Over 200 volunteers come out Saturday for several service projects across Johnson City.
East Tennessee State University hosted the first Dula Day of Service in tribute to Dr. Chris Dula, a psychology professor at the school who died in January after a two year battle with brain cancer.
The day started with a opening ceremony at 8AM at the Borchuck Plaza in front of the Sherrod Library on ETSU’s campus.
Once registered, volunteers spread throughout Johnson City to complete different service projects in the community.
Dula’s family participated in the Day of Service. His sister-in-law, Wendy Lewis, along with Chris’s wife and nieces volunteered in ETSU’s Community Garden. Lewis said that community service was Dula’s whole life.
“Chris was like the best addition to our family. I mean he just made us so thankful. [He] made us aware. He was so thankful for everything he had and would give back to the community,” said Lewis.
Wendy said that she was shocked to see so many people there Saturday.
Many of his students honored his legacy including the Psychology Club which was a club Dula was heavily involved in. Other groups involved with Dula Day of Service were Volunteer ETSU, The University Roan Scholars Leadership Program, and Fraternity and Sorority Life. Bray Wilson, a member of Sigma Chi, helped clean up the Tree Streets with his fraternity brothers.
“We got about 50 of our guys out this morning just to come help the tree streets. Dula was the first teacher I ever had. Walked in, he screamed ‘hello’ and it just set the entire mood for the day.”
This Day of Service was in partnership with Johnson CIty’s 150th birthday. Joy Fulkerson, the Director of Leadership and Civic Engagement at ETSU said that she hopes this is one of many Dula Day’s and that over 200 people registered for Sunday’s event.