the late James R. Talton Jr. who was a two-term chairman of the ECU Board of Trustees, a prominent civic leader, a former chairman of the ECU Foundation and a member of the School of Business Advisory Council. He earned the 2001 Distinguished Alumni Service Award from both the Alumni Association and Phi Kappa Phi for his dedication to the university.

His service in leadership positions includes the Association of Certified Public Accountants for North Carolina and South Carolina, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Institute for Management Accountants. He was active in Greenville and Raleigh chambers of commerce and was a guiding force for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development, the Research Triangle Regional Partnership, the North Carolina Partnership of Economic Development and the North Carolina Small Business and Technology Center. Mr. Talton was a trustee of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, and a director of WakeMed and the Triangle Chapter of the American Red Cross. He was inducted into the Order of the Longleaf Pine in 2003.

Nomination Process

Nomination packets are due to Megan Ayers, Assistant Secretary to the Board of Trustees (202 Spilman Building) by February 23, 2024. An anonymous selection committee will review each nomination carefully and select the recipient.


The recipient of this award will be recognized and honored at the University Awards for Service Reception on Monday, April 8, 2024. A list of past recipients can be found here.