Oral History Collection: Max Ray Joyner Sr. Oral History

2018-09-12
University Archives #UA95-17
Creator(s)
Joyner, Max Ray, Sr.; Dale, Zachary
Physical description
1 Items
Preferred Citation
Max Ray Joyner Sr. Oral History. UA90-17. University Archives, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC.
Repository
East Carolina University Archives
Access
The collection is open for research use.

In this oral history interview Max Ray Joyner, Sr. discusses his involvment with East Carolina including his time as a student and his later work with The ECU Foundation, Alumni Association, Pirate Club, and Board of Trustees, serving on search committees, and endowing scholarships. He also mentions his wife's involvment with East Carolina.


Biographical/historical information

Max Ray Joyner, Sr. was born in 1931 near Greenville, NC in the Red Oaks neighborhood. He attended Greenville High School where he met his future wife, Catherine "Kitty" Smith in 1949. After graduating high school, Joyner enlisted in the US Army in 1951 and was shipped overseas to serve in the Korean War. He was discharged from the military in September of 1952 at which point he returned to Greenville and enrolled at East Carolina College. Three years later he graduated with a degree in business administration and soon thereafter began working for Jefferson Standard Life Insurance. For nearly four decades, Joyner held the position of regional agency manager until retiring in 1995. Throughout his business career, Joyner has remained dedicated to supporting the students, staff, and administration at East Carolina University. He is a lifetime member and past president (1979) of the Pirate Club and a former member (1985-1993) and past chair (1988-1990) of the ECU Board of Trustees. Joyner is also a founding member and former president of the ECU Foundation (1982) and former president of the East Carolina Alumni Association (1976-1977). He has served on the board of directors of the ECU School of Business and on the Honors College Advancement Council (2011-2014). The Joyners were also active members of ECU's major philanthropic groups, including the Leo Jenkins Society, the Order of the Cupola, the Order of Wright Circle, and the Polaris Society. Joyner's success in business enabled him to become one of ECU's major benefactors. In 1987, he endowed one of the first scholarships for the EC Scholars program at ECU, creating the Max R. and Kitty Joyner Scholarship Award. They have also given generously to the College of Nursing to establish a scholarship for nursing students. The Joyners also funded the first endowed chair at the ECU Medical Foundation, the Catherine and Max Joyner Distinguished Professorship in Primary Care Medicine, in 1994. He also endowed the annual Max Ray Joyner Award for Faculty Service through Distance Education in 1991. They have also supported the Four Seasons Chamber Music Series and the S. Rudolph Alexander Performing Arts Series and are members of the ECU Friends of Music, the Friends of Theatre and Dance, and the Friends of Joyner Library. East Carolina University and the City of Greenville have on many occasions recognized and awarded his exceptional leadership and generosity. In 1974, Max Joyner became the first alumnus honorary member of the Beta Gamma Sigma Business honors society chapter at ECU. The ECU Alumni Association also presented him with the Outstanding Alumni Award in 1981. The North Carolina Jaycees named Max Joyner the "Outstanding Boss of the Year" in 2009, and two years later he was presented with the ECU Honors College Advancement Council Award. At the state level, Max Joyner was appointed to the Order of the Longleaf Pine, the highest honor a North Carolinian can receive, by Governor Pat McCrory in 2014. A year later, both he and his wife (Mrs. Joyner, posthumously) were awarded one of ECU's most prestigious honors, the ECU Alumni Association's Virgil Clark 1950 Distinguished Service Award. In 2016, Joyner received the Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce's Citizen of the Year award for his contributions to regional progress and advancement. Chancellor Cecil Staton awarded Max Joyner with the Chancellor's Amethyst Award on April 19, 2018 in recognition of his dedication and generosity towards the university. Most recently, Joyner was honored with the Thomas Jordan Jarvis Medal, ECU's most prestigious award, at the Order of the Cupola event on April 11, 2019.


Scope and arrangement

In this oral history interview Max Ray Joyner, Sr. discusses his involvment with East Carolina including his time as a student and his later work with The ECU Foundation, Alumni Association, Pirate Club, and Board of Trustees, serving on search committees, and endowing scholarships. He also mentions his wife's involvment with East Carolina.


Administrative information
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Related material

This collection is a part of Record Group 95: Oral History Collection.