Eddie Ingram grew up in Elizabeth City, graduated from Northeastern High in 1975, and entered College of The Albemarle in the fall of 1975. Eddie lettered in Varsity Tennis for COA in the spring of 1976 under the tutelage of Coach Kaye Patterson and Dr. Bill Sterritt, Athletic Director. In the fall of 1976, Eddie left COA for NC State, but quickly decided that he wasn’t quite ready for a large university and returned to COA in the winter of 1977. In May of 1978, Eddie graduated cum laude from COA with an Associate in Arts degree. He successfully continued his education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA while working part-time, saving his money, and living at home. All of Eddie’s college expenses, including COA, he paid for himself while his parents allowed him to live at home as he completed his undergraduate education. Eddie has subsequently earned two masters’ degrees and his doctorate from East Carolina University while teaching and coaching at Northeastern High School in Elizabeth City. Eventually, he became a school principal and now, superintendent for Franklin County Schools.
When asked about his time at COA, Eddie replied, “I enjoyed the small school camaraderie and my teachers at COA believed in me. They were better teachers than many I encountered at larger universities. I very much enjoyed playing tennis for COA and I still have friends from that team. I touch base with them as often as possible, though we rarely talk about tennis now, the relationships we developed were long-lasting.” Eddie continued, “I received an excellent education at COA and was well prepared for the rigors of the university. COA can help unlock your potential and the college afforded me the cost efficient, small atmosphere I needed.”
While Eddie no longer lives in the area, he keeps up with COA through its website and the local newspapers. He states, “I am proud to be an alumnus of COA and am thrilled the college is bringing back its intercollegiate athletic sports programs. I encourage COA to continue this trend as sports can help galvanize a school just as it did over 30 years ago when our baseball program reached the junior college world series. Go Dolphins!”
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