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Higher Education Champion to Speak at ECC Graduation

MC Belk Pilon, president and board chair of the John M. Belk Endowment, will give the keynote address during graduation exercises at Edgecombe Community College on Friday, May 10.

MC Belk Pilon, president and board chair of the John M. Belk Endowment, will give the keynote address during Commencement at Edgecombe Community College on Friday, May 10.

Commencement will begin at 4 p.m. in Keihin Auditorium in the Fleming Building on the Tarboro campus.

Pilon and her team are committed to increasing access to and completion of postsecondary education in order to give all North Carolinians the chance at long-term, family-sustaining careers. Guided by the vision she shared with her father, the late John Belk, Pilon leads the Belk Endowment on its mission to create a stronger North Carolina.

In January 2023, ECC partnered with the Belk Endowment on the NC Reconnect initiative that unites community colleges with partners from across the state to reengage adult learners. At the heart of NC Reconnect are the 380,000 North Carolinians ages 25-44 who have some college credits but no degree. A targeted marketing campaign and outreach efforts resulted in more than a hundred of these local adult learners reenrolling at ECC for the Fall 2023 semester. The NC Reconnect campaign is ongoing.

Like her father, Pilon serves her community in many ways. She has participated on several boards that champion education access and success for all children, including Good Friends, Greater Enrichment, the Fletcher School, and The Charlotte Country Day School Board of Trustees. She is currently chair of The John M. Belk Scholarship Advisory Board at Davidson College and active on the boards of myFutureNC, Inc., The Belk Foundation, College Advising Corps., New Republic Partners, The Winer Family Foundation Advisory Board, and The Belk Center Advisory Board.

Pilon was the winner of the 2020 I.E. Ready Award, the highest honor bestowed by the State Board of Community Colleges. She also was awarded the 2016 Roanoke College Medal, the highest honor for an alumnus to receive, and the 2015 Central Piedmont Community College Distinguished Service Award.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology and communications from Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, where she also worked as assistant alumni director after graduation. After returning to her hometown, Pilon spent twelve years in retail management for Belk and five years with The Belk Foundation, a family foundation that focuses on improving early childhood education, teaching, and leadership in public schools.

For more information on ECC’s Commencement, please call (252) 618-6526 or email